ACINQ is a blockchain technology company best known for its work towards creating a practical Lightning Network. Find out more about ACINQ today in our review.
What Is ACINQ?
ACINQ is a blockchain technology company that revealed a working implementation of a Lightning Network in March 2017.
The ACINQ Lightning Network implementation, called Éclair, was created to address some of the problems associated with bitcoin transactions. The ACINQ implementation was introduced as part of their Eclair 0.2-alpha1 release.
The Éclair release was important because it shows that the Lightning Network is feasible. It actually works, and it can provide a better and more efficient solution for merchants and bitcoin users. Prior to March, there was confusion over how a Lightning Network would work in a practical environment. After ACINQ demonstrated its effectiveness, we know that the Lightning Network could work successfully to facilitate bitcoin transactions.
Ultimately, ACINQ isn’t the only company developing Lightning. They’re developing the technology in partnership with fellow developers. The ACINQ implementation, however, is called Éclair.
ACINQ is based in Paris. The company was founded in 2014.
How Does ACINQ’s Lightning Network Implementation Work?
Lightning is a decentralized network that uses smart contract functionality in the blockchain to allow instant payments across a network of participants.
The Lightning Network depends upon the underlying technology of the blockchain. Using real bitcoin/blockchain transactions and its native smart contract scripting languages, it’s possible to create a secure network of participants that can also make transactions at high volumes and high speeds.
One of the most highly anticipated features of Lightning is its trustless instant atomic cross-chain swaps.
In April, ACINQ demonstrated an ability to exchange BTC to LTC instantly without requiring trusted third parties. This transaction was facilitated using atomic transactions.
An atomic transaction is where either Person A gets his LTC and Person B gets his BTC, or nothing is transferred. It’s a transaction that doesn’t require a middleman.
ACINQ’s Android Wallet
In July 2017, ACINQ launched its Android wallet called Éclair. The wallet was released because the company believes SegWit is on the verge of activation.
Éclair is an Android wallet with Lightning Network (LN) support. It’s designed to make Lightning user-friendly.
The wallet is available for a free download from the Google Play Store.
One of the key features of the wallet is that when SegWit gest activated, the wallet will use the protocol for further Lightning Network functionality.
All on-chain transactions sent by the ACINQ wallet are SegWit transactions, which means they benefit from a fee discount compared to legacy transactions. SegWit is also fully backwards compatible, which means the ACINQ wallet can send/receive transactions to/from all bitcoin wallets, even non-SegWit ones.
The ACINQ user interface records on-chain and off-chain transactions with different icons highlighted in the transaction log. Users can also obtain a QR code for payment, in which case the software is smart enough to detect whether it’s an ordinary bitcoin address or a Lightning Network payment request. There’s no need to reset the app to accept different channels.
Ultimately, that means users are free to use the wallet on-chain only, if they wish. However, users who wish to use the Lightning Network, pay lower fees, and make instant payments, can do so by opening up one or more channels and paying through Lightning with the Éclair app.
ACINQ’s Lightning Network Available Via A Testnet
Because SegWit isn’t yet fully activated, ACINQ’s Lightning Network wallet is only available through bitcoin’s testnet. However, you can still test the payment functionality for yourself by using a virtual coffee shop created by ACINQ.
That coffee shop is called Starblocks. It’s a virtual coffee shop that operates on the Lightning Network. The purpose of the virtual coffee shop (which is just a website) is to demonstrate how easy it is for merchants and businesses to receive funds through Lightning.
In the future, ACINQ plans to provide merchant services. They’ll be introducing an API and a dashboard soon, marketed towards retailers.
ACINQ is based in Paris, France. The startup was founded in 2014 with the goal of building products and services for the bitcoin ecosystem.
So far, the company is best-known for its main project, an implementation of a Lightning Network. ACINQ’s implementation is called Éclair.
ACINQ is a Paris-based company that became the second development team to release a working version of a Lightning Network. The company’s Lightning alpha client is called Éclair 0.2-alpha1, which includes a GUI for users. That alpha client was introduced in March 2017. In July, ACINQ launched their Éclair app onto the Google Play Store. That app functions like an ordinary bitcoin wallet, but also allows for Lightning Network functionality.
Éclair, by the way, is the French word for lightning.
ACINQ aims to build a cross-platform, full implementation of a Lightning node. Along with the wallet, they plan to introduce a merchant payment platform. As a demonstration of their technology, ACINQ has created a virtual coffee shop website called Starblocks operating on the Lightning Network. Users can make virtual transactions in that coffee shop to see how easy it is to send and receive funds through lightning.
Obviously, bitcoin needs a scaling solution. ACINQ and their implementation of a Lightning Network plans to be that solution. You can learn more about the Paris-based developer today at ACINQ.co.