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Lightning Network

A Look into the Options the Lightning Network Can Offer Bitcoin Users in the Future

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The Lightning Network is considered by many in the cryptomarket as Bitcoin’s best chance of curing its current scalability issues.  This revolutionary protocol is returning low fees and fast transactions to BTC users around the world.  The Lightning Network continues to see record adoption in the marketplace and more nodes are going active daily.

The closer the Lightning Network gets to completion, the more developers continue to enter the market with their upgrades.  It appears that the Lightning Network hasn’t even scratched the surface of its true capabilities.  Below are some of the most advantageous Lightning Network projects currently in the works.

Channel Factories

The Channel Factories protocol allows for a Lightning Network payment channel to open “sub-channels”.  This will allow multiple users to simultaneously use an active payment channel without bogging down the BTC blockchain, as only two on-chain transactions are recorded.

The Lighting Network could see a serious need for this protocol in the near future as adoption continues to increase.  Eventually, the two transactions per channel could add up and bog down the BTC blockchain once again.  Channel Factories could be the perfect option to avoid scalability issues in the future.

Atomic Swaps

Atomic swaps allow crypto users to exchange their cryptocurrency directly using a Peer-to-Peer off-chain channel.  The protocol allows a user to send Bitcoin directly and receive Litecoin, or any Lightning Network enabled Altcoin.  Both users must first fund their respective blockchain and then a time-locked hash protocol is used to automatically redistribute the coins.

A decentralized exchange option such as Atomic Swaps could revolutionize the cryptomarket.  Crypto exchanges have become increasingly powerful in the market and this has furthered centralization.  Atomic Swaps could be the answer to these concerns.

Atomic Multi-Path Payments

While the concept of Atomic Swaps is already amazing enough, the Lightning Network could potentially one-up these decentralized swaps by allowing multi-person Atomic channels to be opened.  Imagine five people all sending transactions through the same Lighting Network payment channel.

Now, imagine at the same time, some of the individuals were also using Atomic Swaps to exchange their currency.   You could pay for something in BTC and the other party could decide they want the payment in Litecoin and all of this could be accomplished automatically and directly with this protocol.

Watchtowers

The Watchtower protocol is a Lightning Network addition that is gaining a lot of steam in the development world.  This protocol monitors you Lightning Network transaction to ensure that the other party is completed the transaction as required.  Watchtower protocol will allow third-party organizations to monitor your transactions for you; adding an extra layer of protection.

The Lightning Network is still in its Beta testing stage and it is important to always monitor the BTC blockchain to ensure that your Lightning Network payment channel registers once it is closed.   A service such as this could be very valuable when large payments are involved.

The Future is Bright

It’s pretty amazing to think of the endless possibilities the Lightning Network will bring to the market.  Bitcoin users have much reason to celebrate as a return to the days of lightning-fast transactions is just around the corner and looks like the best yet to come.

What do you guys think, which of these features do you want to see instituted first?  Let us know in the comments below.

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