Stellar plans to go live with Lightning Network from December
Lightning Network to be tested in beta phase from October and expected to go live December 1, 2018.
Cryptocurrency platform Stellar (XLM) has expounded on plans to incorporate the high-volume micropayments Lightning Network, revealing technical specifications and planned implementation dates.
Stellar’s co-founder Jed McCaleb had been mulling ways to expand support for smart contracts for some time, and although the company has been aware of Lightning’s potential for a while, the open platform officially announced its intentions to utilize the second layer payments protocol in its 2018 roadmap earlier this year.
In a blog post this week, Stellar detailed a timeline for the platform’s application of the Lightning Network.
Stellar supports more flexible payment channels called state channels. On April 1, Stellar plans to run a beta implementation of these state channels. On October 1, the company plans to debut state channels on Stellar livenet and launch Lightning Network in beta phase. On December 1, Lightning Network will move to livenet.
“This is a simple design for payment channels on Stellar, but there is still much work to be done,” Stellar said.
“We’re currently working on support for multi-hop payments, increased privacy and scalability, and interoperability with Lightning Network channels on other blockchains such as bitcoin.”
Stellar recently collaborated with Bitcoin Core developer Jeremy Rubin to optimize Lightning implementation. Rubin co-founded ventures such as Tidbit, the MIT Bitcoin Project and the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.
The Lightning Network is a decentralized system which utilizes smart contracts to enable instant payments across a large group. This network is capable of millions to billions of transactions per second. This speed and scalability is possible because the Lightning Network doesn’t create on-blockchain transactions for individual payments. However, the smart contracts can be enforced on-blockchain if issues or complications arise.
Lightning is constructed from building blocks known as payment channels. The concept behind payment channels is simple but powerful. They allow users to open a channel off-chain and transact there instead of on the public ledger. Because they’re off-chain, transactions in the channel can be extremely fast and cheap, but similar to on-chain transactions, there’s no counterparty risk. When the channel participants are ready to go their separate ways, they close the channel and settle back to the public ledger. No matter what happened in-channel, the rest of the world only sees that final transaction. It’s like showing someone the last frame of a movie; from that one still, there’s no way to unpack the rest of the film.
The Lightning Network as explained by Stellar
In January, a Redditor claimed to have settled the first-ever, real-world transaction on the Lightning Network. The Reddit user revealed that the transaction was completed on January 14, after spotting a tweet by Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider TorGuard, explaining they were accepting Lightning Network bitcoin payments.
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