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Lightning Network

Lightning has developers using it before it is live




Many micropayment enthusiasts are too impatient for the Lightning Network to go live. This has led to a massive flow of bitcoin transaction over the network even after being cautioned by developers that this is risky since it is still in the testing phase.

Blockstream, for example, launched a Lightning only merchandise store which uses its Lightning implementation, same with c-lightning. A Lightning net explorer said that over $33, 000 in bitcoin had been moved via Lightning Networks. Everyone is excited about the prospect of Lightning Network; it promises instant transaction speeds at a much-reduced cost. And many micropayment enthusiasts’ feels leaving testnet and using bitcoin mainnet with the network will speed up the time required to get the Lightning Network ready.

Using the network at this early testing stage has not but led to confusion, due to this, several people have lost their real bitcoin funds. It has caused many people to criticize Blockstream’s decision while others have called it crazy to put hundreds or thousands of dollars into Lightning projects. However, Mainnet Lightning implementation has over 548 channels and 205 nodes with no sign of stalling. According to developers, this momentum shows the rate at which it’ll be safe to use Lightning on the bitcoin mainnet.

Distracting the developers

In a recent interview with Elizabeth Stark, the CEO of Lightning Labs, she estimated the developer count on the Lightning Network to be as low as ten people. This is a factor that can slow down the release of the project, and probably due to the reduction, Lightning Labs appeals to users to quit sending money via the system stating that it is distracting their developers unnecessarily.

Finding bugs

Mainnet testing has led to the discovering of several bugs, and according to International Business Times, the deployment of the tech by Blockstream led to the discovery of twenty bugs within 14 hours of launching. Some of the companies admit encountering a few bugs, but none causes them or its users to lose money.

But Pierre-Marie Padiou, a Lightning developer at ACINQ believe this overlooks a crucial point, saying that once the network is live, every bug detected will probably be orders of magnitude which is more costly regarding resources development. He also added that stable Lightning network requires time and patience, and trying to rush thing can’t make them go any faster. All the active Lightning Network does is put more pressure that led to distraction on the already small number of developers working on the project.