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Lightning Network

Bitcoin Lightning Network Competitors Gear Up for Battle




Lightning Network Competitors

The Lightning Network remains the most popular and successful layer 2 solution for Bitcoiners. The network used private payment channels to provide scalability to the market and added functionally. Notably, the Lightning Network has been in beta testing for +4 years. During that time competition has begun to spring up, driving innovation across the market. Here are a few noteworthy attempts to dethrone the king.

A long-time Bitcoin supporter and one-time Lightning Network hacker named Burak has introduced a native L2 Bitcoin scaling solution this week that he claims is far more efficient than current options. Notably, Burak was the hacker who caused the Lightning Network to conduct an emergency update after he revealed a vulnerability publicly. Since then he has been hard at work creating LN alternatives.


Brollups are the developer's latest creation. This L2 solution bundles transactions to reduce mainnet congestion. It's the ideal protocol according to Burack because it is fully programmable and doesn't require the issuance of an additional token.


DOVI integrates smart transaction processing to provide higher performance to Bitcoiners. The project entered the market in 2023 and has managed to secure a growing user base. Wisely, the network was built from day one to support cross-chain activities and a selection of DeFi tasks.

Source - DOVI

Source – DOVI

DOVI uses Schnorr Signatures as part of its model. Additionally, it has support from some market heavyweights including KuCoin. These details make the project a contender worth watching.


Stacks entered the market as Blockstack seeking to provide an LN alternative. This innovative project adds a lot of functionality to Bitcoin. The protocol enables Bitcoiners to write smart contracts, participate in DeFi options, create NFTs, and host Dapps on-chain.

Stacks is unique in that developers can write directly to the Bitcoin blockchain. The protocol integrates Microblocks for independent validation. Additionally, the use of the Clarity programming language enhances smart contract security and helps to drive transparency in the ecosystem.

Merlin Chain

Merlin Chain is another alternative to the Lightning Network that has piqued interest in the market. The protocol was launched by Bitmap Tech and leverages the BRC-20 tokens standard. One of the components of the Merlin Chain is the integration of Zk-rollups. Zk rollups improve scalability and privacy by enabling transactions to be completed without revealing sensitive data between sender and receivers.

Additionally, Merlin Chain supports full Evm compatibility. As such, Bitcoiners can enter the Etheruam DeFi ecosystem and leverage advanced passive income strategies such as staking, farming, and P2P lending. This capability makes the Merlin Chain stand out.

Everyone Comes for the Crown

The Lightning Network remains the premier L2 scaling solution for the Bitcoin community, but that may not always be the case. The competition is heating up and with more players in the market, the Lightning Network must remain fluid and innovative to secure its spot as Bitcoin's premier scaling solution. For now, the Lightning Network remains the market front-runner and recent upgrades could help it further improve its performance, ecosystem, and offerings in the coming weeks.