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Lightning Network; The Transformation Of Bitcoin From Gold To Money

Lightning Network; The Transformation Of Bitcoin From Gold To Money

What Do You Think About Bitcoin? In Your Opinion Bitcoin Will, It Eventually Is A Decentralized Currency For Digital Payments Or A Tool For Storing Value? 

Lightning Network, Should we look at bitcoin through the eyes of digital gold or, according to White Paper, an electronic system of peer-to-peer cash? Both theories have their own pros and cons. Some people believe that Bitcoin is not a good option for storing value due to severe price fluctuations.

On the other hand, many users see low network speeds and relatively high transaction fees as a serious obstacle to accepting Bitcoin as a monetary system. But in the midst of this debate, Lightning technology has something to say that may change how we think about bitcoin.

Jeff Wilser, the co-author of the Kevin Desk website at Note Lightning Network, examines the state of development and its applications and believes that Lightning technology will ultimately enable Bitcoin to establish itself as a peer-to-peer monetary network among billions of users.

According to the author and interviewees of this article, what has become the dominant discourse of Bitcoin network users today is nothing more than a buzz for higher prices and holding Bitcoin as a long-term investment.

Billionaires like Ilan Musk and Mark Kuban have turned bitcoin into a platform for their speculative games, and many users willingly or unwillingly encourage this trend. However, the purpose of creating bitcoin from the beginning was its monetary use, and basically, the value of bitcoin derives from this use.

In between, Lightning Network(Lightning Network) is perhaps the main Bitcoin solution to increase scalability and use in everyday transactions.

In fact, developments such as the development of the same Lightning network made something like the use of bitcoin as the official currency in El Salvador possible.

If we look realistically, Bitcoin should become a problem to become a monetary network and a tool for everyday payments (a goal set for Bitcoin from the beginning).

 Scalability Fix.

Otherwise, this digital currency will remain a kind of value reserve and will be used only for those looking to increase its price.

You can read more about this in the language of its author.

Bitcoin in El Salvador; A good thing owed to Lightning

As of early June, 62 of the 84 members of the El Salvador Legislature (74 percent of the House of Representatives) have approved a bill to accept bitcoin as the country’s official legal tender. They voted. “History!” Wrote Nayib Bukele, the pro-Bitcoin president of El Salvador, referring to the law’s passage in parliament.

El Salvador Vice President’s tweet after accepting bitcoin as official legal currency

He was right; El Salvador’s general popularity of digital currencies can be considered the most influential event in the history of Bitcoin, regardless of what happens next.

If we take a closer look, we can see that the reason for this was not the El Salvadorian farmers’ hopes for the growth of the bitcoin or speculation portfolio and profit from its fluctuations;

In an economy that is 70% based on cash and Fiat currencies, villagers and farmers now use bitcoin;

To buy fruits and vegetables, they send small amounts of satoshi to each other, and the authentic prospect of a bitcoin counterpart is gratifying. Satoshi Nakamoto, Is the maker of the bitcoin meet.

In other words, bitcoin in El Salvador is no longer a tool for storing value but as a form of real money.

This is exactly what Satoshi intended from the beginning. Many people believe that the use of bitcoin in today’s world has gone astray.

Bitcoin is used in our world today as a tool to “store value”; While from the beginning, bitcoin was supposed to be a digital currency that is transferred simultaneously between different people and eliminates the need for an intermediary.

On the other hand, many critics point to the low scalability of bitcoin and claim that fiat currencies cannot replace it due to the low speed of bitcoin transactions.

El Salvador has reportedly used an app called “To Pay” for Bitcoin payments.

Strike(Strike) will use. The strike is a digital currency payment processor developed by Chicago-based startup Zapp Solutions. The managing director of the startup is Jack Mallers, who was named one of the 30 most influential people under 30 in finance in 2021 by Forbes magazine.

The main function of Strike is to facilitate bitcoin micropayments. Strikes make it possible to pay small amounts of Bitcoin and make transactions fast, easy, and cheap.

Jack Mahlers at the Bitcoin Conference 2121

This application works based on Bitcoin Lightning Network. Members of the digital currency community recognize Lightning as a “second-tier” protocol that transacts transactions “outside Blockchain And through a network of channels and nodes (Nodes) does; The users themselves manage the network, its transactions are fast and cheap, and it is developing day by day.

