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Lightning Network’s Rising Popularity and Bitcoin, Altcoins

So much is being said about Lightning Network (LN) of late as its capacity continues to rise – above 659 BTC (about $2.42 mln) as at the time of this writing. The solution’s growth rate and the progress it records has seen more wallets running it to achieve the purpose of facilitating small transactions.

A study finds that in terms of payment, LN is already comparable to the top fiat payment solutions like Visa and MasterCard except for ApplePay which is only a few seconds faster. The capacity rise is happening despite claims there is not much incentive to use it right now due to pretty low fees on Bitcoin. With another study showing that Bitcoin is becoming more decentralised than it used to be, LN’s adoption could expand wider in coming months.

Crypto markets are gradually improving after a prolonged bearish state. It seems investors are now in an understanding phase and more people tend to be self-learning about fundamentals and the top currency, Bitcoin. The belief that Bitcoin’s growth has been halted for LN to be ready may not be completely the case but recent hype about its rise could pass it for one of the biggest things to happen to cryptocurrencies this year.

More awareness boost
The rave about LN has heightened within the crypto community. After participating in the LN torch initiative which seeks to increase awareness of the use of layer 2 solution for Bitcoin users, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey hinted at the likelihood of the mini-social media site accepting Lightning payment at some point.

The initiative was started on Jan 19 by a Twitter user Hodlonaut. Lightning Torch entails receiving a payment and passing it on to someone you trust with more satoshis added to the transaction. It has so far attracted 140 participants in 37 countries including crypto advocate, Andreas Antonopoulos and Lightning Labs CEO, Elizabeth Stark.

Likely impact on altcoins
Launched on the Bitcoin mainnet in March 2018, LN is bound to accommodate more transactions than some of the top major cryptocurrencies if it maintains its current growth rate for the next 12 months. Though it may not be a singular technology solution to the scaling problem, LN stands a chance to usurp the roles of certain altcoins to execute their essence with better liquidity and security as a Bitcoin-based protocol.

An increase in Bitcoin’s adoption would see the blockchain size increase hence the need for a third party solution like LN. With its quicker transactions and anonymity features,there may be a reduced interest in some altcoins especially those not direct competitors to Bitcoin. In the event Bitcoin price becomes too high thus making it act more as a store value like gold, decentralised altcoins like Litecoin – which prides itself as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold – could rise in value.

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