Will Lightning Network (LN) Survive as a Solution to Bitcoin’s Payment Problems?
The Lightning Network (LN) is a second layer solution on Bitcoin, allowing users to transfer funds across channels without using the blockchain. The idea, started off by Satoshi, uses routed payment channels technology to complete the transactions instantly.
Despite the benefits of the LN network including the instant transfers, peer to peer channels and decongestion of the Bitcoin blockchain, the platform still has some faults. Some of the community members complain of the centralized nature, routing issues, and poor user experience. The challenges are forming a cloud of doubt around users minds as shown by the recent drop in BTC transacted – 1100 BTC in April to 850 in August.
Will LN finally work as a solution to Bitcoin’s scalability problems?
A blur future for Lightning Network
Proponents of the Lightning Network claim the platform is currently working fine despite the complaints by some users. Despite the difference in opinion, both camps agree that the platform requires further development to really solve Bitcoins transaction problems. Currently, the platform needs to work on the hot wallets (having to keep your wallet online 24/7), not being able to receive money until you’ve sent money, or losing all your money in the event of a computer crash.
However, the platform, which launched in 2018, is running out of time as users leave the platform in proportions not seen before. While new technologies such as like splicing atomic multi-pathways and others would keep the project afloat, it is not enough.
“I have been getting more and more pessimistic about off-chain-data L2s over time. @VladZamfir is right; they're just hard to build, require too much application-layer reasoning about incentives, and hard to generalize.”
Recently, Samson Mow, Blockstream CEO, said the LN network is the best solution to Bitcoin’s payments difficulty. However, for the project to fulfill its promises, better systems on the platform are needed.