Jack Mahlers claims he always knew he would use the Lightning network to develop his app. Referring to Lightning as “one of the most influential advances in human technology history,” he says:

It was clear that I had to use the Lightning network to develop this [strike] application.

Lightning is the driving force behind this widespread use of bitcoin. It can argue that the Lightning Network is the most important project designed for the most important asset in the entire blockchain world (i.e., bitcoin).

However, the team Lightning Lips Lightning Labs, a developer of Lightning Network-related software, and Elizabeth Stark, its CEO, and co-founder, have long been out of the limelight. In other words, the Lightning network does not seem to be receiving the value it deserves!

Elizabeth Stark, CEO, and co-founder of Lightning Labs

After the network’s public acceptance in 2017 and 2018, Stark has largely avoided publications and news and turned his attention to the work.

Perhaps now is the best time to bring Lightning back into the scene.

The recent bitcoin discourse, which can also be seen in the headlines or tweets, is like an endless chain or stream of topics like “price, price, price, Ilan Mask, price, China, price, price, Ilan Mask.”

The Lightning Network can act as an antidote and neutralize the atmosphere created by these speculators.

Lightning news is good news for those looking to use bitcoin as money; Not the investors and investors who look at it as “digital gold” and buy and store it in the hope of raising its price in the future. “Stark says:

The idea that bitcoin is just digital gold calls into question its core capabilities. Bitcoin is a programmable currency, and Lightning can be used by billions of people around the world.

Now it seems that it is Lightning’s turn. Stark and his team have a message for the world: Lightning is no longer a “potential” possibility. This network is no longer about the future. Lightning is here, and it works.

Lightning; A network for transferring the smallest units of bitcoin

If you had attended a Lightning conference three years ago, you would probably have come across a flood of complex terms and phrases, and without realizing it, you would have thought to yourself: Is this really the future of Bitcoin?

A lot has changed since then. Desiree Dickerson, deputy chief of operations for Lightning Labs, who has little knowledge of biophysics, genetics, and endocrinology, and a track record of assisting the government in enforcing the Affordable Care Act, says:

Lightning has now become a reality. People think the network will be up and running in two years; But it is not. Today, there are applications that do not require technical knowledge and knowledge of concepts such as node. I personally use Lightning every day.

Lightning is fast, speedy! According to Dickerson, Lightning currently handles 25 million transactions per second (while the Bitcoin blockchain only handles 7 transactions per second). That number is expected to increase again as the network grows.

 He says Lightning Network Settlement will be done instantly instead of within the chain and takes 10 to 60 minutes. This feature changes the meaning of using bitcoin.

During the uptrend, the idea of ​​bitcoin’s “saving value” came to fruition more than ever. However, Lightning’s response to this was not very quick. Dickerson says:

Lightning will change the way people interact with bitcoin. The advantage of Lightning is not that it will surprise you with a 100-fold increase in your portfolio; Instead you will be amazed that Lightning really works and you can trade with it!
Schematic of Lightning Network nodes and channels

However, the interesting thing about Lightning, which may not be without merit, is the small number of Lightning Labs staff. Given the network’s importance to China’s blockchain space, and despite the developers working on Lightning code, the team is thought to have hundreds of employees; But the truth is that Lightning Labs has a total of 21 employees.

The team works remotely and connects from distant cities, from San Francisco to Washington and New York.

Lightning has one main goal: to make 1 billion people use bitcoin in the next 10 years.

An estimated 46 million Americans own bitcoins, But only a few do that transaction. The question is, how can the use of bitcoin be increased? For the United States, two basic approaches can take to increase Lightning acceptance.

The first and most obvious approach is to add Lightning to digital currency platforms (Exchange Such as Kevin Bass, Robin Hood, Cache App). The second approach is to help Lightning develop new applications that use Lightning.

Add Lightning to existing digital currency platforms

Of all the solutions offered to expand Bitcoin applications, adding Lightning to the Cash App, despite the difficulties it may have, seems highly likely and will most likely contribute to Lightning’s popularity (Cash App is a mobile payment software that Used in the United States and the United Kingdom).

Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder and Lightning Labs investor who runs CashApp, is himself a Bitcoin fan who predicted Lightning’s interaction with the software more than two years ago, and the only issue is “Start time.” This is cooperation. “

Jack Dorsey, co-founder, and CEO of Twitter, at the Bitcoin 2021 Conference in Miami

Of course, since then, no special action has been taken to start this cooperation, and no news has been published in this regard. Even Stark did not accept our request for further explanation. Still, Dorsey recently stated that the integration of the Lightning network into Twitter itself will definitely take place and that “the only issue is time.”

Development of new Lightning-based applications

The second solution we have to increase Lightning acceptance is more creative than the first solution, and at the same time, a little more ambiguous and difficult. In fact, this is the path behind all other activities. Lightning is a building tool for developers; Hoping that these developers will also create attractive Lightning-based applications for people to use.

“Stark,” says Stark.

You can be very effective when creating tools for developers. As part of Lightning’s goal and operations, we are developing a digital transaction and payment layer, and to achieve this goal, we will first build the necessary infrastructure.

The Strike app is a symbol of this strategy. It only takes 90 seconds to download, install and connect to your mobile account. Currently, this is one of the easiest fiat currency connections to digital.

“Ryan Gentry, a former Intel engineer in charge of Lightning Business Development, says:”

There is a direct route from Fiat to Lightning. This [Lightning] is a huge job and it changes the rules of the game.

Everything we’ve talked about so far shows its importance here. Stark has an interesting analogy that says that years ago, if you were lucky enough to be born in a wealthy nation or near a university or a big city, you would have access to a library and books. Still, if you lived in a small town in El Salvador, you probably would not have access to any books.

The Internet has given the general public access to books and information.

Stark intends to make the same achievement for Bitcoin available to the public Bitcoin. Stark’s importance to bitcoin price does not give; Rather, it intends to open “financial” loopholes for all human beings worldwide through Bitcoin.

Lightning achievements

Proponents of bitcoin have long believed that digital currencies could provide financial services to 1.7 billion people worldwide without banking services. Still, most of these claims remain valid for a long time, and no practical solution is offered to achieve this goal.

“Stark says:

What will be the end result of this layer of internet value? That it creates opportunities for many people that they did not already have access to.

In a clubhouse room on May 19 (May 29) about Lightning, Alex Gladstein, strategic director of the Human Rights Foundation, noted that 1.2 billion people worldwide live in areas with double- or triple-digit inflation.

Whenever we talk about inflation, the example of Venezuela always comes to mind; But according to Goldstein, the problem is more acute than we think; Because many countries in the world are in almost the same situation.

To prove his point, he cites Nigeria with a population of 210 million and 15 percent official inflation, Turkey with a population of 100 million and 15 percent inflation, Argentina with 45 million and 50 percent inflation, and Pakistan with 200 million and 10 percent inflation.

In an influential article for Bitcoin Magazine, Goldstein points out that today bitcoin, and especially its combination with the Lightning Network, is helping citizens in these countries to improve their quality of life.

For example, one of the people who has been affected by Lightning in my life is Kal Kassa from Ethiopia, with whom I occasionally speak. Casa owns a marketing company and uses Lightning to pay for graphic design, programming, translation, and content management. “Casa says:

They send the invoice and I transfer money with Lightning in less than a second and they are surprised.

He enjoys Lightning and helping people learn about technology. He even tries to introduce Lightning technology to people who do not have access to technology and communication tools. For example, Casa says of a 17-year-old Ethiopian man who does not have a laptop and cannot work for it:

He can send me a joke and if I have not heard it before, I will give him 500 satoshi.

But on the other side of the coin, in the United States and other developed parts of the world, there is often talk of “spending bitcoin.” Gentry sees this as a “dominant Western perspective” and argues that developing countries emphasize “getting bitcoin” than spending it.

Gentry says:

The easiest way to get bitcoins is through wallet It is Lightning.

Consider gamers, those interested in certain games and spend a lot of time on these games. With Lightning, they no longer waste time; Instead, they collect Satoshi while playing the game.

Dickerson, who has been playing for years (and loves Zelda), sees this as one of Lightning’s most promising and promising uses, as well as a long-forgotten way to bridge inequality. Dickerson says:

The content that users generate is very valuable to game publishers; But why aren’t users paid?

