Blockchain startup Lightning Labs has received a 10 million dollar investment to build and improve its payment network for Bitcoin. This financial injection is needed to continue development and make bitcoin payments relevant and easy for users from all ages and all around the globe. Ultimately the payment system for Bitcoin needs to compete with traditional payment providers like Visa and Mastercard.
Among the investors are some familiar faces. Twitter and Square boss Jack Dorsey, Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev and Litecoin creator Charlie Lee are just a few of the investors. The investment will be used to improve the Lightning Network and build more services on top of it. They’ve been testing atomic swaps in the past, so perhaps that’s something that will bring to the market as well.
We at Lightning Labs see this as not an accomplishment in and of itself, but a means to achieving our goal of bringing instant bitcoin transactions to millions of people.Elizabeth Stark, CEO and Co-Founder – press release February 5th 2020.
At the moment companies like Bitpay and Coinbase are strong players in the market for cryptocurrency payment processors. However, Lightning Labs wants a piece of that pie with their newly launched product Lightning Loops. This is a bitcoin payment processor for the Lightning Network, making it easier for merchants to accept bitcoin payments using Lightning. Nonetheless, the ten million dollar investment is good news for the future of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.
What is the Lightning Network?
The Lightning Network is a second layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. What the Lightning Network does, is creating a temporarily communication channel between two parties. Here these two parties can make as many transactions as they want. Only after closing the channel, the nodes can communicate the outcome of these transactions to the Bitcoin network. As a result a transaction on the Lightning Network only needs to cost a fraction of a cent.
Lightning Apps or LApps
On top of the Lightning Network developers are building all kinds of apps. For example, a Dutch developer called Joost Jagers has been working on an messaging application called Whatsat. These messages are end-to-end encrypted, routed over the TOR network, peer-to-peer, censorship-resistant, without any company or government playing Big Brother.
In addition there’s a whole list of application that use the Lightning Network:
- LNCast – a podcast platform where people can subscribe to a podcast using the Lightning Network
- Y’alls – A writing platform where writers are ‘paid’ for their work using micro-transactions on Lightning.
- Lightning App – a mobile and desktop wallet
- Intxbot – A Lightning-powered advertisement bot on Telegram
- Breez – non-custodial wallet for iOS and Android
- Sats4likes – earn some satoshi for liking and retweeting on Twitter.
- LN Pizza – using Lightning to buy pizza and Domino’s
- Satoshi’s Games – There’s even a whole lot of games available
- Lightnite – An upcoming battle royale game even pays gamers when they shoot an enemy, and you lose money they hit you.
All these developments could bring more utility and therefore adoption to bitcoin. Ultimately the developments on the Lightning Network could have a positive effect on the value of bitcoin.
Also published on Medium.