By Tibet Ertan
Even though lots of people think that blockchain has a great processing technology, bitcoin blockchain can only process a very small amount of transactions compared to other payment methods. For example while visa can process 4000 transactions per second bitcoin can only process seven. Anyone who sent bitcoin in the last 2 years knows how annoying, high transaction fees and long processing time can be, which sparks the question why use bitcoin in the first place, while we have lots of cryptocurrencies that can process transactions very quickly and without any fee. Lightning network is the answer to this question, it aims to solve the bitcoins scalability problem once and for all.
Lightning network is a second layer payment protocol for bitcoin, instead of processing every transaction on the bitcoin blockchain it relies on interconnected payment channels which get processed on the blockchain as a whole, after they close.A channel is opened when two or more participants enter a transaction on the public Bitcoin blockchain and deposit some amount of funds. While the channel is open, participants can sign any number of transactions among them (without exceeding the amount deposited). Lightning network doesn’t just make the widespread adoption of bitcoin possible but it also makes bitcoin very competitive against non-blockchain payment methods. Lightning network is really important for bitcoins future, it’s the only way bitcoin can be a payment method rather than just a store of value.
How to Use it
Lightning network released it’s beta version on March 2018 and is still in the beta version.There are currently over 10000 channels. One of the easiest ways to use the lightning network is to open a lightning network wallet. Because it is a really new technology, there aren’t many wallets that support lightning network.I personally suggest using blue wallet, it is really easy to use.