Now users receive satoshi when they kill dragons instead of earning high scores and winning virtual gold in fictional games. Or, for example, in Zebedee gaming ecosystem games, you can enter a “death race” or “survival mode” and earn money through it.

According to Zebedee, when you select “survive” mode, you get real satoshi; When you earn points, you get extra lives; When you die, your life is diminished, and if your satoshi runs out, you are thrown out of the server.

Some other applications of Lightning

Fortunately, there are many lighting applications in today’s world; however, this network still has a long way to go to achieve its ultimate goal.

For example, an application called Fold There is a Satoshi that gives users who buy from it. This application is straightforward to install and use, and new games of chance have been added. There is a wheel inside this application to spin like a game and win some Satoshi every day.

Or another site called Stak It is possible to perform online tasks such as translating or tagging an image and pay users in the form of Satoshi.

The site claims to have 19,000 active users.

Examples of other tools include OpenNode Cited. OpenNode is a bitcoin payment processor that helps businesses use Lightning to accept bitcoin as a payment tool.

OpenNode was a big part of the Bitcoin 2021 conference. CNBC reporter MacKenzie Sigalos says:

A dominant theme at the Bitcoin 2021 conference was the maturity of the Lightning Network. Almost all conference booths accepted Lightning transactions.

One of the best Lightning wallets is BlueWallet. In addition, most digital currency exchanges, such as Okiox, Kraken, and Bittrex, are integrating Lightning into their platforms. The list of these exchanges will be even more complete (according to Gentry, more than 150 companies are working on Lightning).

Apps like Fold or Stak help people in developing countries get Satoshi or Bitcoin. It is interesting that Gentry and Dickerson also like the phrase ” obtaining Satoshi (earn Sats) » instead of « obtaining Bitcoin (earn bitcoin),» and it seems that this so-called global use.

Gantry explains that a typical Lightning wallet is more like a regular wallet. You keep your Fiat currencies, and you are unlikely to see anyone holding more than $ 1 million Satoshi or $ 500 in a wallet. So the term “Satoshi acquisition” makes more sense here.

The emphasis on Satoshi instead of bitcoin is an implicit reference to the global popularity of Lightning. Gentry says:

There are countries where Satoshi has the lowest currency. For example, at present, each Iranian Rial is equal to $ 0.000024 and therefore the value of each Satoshi is approximately equal to 90 Rials. Or the value of 1 Satoshi is equal to 7 Dong Vietnam. I talk to people every day whose assumptions and thoughts about bitcoin and money are miles away from ours.

All these actions and the points made so far are to get bitcoin to 1 billion people in the next 10 years. However, Gentry believes that this can do much faster. One of the reasons this scheduling is so difficult to predict (along with the inherent instability of Bitcoin) is that Lightning’s strategy is focused on developers. Gentry says:

Most of what we’re doing is developing the infrastructure that startups can use to get users. Defining these schedules is not our concern at this time. All we can do is build protocols, nodes, and help build this network.

In addition to all this, the growth of the network itself is simultaneous. “Gantry says:

What I see in Lightning is a telecommunications network or something like telephone wires or fiber optic lines.

The Lightning team manages only 10,000 of its 90; The rest of the work happens naturally and is beyond their control. According to Gentry:

Because this is a proper, organic, real and decentralized growth, it will take some time; But on the other hand, still because this network is real, it is not something that will disappear or be destroyed. This network will only grow and become more entrenched.

Lightning problems

Perhaps the only major problem with Lightning right now is that it is still somewhat confusing and ambiguous; Especially for newcomers. Products such as Pool and Loop, developed by Lightning itself and considered domestic Lightning products, are likely to confuse ordinary users.

Consider, for example, the Lightning newsletter and the “Getting Started with LND (Lightning Network Daemon)” section. This section includes the following topics:

1- What improves the quality of a routing node
2-Optimal configuration of a routing node
3-Lightning liquidity
4- management
5- Management of unverified transactions
6- Securing ninety Lightning networks

The probability that people like our parents will understand these sentences and terms is practically zero. Stark and others know this. Stark, who has long argued that sending bitcoin with Lightning should be as simple as sending an image to a messenger, confirms this:

The end user does not need to know about the channels.

