Does Instant Messaging Over Lightning Network Have Killer Application Potential?

  • Lightning Network makes Bitcoin a global currency
  • Lightning Labs developer Joost Jager debuts messaging application on LN

Bitcoin’s second layer solution for faster and cheaper transactions, Lightning Network has been seeing a lull in its activity with the network capacity going down from 1104 BTC in March to the current 817 BTC.


Meanwhile, the number of nodes on the network has been constantly increasing, reaching 10,487, as per 1ML.

Lightning Network makes Bitcoin a Global Currency

These metrics might paint a dull picture but Nik Bhatia, a professor of finance and business economics at USC Marshall and involved in research at OpenNode, a Bitcoin payment processor, says these arbitrary public channel metrics don't show the real picture as “any attempts to analyze the growth of Lightning Network from the outside are futile.”

Because of Lightning Network, he explains in his blog “The Lightning Network: Why I Quit the Bond Market for Bitcoin,” BTC works at light speed, something that precious and heavy metals could “never” do.

The leading cryptocurrency, that is gaining recognition as digital gold is “not a global currency.” But Lightning Network has changed it forever with instant settlement.

“A store-of-value asset exhibiting medium-of-exchange currency speed and scale is unprecedented in human history, and worth pursuit.”

Instant Messaging over Lightning Network?

Joost Jager, the Lightning Labs developer took to Twitter to debut a demo of his Lightening Network messaging application Whatsat. This new use case Jager believes need more than just privacy. Encrypted messaging requires censorship resistance as well.

In this messaging app, encryption is the same with the message content being private, the difference would be no involvement of a central server. Given that it is based on the layer based on Bitcoin blockchain, it will be decentralized meaning selective users won’t be blocked or denied from communicating with other users.

Currently, it is in testnet with its source code available on GitHub. This “proof of concept” is a side project and might not be coming to beta anytime soon.

As seen with the decentralized applications, these services are not gaining the level of adoption that the incumbent services in the mainstream industries are seeing. Though it involves a lot of work, Jager believes it is not “impossible” and is optimistic about their future.

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