Lightning Network Mainnet Goes Live on iOS, Android
The mainnet alpha of the Lightning Mobile App for iOS and Android, the first on all major platforms, has been released. The Bitcoin mainnet in alpha release, for iOS (on Testflight) and Android (on Google Play), is set to complement the recently launched Lightning App on desktop to make the Lightning App now available on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. Though the app has always been touted to be a major launch that could drive crypto adoption, this release is to seek bugs hence has to be treated as a testing version.
We've released the mainnet alpha of our Lightning Mobile App for iOS & Android, the first on all major platforms! ⚡️📲
— Lightning Labs⚡️ (@lightning) June 19, 2019
LN transactions use time-locked Bitcoin transactions to provide liquidity for moving coins instantly and directly between peers or across many peers using channels. Its being available as an app is to make the service accessible to more users. The public app store version of the application is expected to be released once a certain baseline for security and stability has been achieved.
If all goes as planned, the app will allow users to send money instantly around the world and be able to control their own funds. It can also be used to do on chain transactions too i.e. make or receive payments to/from any non-LN wallets but only with funds that are not in channels.
It is also expected to lure many users to switch from their custodial wallets to LN for its non-custodial wallet that uses a 24-word passphrase as a special seed. The longer passphrase is to accommodate dates like a birthday which makes key import and wallet rescans easier on light clients. So far, it is not possible for the same wallet passphrase to be used between the desktop and mobile wallets for a sync yet.
The fee estimation is still an issue though as there are claims that estimates for on-chain transaction are much higher than actual fee in transaction list. However, for users not to overpay opening and closing fees, its creators’ immediate approach is to first use a lower fee then bump either auto or manually, the CTO at Lightning Labs, Olaoluwa Osuntokun, states in a tweet. He adds that “LND 0.7 will ship with a new CPFP implementation that we can use to expose fee bumping to users so they can increase after the fact”.
The LN app alpha release comes as the unveiling of a Facebook-backed crypto project, Libra, brings Bitcoin back into the spotlight. The social media platform’s online payment system has been met with criticism with some governments threatening not to allow its use come 2020 when it is projected to be rolled out. Others say it will push towards higher standards in the crypto space.
Whichever way, the success of an app version for the LN system is a value addition to Bitcoin especially as there are calls for a Chinese version to be released. It will contribute to the price of Bitcoin which, in recent months, has been rising steadily despite a slow hype trend unlike the previous instant when the number of people interested in the cryptocurrency is reportedly higher. There haven’t been much talks about the network having challenges and unable to handle the rise. With the second layer options like the LN and other tech and market improvements taking shape, the steady price growth may continue with time.