Lightning Network advocates got some big news this week after Blockstream officially released its 0.7.2 c-Lightning upgrade. The protocol improves upon the original c-lightning in many ways including increased performance. This news also shows the ongoing development the Lightning Network is under.
c-Lightning is Here
The upgrade first appeared on GitHub on August 20, 2019. The same day, Blockstream researcher Christian Decker tweeted about the upgrade. In the comments of his Tweet, he explains how interested parties can download the upgrade as an open-source protocol.
Decker takes a moment to shout out some of the other parties involved in the program. In particular, @darosior received credit for his work on the Plug-in manager. Plug-ins are of huge importance to the development of the Lightning Network because they enable better interoperability.
Nakamoto's Pre-approval by US Congress
Interestingly, the official name of the upgrade is v0.7.2: Nakamoto's Pre-approval by US Congress. Despite the fact the upgrade has nothing to do with congress, it does make some significant improvements over the original c-Lightning protocol.
For example, the protocol includes a script that helps you connect your new node to the network. In the past, users expressed concerns over the difficulty of opening an LN-node. Also, the upgrade changes the close default settings to automatically close once a peer becomes unresponsive for 48 hours.
Additionally, the team found ways to prevent channel closings when sync errors arise. Prior to the upgrade, a sync error would require both parties to close the channel and reopen a new one. This added much frustration to users forced to undergo the process repeatedly. Now, these concerns are a thing of the past.
What is c-Lightning
The c-Lightning protocol is a version of the Lightning Network written in the programing language C. The c-Language was developed by Bell Labs researcher Dennis Ritchie from 1969 – 1973. Originally the language was made for use with system development. Later programmers discovered that c is excellent for use when developing operating systems as well. Today, the programing language c is at the core of many of our most important computer networks.
Blockstream and C
As one of the three main development teams behind the Lighting Network, Blockstream is exclusive in the use of c-Lightning. The firm has made some significant upgrades to its implementation including a new architecture for version 0.6. This latest upgrade is the culmination of years of research and development into the Lightning Networks capabilities.
Unlike previous releases, the Lightning Network’s development has begun to shift more towards UX. Originally, developers focused on stability concerns and functionality. Now that the network is secure and stable, developers look for ways to make participating in the Lightning Network as seamless as possible.
Blockstream Steams Forward
The development team at Blockstream is one of the most ingenuitive in the cryptospace. The firm continually improves upon their releases in a timely manner. Additionally, Blockstream furthers Lightning Network adoption through a host of other projects and partnerships. You can expect to see even more upgrades emerge as the year progresses and the Lightning Network completes Beta testing.