In a new milestone, Lightning Labs have officially released the very first Lightning mainnet beta – a release that, for the first time, as the option to run on Bitcoin’s mainnet.
The Lightning Network, for the uninitiated, is a planned second-layer solution that would run atop the Bitcoin network. The concept, designed as a means to solve the ‘scaling debate’ that created Bitcoin Cash, would leave the Bitcoin blockchain untouched while enabling a larger volume of payments to take place between participants through avenues named ‘channels’.
While the Lightning Network is an open-source venture, Lightning Labs – in addition to Blockstream and Acinq – stands as a key contributor. Notably, the company produces the Lightning Network Daemon (lnd), which enables developers to interact with the new protocol.
The news, which will see the release cater to developers of Lightning applications (or Lapps) as well as technical users and prospective routing node operations.
As Lightning Labs described in an official blog post, the new beta for its lnd) is designed to “bootstrap the network and serve as a platform for future applications, services, and businesses” with “the necessary safety, security, and fault-tolerance features required for real-world, real money usage.”
Though the advent marks a sizeable milestone for Lightning Network implementations, Lightning Labs was warned its users to only experiment with transferring small amounts of Bitcoin at present.
The latest release of the Lightning daemon brings with it a new seed format that will render the backup of nodes far easier, in addition to improved fault-tolerance and smarter path-finding.
Notably, the release also favors Segwit addresses – obviating the need for excessive transaction fees.
The latest beta further includes support for Litecoin’s mainnet – a pleasing addition for fervent supporters of the altcoin.
A successful seed round
The release comes amidst other positive news for Lightning Labs, as the company has announced the completion of a seed (initial) finance round that has successfully raked in some $2.5 million USD.
Notable investors include Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Square Capital CPO Jacqueline Reses and ex-PayPal COO David Sacks.
The news might amount to a refreshing breath of confidence for Bitcoin investors; the leading cryptocurrency has suffered through a tumultuous week with prices lingering above the $8000 USD mark.
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