Bitcoin direly needs a major scaling solution to improve its mainstream appeal. The Lightning Network may provide a lot of positive changes in this regard and now Ripple and BitFury have come up with a new “implementation” of this technology to conduct cross-ledger and legacy payment network transactions.
Cross-chain Lightning Network Transactions
On paper, the Lightning Network can facilitate transactions for many individual blockchains. As long as the said network has Segregated Witness support, it will be capable of supporting the Lightning Network. Even so, those networks still have no real way of communicating with one another. Solving that problem will take a lot of work, although Ripple and BitFury may be on to something.
Both companies recently unveiled a demo application which brings Lightning-style transactions to different blockchains. More importantly, this functionality is also extended to legacy payment networks, which will introduce a lot of new opportunities and challenges. Although this project is still in the early stages of development, it can expand Bitcoin’s capabilities to span other blockchains as well.
LN Has a Lot of Potential
A transaction between Bitcoin and Litecoin has been completed successfully. This is an important first step in the right direction, although there is a lot of work ahead.
This further highlights how the Lightning Network is not just a tool to improve Bitcoin itself. While that is still one of the main “objectives’ of this protocol, it can easily be used with other blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and legacy payment networks.
Making cryptocurrency more accessible as a payment method will always be challenging. Once users stop worrying about which coin they are actually using, things can be taken to a whole new level. This is where the integration of Interledger can play a big role. Cross-chain transactions can be achieved through both public and permissioned protocols, as well as traditional payment service providers using Interledger’s technology. A lot of potential use cases are waiting to be tapped into in this regard.
Any progress involving the Lightning Network is a positive development. It won’t help just Bitcoin, but the entire cryptocurrency industry. Taking this new form of money to a whole new level will not be easy without the necessary infrastructure to back it up. This demo shows it can effectively be done, given enough time and effort.
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