One of the main developers behind the Lightning Network protocol, Olaoluwa Osuntokun, also known as Laolu, announced plans to develop a video streaming application. The Lapp functions similar to popular streaming platforms such as Netflix and YouTube, with the main differences being that the platform will be Lightning Network enabled.
Laolu isn’t the first developer to envision a Bitcoin-powered video streaming platform. Unlike his predecessors, such as Streamium and Yours, Laolu sees the Lightning Network as a crucial component in the equation. This strategy enables micropayments and near-instant transactions.
Earlier attempts to create a Bitcoin-powered video streaming platform encountered issues due to Bitcoin’s current scalability concerns. The scalability issues resulted in increased fees and transaction delays, both of which can be crippling to a video platform. Users don’t want to wait a half hour or pay ridiculous fees to watch their shows.
Laolu recognized this flaw in his competition, and after developing a new MPEG-DASH protocol (HTLC-DASH), he is now working full steam on his project. This protocol enables smooth video playback without stutters or annoying loading bars. The protocol functions by splitting videos into micro-segments during the streaming process. These tiny 2-10 second videos are then rebuilt via the protocol developed by Laolu.
Users can say goodbye to monthly subscriptions. Instead, you make micro-payments for shows you want to watch. Payments are made via hashed time-locked smart contracts. The Lightning Network permits millions of these transactions to take place without bogging down the Bitcoin blockchain
Osuntokun via Twitter Post
Lightning Network Functionality
The Lightning Network enables Bitcoin users with a host of additional functions including smart contract capabilities. Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum utilize similar second layer protocols to accomplish similar tasks. These added features include lighting fast payments, low fees, and even oracles.
Osuntokun doesn’t intend to stop at streaming videos, the advantageous developer already announced plans to incorporate a distributed video storage system within the platform. Think of a blockchain-based YouTube-like platform where you can upload your videos without fear of censorship. Once your videos are uploaded to the blockchain, they are permanently stored on the systems distributed ledger.
The Lighting Network functions through the use of private payment channels. These channels are capable of unlimited off-chain transactions. Once the portal closes, the blockchain receives the transactional data. Many in the cryptospace look towards this technology to return Bitcoin back into a viable peer-to-peer electronic cash system, as described in Satoshi Nakamoto’s now famous white paper.
Lightning Network Development Kicks into High Gear
The Lightning Network’s development kicked into high gear last month as more developers continue to enter the space. Since the beginning of the year, the number of Lapps has grown significantly. Now Lightning Network users can enjoy a wide range of benefits including games, shopping, and added functionality.