This month marked another crucial milestone in the Lightning Network's development. One of the premier developers of the off-chain protocol, Blockstream, announced the successful implementation of dual-funded LN-channels. The news marks the first time such an accomplishment has been successfully implemented on the network. As such, it opens up the door for more use case scenarios for the protocol.
The official news came via a Blockstream company blog post. In the article, Blockstream touts some of the benefits of its new dual-funded channels and how they can benefit the average user. Specifically, the new feature will help streamline onboarding onto the network. It also reduces fees for both payment channel participants as all nodes can now contribute to the channel’s opening balance transaction.
Eliminate Funding Concerns
In the past, Lightning Network users would need to open a private channel and fund the event directly. The problem with this approach is that it sometimes leads to unbalanced channels. Unbalanced channels occur when only one side of the channel has funding. They are an annoyance among LN users because they can translate into payment delays as the other party needs to shuffle funding before they can send.
Currently, the network's default design is that the channel’s balance belongs to the channel-opening node. However, the new protocol enables both sides of the equation to load the channel. The main benefit of this strategy is that anyone can send payments immediately using the new system. In this way, Blockstream introduces more flexibility to the market.
Dual Funded LN-Channels – Draft
Discussing the launch, Blockstream developers explained that the protocol will not be considered official until the other two implementations of the network add the new protocol to their functionalities. Blockstream Lightning Network users have had access to this feature since May 12th. Specifically, the network went live on Blockstream LN-iteration on block 681,753 on the Bitcoin mainnet.
Blockstream Continues to Drive Innovation
This latest development is just one in a series of impressive creations from the Blockstream team. This development team has held one of the leading development positions since the Lightning Network went live. Notably, the network is also known for its pioneering ventures in the market, including the launch of the first Bitcoin satellite nodes.
Dual Funded LN Channels – Demonstrations
As part of their launch strategy, Blockstream recently held an open discussion on the project at the University of California, Berkeley. The event was just a small portion of the conference's data. Notably, Clara Shikhelman of Chaincode Labs, demonstrated how opening a dual-funded channel reduces on-chain Bitcoin fees for users. The end result is that it's cheaper than ever before for users to leverage the power of the Lightning Network.
Blockstream – Dual Funded LN Channels and More
Blockstream continues to do its part to help bring the Lightning Network to the masses. After over +2 years of Beta testing, the network has improved its security and capabilities significantly. When you combine these developments with the growing demand of traders for cheaper Bitcoin transaction solutions, it's easy to see why the Lightning Network continues to be a premier scaling technology.