He likens the current state of bitcoin to the early days of the Internet. Although Stark is not the first to make this comparison, he tweeted in 2014, two years before launches Lightning :

Bitcoin has great potential as a protocol. This protocol is like a TCP layer; But no one has created the HTTP layer yet.

From this description, it is clear that the role of Lightning is to breathe life into the user-friendly HTTP layer; So that sending bitcoin becomes an easy and executable process.

Dickerson says:

My vision for the future is that there should be no difference between Bitcoin and Lightning. Lightning is a network for bitcoin transfers; So Lightning is Bitcoin itself.

It is also conceivable that the Lightning online (hot) wallet would act as a checking account, and the bitcoins stored in the offline (cold) wallets would be used for long-term storage or the same. (HODL) is appropriate.

The Future of Lightning

What window will Lightning open for us in the future? According to Stark, Lightning has many uses that we ordinary users have not even thought about; But unlike us, the Lightning development team has thought of many of these applications. One of the biggest and most important applications of Lightning is “micropayments.”
“Gantry says:

I get really angry when I need to subscribe to the Internet to access content or I am asked to sign up and authenticate to a newsletter. This is a solved problem. I can do a ninety lightning and pay you 10 cents. You do not need my credit card information. You do not need an email address. All you need is a few satoshi from me.

Of course, payments are only part of the story. Lightning Network is more than just Satoshi transfers between users. In other words, the network itself can use for other purposes.

One of Lightning’s projects that caught Dickerson’s most attention was a project called ” Impervious AI .” Impervious AI, which is in beta, is a third-tier network suitable for deploying decentralized platforms, messaging platforms, video, music, or podcast platforms.

Chase Perkins, founder and CEO of Impervious says:

It does not matter if you are in China or in Iran. Using this platform, you can speak freely and without any censorship.

Most people consider the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network a 1-on-1 network; Perkins says what “can surprise people” is that this peer-to-peer network can be 1 in 50 or 1 in 10,000. This is achieved with Lightning. He says:

Most people like to think that peer to peer is not scalable, but it is.

The same Lightning monetization channels can build decentralized versions of telegrams, signals, or different VIPs.

This is a similar approach that “Sphinx He also uses it. Sphinx is a chat application that uses Lightning payment channels to transmit messages without censorship and outside organizational oversight. Gentry says of these messengers:

Text messages (in the Sphinx) are not transmitted over the normal Internet. These are data exchanged from monetary routes. Instead of pressing the send button to transfer the message, users can hit the send button and send 1000 satoshi. When people hear this, they say, “Oh, this is bitcoin !? “I did not think so at all.”

Ordinary users of centralized companies may not care about privacy, resistance to censorship, or release from this centralized structure; But this equation is changeable. The results of a poll conducted by Cicso in 2019 show that 84% of respondents cared about their privacy, and 80% wanted to spend more time and money on privacy.

Apple is now introducing “privacy” as a controversial and new feature and considers it one of its most important achievements; Something like one of the most innovative designs that Johnny I’ve, the former vice president of industrial design at Apple, had.

If the issue of Internet privacy still seems abstract to you or you do not realize its importance, remember the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily in Hong Kong, which the Chinese government recently shut down.

Impervious AI can use Lightning to create publications that can withstand political pressures. As Goldstein tweeted after the newspaper closed:

That is why bitcoin is so important for free speech and democracy.

Finally, Lightning can free the Internet from its current framework based on corporations’ advertising and financial support. “Stark,” says Stark.

We now have an ad-based model on the Internet that tracks users and gets a lot of information from them. This is not true and should be eliminated.

Lightning can be effective in implementing a ” self-governing identity ” or ” SSID. “ SSID on the Internet more or less means that you can access sites or shop online without sharing personal information such as your address, date of birth, or credit card information; But how is that possible?

Almost all professionals agree with the SSID, But there is no transparency about how it was developed. Olaoluwa Osuntokun, co-founder and chief technology officer of Lightning Labs, says on the project blog:

Lightning has the potential to become the dominant payment method for accessing web services and resources. In this new web, users can pay for a service and receive a ticket or receipt instead of being tracked by invisible pixels for advertising or having to submit their emails and receive spam and emails for the rest of their lives. And use it in the future to authenticate and access resources and services.

