MIT is looking to spread the word about the benefits of the Lightning Network beyond its first use case of exponentially increasing crypto transaction speeds.
According to an original report by Coin Desk, this means that MIT is working on an experimental use case related to the Bitcoin version of the Lightning Network and smart contracts. Apparently, adding smart contracts to the Lightning Network’s existing functionality means that it will be able to not only handle millions of transactions, but also do so in more complex ways.
An example of this would be the ability for large numbers of transactions to be triggered automatically by global events like the signing of multiples contract or the handing over of large amounts of property. According to Coin Desk and MIT, this capability is made possible by how MIT utilizes the technology called “oracles” in their experimental process.
If you’re not already aware, in the context of the Blockchain world, “oracles” are simply continuous data feeds like stock market tickers, that provide real-time numbers to a crypto network so that it can make the most accurate decisions possible.
In the case of MIT’s project, this mostly relates to data feeds related to successful transfers of property or even, successful payments that trigger the transfer of crypto coins to the user or users who have paid first. In other words, this means that oracles directly relate to smart contract technology in that they verify that the pre-set conditions of the contracts are met before any funds are released.
For their specific demo project, MIT has reportedly constructed an oracle that continuously shifts the U.S dollar rate to Satoshis, so that the relationship between the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin can be understood as accurately as possible.
In doing this, MIT is trying to create a small model of what could happen when the Bitcoin network scales higher and is able to consistently handle millions of transactions, or even more.
Even though this demo is promising, the researchers involved have made clear that it is not at all ready to be used in real time, with real transactions. They’re still working out the kinks and it’s still in its early stages.
By: BGN Editorial Staff