The Bitcoin Lightning micropayments protocol has successfully passed the test. The protocol was tested recently by researchers from Blockstream, a company contributing towards the maintenance and development of Bitcoin Core protocol.
People from across the world are increasingly using Bitcoin as a medium of value exchange and storage. This has led to a sharp rise in the number of transactions being processed by the Bitcoin blockchain on a daily basis. As the community continues to grow, the Bitcoin network needs to be scaled to ensure fast and efficient handling of transactions.
The Lightning network is one of the proposed scaling initiatives that creates a secondary payments layer over the Bitcoin blockchain. The Lightning network allows unlimited instant transactions between two Bitcoin wallets without creating individual entries on the blockchain for each transaction. This way, it will not only increase the speed of transaction but also reduces the overall cost of transactions (miner fee).
The Lightning network is still in development and testing phase. Blockstream tested v0.5 C prototype as part of its continued development efforts. As a part of the demonstration, Dr. Christian Decker — one of the developers made a purchase of a cat’s picture for 0.01 test BTC to receive the access link for the picture. Once the transaction was completed, Decker opened another node and connected it to the first node to buy a second copy of the same ASCII picture of “two cats”. Complete details of the successful test were published by Decker’s associate Rusty Russell on Blockstream’s official blog.
According to Russell, this was the first end-to-end test of lightning micropayment network including the invoicing, multi-hop payment and item delivery. The test was conducted on a Digital Ocean server running Apache, bitcoind and lightningd, creating an invoice using lightning-cli invoice ‘100000’ CGI script. A user clicking on a unique link will be allowed access to the product (the cat picture in this context) if ‘lightning-cli listinvoice‘ indicates that the invoice is paid.
During the course of testing, the development team came across few bugs, which were easily resolved. Russell believes that the Lightning v0.5 C is almost ready, with few tweaks and proper documentation it will be released soon.
Ref: Blockstream Blog |Image: Blockstream