On Friday, California-based developer Lightning Labs has introduced the first official beta version of the client Lightning Network (LN), «which allows you to carry out transactions outside of the bitcoin blockchain» and announced raising $2.5 million in funding for further developments.
This event was even announced by some of the world’s media as a «technology start-up, which again will make bitcoin money».
Investors Lightning Labs, including Microsoft, CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square Capital Jacqueline Reese, the founder of Litecoin Charlie Lee and COO of PayPal David sacks – expect that now the number of transactions via the Lightning will grow rapidly.
«This customer is also the first that provides the ability to send bitcoins out of the blockchain with the functions of security and resiliency required for real using real money,» reads the blog Lightning Labs.
Lightning Labs is considered the «official» developer of the technology, but alternative solutions exist, and are also involved in testing. In fact, the testing of Lightning channels in the core network began more than a month ago. Now the chain Lightning is about 1,000 units and nearly 2000 channels.
However, optimism around the launch of the beta version is unlikely to resonate in reality. All significant innovations in Bitcoin have encountered problems and their spread is much slower than expected. For example, the technology is Segregated Witness, without which payments in Lightning will be much more difficult, still can not boast of massive adoption. For more than six months after activation, the number segwit-only transactions in early March exceeded the level of 30%.
Delays in the implementation of Segwit will inevitably have an impact on the use of Lightning. To date, despite an impressive number of nodes and channels, the real volume of transactions with Lightning insignificant in open channels involves a little more than 4 BTC, and this value is stored for a few weeks. This means that the technology is tested, but use it in a real transaction fear. And it may take more than one month, especially that of the Commission in the network of Bitcoin after a decline in the number of transactions remains at a very low level, and use additional tools to reduce them is necessary. For Lightning will be used if the volume of transactions will start to grow again.