Blockstream Introduces Multi-Part Payments
The c-lightning development team from Blockstream just released a multi-part payment protocol for the Lightning Network. The concept allows users to more safely send large sums of Bitcoin over the second-layer protocol. Importantly, the protocol streamlines the UX for those attempting larger transactions.
The Lightning Network is still under development. This revolutionary off-chain protocol has been in Beta testing for two years. Due to this fact, in the past, developers cautioned users from sending large amounts of Bitcoin until the Beta testing is complete. Rather than wait out the development, c-lightning figured it was better to just figure out how to break these payments down so they can be sent using the current technology.
C-lighting is the first development team to release a multi-part payments upgrade. The new version, c-lightning v0.8.0, expands the capabilities of the Lighting Network considerably. The upgrade focused on two main points of improvement. First, developers wanted to figure out how to make it safer to send large Bitcoin payments.
User Experience – Blockstream
The second area of concern was the UX. Developers wanted to simplify the process of sending funds. Previously, large payments needed liquidity in the network to process. For example, if you want to send 1 BTC to someone, you need to find a channel with a balance greater than what you intend to send.
From here the transaction will pass from node to node. If along the journey, one node doesn't have enough in the channel to pass the transaction, the payment will fail. When you are talking about Satoshis, this isn't an issue, most channels have enough funding for this transaction, but if you want to send, say 3 BTC, it could be an issue.
The new protocol breaks a payment into smaller pieces. Consequently, it's easier to send. The protocol even allows you to combine Bitcoin from multiple channel balances in order to process the payment. The ability to bundle the capacity of channels significantly reduces the headache of managing how many channels to open.
Additionally, the interweaving of nodes decentralizes the network even more. Now, instead of major Lighting Network channels developing, you can see a situation where all the little channels get to see action. To this end, the upgrade greatly increases the resiliency of the entire payment network.
In a recent post, lightning developer Christian Decker discussed the goals of the upgrade. He spoke on the improved user experience for lightning clients. He also explained that the team had been “working actively on improving the status quo“. He stated that the overall goal of the project was to make “using lightning as easy as using an on-chain wallet.”
Blockstream has been a longtime supporter of the Lightning Network. Its c-lightning software development team continuously achieves new milestones in the sector. This latest development is another notch on the team’s built.
You got to commend c-lightning on this upgrade. This protocol eliminates many of the biggest concerns associated with the Lightning Network. You can expect to see more integration within the market now that users can easily send large amounts of Bitcoin at a fraction of the cost.