Blockstream Executes First Full Payment on Lightning Network with Litecoin
Blockstream has announced the first ever non-experimental payment made on the lightning network with Litecoin. This follows soon after the cryptocurrency activated segregated witness (SegWit).
First Ever Lightning Payment on a Non-test Network
Blockstream posted the announcement on its official blog on 11th May. Christian Decker, who recently joined the Blockstream team specifically to work on L2 protocols, was tasked with patching the company’s implementation of the lightning network to better work with Litecoin.
About two hours after SegWit officially activated on Litecoin, Decker opened a lightning channel between two clients — one located in Zurch and the other in San Francisco — and executed a litecoin transaction worth approximately USD 1.3 cents.
The transfer of 0.00000001 LTC (1 litecoin-satoshi) was completed in under a second. Additionally, another transaction was executed between the same channel, but with 1000 Litecoin satoshis instead of just one.
After a lightning channel is open, an almost an infinite sequence of transactions can be made on it. Furthermore, the work on lightning network payments is based on the open standard for Lightning which is nearing completion, according to the blog entry.
Future of Litecoin Scalability
Litecoin’s consensual decision to activate SegWit was both highly anticipated by those in the crypto community as well as being a point of contention — especially among the Bitcoin crowd.
It certainly created a stir, although not necessarily for Litecoin itself, but for what it could mean for Bitcoin and to a lesser extent the future of all cryptocurrencies.
Even now, a lot of the scalability research is still being focused around Bitcoin, rather than Litecoin, despite the latter’s activation of SegWit and subsequent surge in price. This is also despite the fact that Bitcoin is nowhere near coming to a consensus around any scaling solution, SegWit or otherwise.
MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) is an example of this, whose research on lightning networks has been exclusively geared towards Bitcoin. On Wednesday, the DCI at MIT’s Media Lab revealed their lightweight lightning network client, which is a product of the research they have been engaged in.
The client, dubbed lit, does not require users to be full Bitcoin nodes — which means people will not have to download the entire bitcoin blockchain when using lightning network clients. This helps advance lightning network micropayments as a means of scaling the cryptocurrency.
Significant for Bitcoin Too
Regardless, Litecoin’s SegWit activation and subsequent lightning network transactions also mark a milestone in the history of Bitcoin’s ongoing scalability debate, as second-layer transaction processors like the LN are successfully used on a cryptocurrency network similar to its own.
Whether or not this milestone ends up being a permanent turning point for Litecoin or simply a pitstop on the way to ultimate Bitcoin supremacy, however, remains to be seen.
What do you think of Blockstream’s announcement? What do you think of SegWit as a scaling solution? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images Via Litecoin, MIT, and Sam Javanrouh