Lightning Bitcoin is yet another digital currency built under the bitcoin name. Find out everything you need to know about it today in our review.
What Is Lightning Bitcoin?
Lightning Bitcoin, found online at LightningBitcoin.io, promises to make bitcoin transfers “fast as lightning”. The digital token uses a delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism, which makes it significantly different from bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) right away (both of which use proof of work, or PoW).
Lightning Bitcoin also claims to have smart contract support, decentralized app development, and a fair distribution model.
The developers have scheduled a release at block 499,999, which should occur around December 23. This is when the Lightning Bitcoin fork will occur (so yes, the developers claim it’s a legitimate fork from the bitcoin blockchain and not some ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain).
It’s important not to confuse Lightning Bitcoin with the Lightning Network (yes, I know it’s confusing). The Lightning Network is a proposed scaling upgrade to the original bitcoin (BTC), while Lightning Bitcoin appears to be a totally new project.
Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of bitcoin clones in recent months. Some of these – like Bitcoin Cash – are genuine hard forks of the bitcoin blockchain that add real value and solve real problems in the community. Others – like the recently-released “Bitcoin Ruby” – appear to add little value to the community.
Where does Lightning Bitcoin fall? Let’s take a closer look at how it works.
How Does Lightning Bitcoin Work?
Lightning Bitcoin’s website makes the currency seem like an improved version of the bitcoin blockchain. Here are some of the core features of Lightning Bitcoin, which goes by the acronym LBTC:
- Total supply of 21 million LBTC
- Delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism
- 3 second block interval
- 2MB block size (dynamically adjusted)
- No SegWit
- Replay protection
- No difficulty adjustments
- Maximum of about 24 million transactions per day
As mentioned above, the Lightning Bitcoin fork is scheduled to occur at block 499,999, which should happen around December 23, 2017. The mainnet for Lightning Bitcoin, meanwhile, is expected to launch on December 12, with smart contracts launching in Q3 2018, decentralized apps in Q4 2018, and 10,000 transactions per second by 2019.
The entire project, however, begins with a hard fork. That makes Lightning Bitcoin slightly more legitimate than other bitcoin-related projects we’ve seen. Bitcoin Ruby, for example, appears to be an ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain – yet it uses the bitcoin name.
The key improvement of Lightning Bitcoin is the addition of DPoS instead of bitcoin’s proof of work (PoW). Delegated proof of stake, or DPoS, is a consensus mechanism that could help bitcoin scale.
So what is delegated proof of stake? How does it work with Lightning Bitcoin? Lightning Bitcoin uses delegated proof of stake to give voting rights to token holders. This prevents the control of the network from being dominated by a central party – like someone who controls all of the mining power. Here’s how the official Lightning Bitcoin website explains it:
“The DPOS consensus will significantly reduce the number of participating verification nodes and help LBTC reach consensus in seconds and boost the transaction speed to really be as fast as lighting.”
The ultimate goal is to avoid centralization like we’ve seen with the original bitcoin, where control is dominated by a handful of major mining companies. Token holders will vote for “bookkeeping nodes” on the Lightning Bitcoin network. These nodes will be elected and nominated according to weighted votes received.
Who’s Behind Lightning Bitcoin?
Lightning Bitcoin has a unique team section on the official website. The company, so far, has revealed just two members of its team, neither of whom seems to be deeply involved with development. There’s Jack Zhang (listed as “Chinese Community Leader”) and Dou Wang (“Advisor”).
We don’t know any additional information about the Lightning Bitcoin development team or where they’re based. However, the official website lists some major players like CEX.io, Gate.io, and BTCC as “partners” involved with the project.
The only information we have about the team is that Bitcoin.com reports that Lightning Bitcoin was launched by a “European team”
Lightning Bitcoin Conclusion
There are a lot of bitcoin clones on the market that provide little value or substance. Lightning Bitcoin appears to be slightly better than some of the other options we’ve seen on the market. Lightning Bitcoin explains the specific problems it wishes to solve (scaling), and it provides a basic overview of how it plans to solve them (with DPoS consensus).
There’s still no information about the Lightning Bitcoin team, and there’s no whitepaper – so we’re still missing some information.
Please note that Lightning Bitcoin is not the same as the proposed Lightning Network upgrade to the original bitcoin blockchain. The two projects do not seem to be related in any way.
If successful, Lightning Bitcoin will be the first bitcoin forked coin that adopts the DPoS consensus mechanism. Stay tuned to find out if the project will be successful. It’s scheduled to launch on December 23, 2017.