Bitcoin.com recently reported on Segregated Witness (Segwit) locking in on Litecoin. On Wednesday, the proposed Bitcoin protocol upgrade finally activated on Litecoin. It was followed hours later by the very first Lightning Network payment on the main Litecoin network.
Also read: Segwit Locks In on Litecoin, Will Activate
Litecoin, the altcoin with the fourth largest market cap of almost $1.6 billion at the time of writing, is officially running the Segwit upgrade originally created to help solve Bitcoin’s scaling problems. On Wednesday May 10, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee tweeted,
SegWit has activated on Litecoin!
In less than half an hour after the announcement, the first Segwit transaction on Litecoin followed. Twitter was ablaze with well-wishers and Bitcoin developers talking about testing out Segwit for its various uses on the Litecoin network. “Thanks to activated segwit, Litecoin is a perfect testbed for btc these days,” tweeted Trezor CEO and Slush pool founder Marek Palatinus. “We can evaluate bleeding edge tech without risking on btc.”
The following day Palatinus followed up with his own news of completing the very first Segwit transaction on the Litecoin network using Trezor. Since his hardware wallets hold litecoins as well as bitcoins, he announced that Segwit would soon be available in Trezor wallets.
The First Lightning Network Payment on Litecoin
Within hours of Segwit’s activation, Bitcoin developer Christian Decker completed the first Lightning Network payment on Litecoin. This was the “first full, secure Lightning payment on a non-test network,” developer Rusty Russell described.
Decker opened a Lightning channel between Lightning clients in Zurich and San Francisco worth about 1.3 US cents. His test shows the possibility of “microscopic payments not normally possible or economically viable on a blockchain”, Russell added. The transaction also fully settled in a fraction of a second.
Lightning Network Implementations that Support Litecoin
Lee confirmed in a tweet that four out of six implementations of the Lightning Network support Litecoin, explaining that:
There are 6 implementations of the Lightning Network. Most have been tested on Litecoin. Still need work before any are ready for end users.
The Lightning Network projects that Lee mentioned are in various stages of completion. According to him, the four that support Litecoin are Lnd, Lit, C-lightning, and Eclair.
Lnd: Joseph Poon and Tadge Dryja’s Lightning Labs client, the Lightning Network Daemon (Lnd), is the first lightning network software client to be completed and used by developers.
Lit: MIT Media Lab’s Lit is a lightweight client that does not need a Bitcoin node to run and has a wallet built in. Its alpha release, announced on Wednesday, is ready for testing now.
C-lightning: Blockstream’s c-lightning is the client Decker used to make the first litecoin transaction, but the project is not officially completed.
Eclair: Acinq’s eclair is the first Lightning Network client with a Graphical User Interface, where users can run their own lightning networks.
Amiko Pay: Amiko Pay is another Lightning Network project, although it is not safe to use yet as several security measures have yet to be coded.
Thunder: The last Lightning Network that Lee mentioned is Blockchain’s Lightning client for Ethereum called Thunder. While the project is far along, it is not designed to be implemented on Bitcoin.
Lightning Network Derivatives
Meanwhile, some projects being worked on today for Bitcoin use payment channels like lightning networks already today in order to achieve the same benefits.
Moonbeam: A single-channel version of a lightning network, Moonbeam, was recently finished and released. “Moonbeam and Lightning both use payment channels to process Bitcoin payments off-chain but they have different design goals,” states the project’s Github page.
Yours: Ryan Charles has implemented a simple lightning network for user-to-user micropayments on his upcoming social content platform Yours. While the main part of the site is not yet launched, users can now test its micropayment system using testnet coins. “Our technology is similar to the lightning network, but does not depend on Segwit and can be used on Bitcoin today,” he explained.
Lumino: RSK Chief Scientist Sergio Demain Lerner’s upcoming Lumino is also an advanced derivative of a lightning network, but it is far from completion at this time. “Lumino is a hub-and-spoke network that uses off-chain payments similar to the Lightning Network,” he told Bitcoin.com in an interview in March.
Bitcache: Even internet bad boy Kim Dotcom hinted that his still-unreleased Bitcache network, necessary to run the upcoming Megaupload 2 (MU2), is a type of lightning network. No launch date has been announced for Bitcache and MU2.
What do you think of Litecoin running Lightning? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Litecoin, Charlie Lee, Youtube, Twitter, and Segwit
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