As Gantry puts it, the new framework includes a technology called Lightning Service Authentication Tokens (LSAT for short). The technology is a new standard protocol for authentication and paid APIs that “separates the logic of authentication and payment from the logic of the application.”

In simple terms, a user uses the Lightning network to purchase an LSAT token and then spends that token when logging in to specific websites. With this method, there is no need to share credit card information. The mechanism of this technology is in many ways similar to an amusement park where you buy a ticket to use the play equipment.

According to Gentry, this should not cause any significant change in user behavior.

The only difference between this method and traditional methods is that you should manage your LSAT tokens within your Lightning wallet instead of using a credit card or password management. This may seem far-fetched at this time, But it was far-fetched for a country like El Salvador to use Lightning to accept bitcoins.

After all this explanation, we come to the role of bitcoin in the network. Stark says that if the prevailing mentality among Bitcoin users weighs in on its price, people will look at Bitcoin more as an “asset,”; But Bitcoin is also mighty as a “monetary network.” Both of these features move shoulder to shoulder.

Stark refers to Metacalf Law, according to which “the value of a communication network is directly proportional to the square of the number of users connected to it”; This means that for each new user who connects to the network, the value of the network will increase exponentially. “Stark,” says Stark.

Lightning doubles the effect of the network. This technology will bring a large number of people together and enable them to transact with each other.

In the world Stark dreams of, Bitcoin is not just an asset but a network and can even serve as a reference network for exchanging other digital currencies. According to him:

There is no need to always make bitcoin a «Arithmetic unit” consider. Bitcoin can be considered a transparent layer and a convenient way to transfer money.

Some people who consider bitcoin to be nothing more than a store of value always ask, “If bitcoin is so valuable, why to spend it?” Considering Bitcoin as a money transfer network addresses these concerns and makes it reasonable to “spend” bitcoin. In fact, the value we are talking about depends on the very monetary function of bitcoin.

Stark does not consider “humans” the only users of digital currencies and believes that “computers” will also use digital currencies.

Members of the digital currency community are familiar with that bitcoin serves people deprived of banking services. Still, Stark goes even further, proposing the idea of ​​”computers deprived of banking services” and “the possibility of machine-to-machine transactions.”

He says:

100% of machines do not have access to banking services; But they can store and exchange value. Why can’t the operating system of a Tesla car easily pay off a few satoshi while in the charging station?

Finally, perhaps the most exciting aspect of Lightning is that it has nothing to do with the price of bitcoin. One of Stark’s slogans is that his concern is not “price increases”; Rather, it thinks of “increasing the number of users.”

In fact, his ultimate goal is to expand the global use of bitcoin; Not to increase the number of users who change their Twitter profiles to laser eyes.

Laser Eyes is a movement that many Bitcoin users have launched on Twitter. By changing their profile picture to a photo with laser eyes, they have announced that they are waiting for the price of Bitcoin to increase to $ 100,000 and above. .]

I spoke to Stark on May 18, a week after the price of Bitcoin fell below $ 60,000. He looked happy and comfortable. “Stark,” says Stark.

I love bear markets. Now is the time to build and create. Bear markets are less distracting.

He is trying to ignore the hype surrounding bitcoin price changes and the tweets that billionaires have recently posted. He is also aware of Ilan Mask’s actions and expresses concern about them.

“Ilan Musk tweeted immediately after the bitcoin price shift:” Stark said:

This is a technology to empower people, promote the Internet and improve its space. This is not a playground for billionaires. Mask can buy a bitcoin. Can tweet about it. Can sell bitcoins. These are not a problem and are free for everyone. No one needs the permission of others to participate in buying and selling, and that is why this technology is so powerful; But I think this amount of focus on one person will be problematic.

According to Stark, the lack of a leader in bitcoin is a feature; Not a bug.

The fact that Satoshi has disappeared is one of the best things that could have happened to Bitcoin. We are all Satoshi; Except for Craig Wright (and he laughs).

Stark has an ultimate goal that he will keep in mind forever. He says:

I do not dedicate my life so that billionaires can manipulate everything to their liking or the rich get richer. I live my life so that one billion people can access this technology and thereby improve their quality of life and the world.

He may soon turn this argument into a defining principle and a specific slogan: ” Bitcoin for billions, not for billionaires .”