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October 16, 2018

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Scaling the Lightning Network: Via Browsers?

October 30, 2018


Originally, the Lightning Network was conceptualized to speed up the Bitcoin Network and make it a global payment standard. Given that work was begun on it in 2015 and its first beta version was not released until March of this year, some have questioned why work on the project has taken this long. Peter Todd is a well-known Bitcoin developer who falls into this group of Lightning Network critics, though recently, he seems to have changed his tune, at least in terms of whether the project is a better version of Bitcoin for payments.


Now, perhaps even more importantly, the Lightning Network and the developers behind it have changed their goal to being scaling Cryptocurrencies to the point at which they are the most viable payment method in the world. Coindesk reiterated this point today in connection with another announcement on a new strategy for the Lightning Network.


Given that our reliance on the Internet for all sorts of payments seems to growing daily, which can be seen in the growth of the E-commerce industry, there is now a push for a direct sort of integration between the most well-known internet browsers and the Lightning Network’s API. Driving the work related to this goal is the new partnership between the World Wide Web Consortium, which basically sets standards for the present and future of the Internet and Lightning Network developers. In their article on the subject, Coindesk mentions Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome as some of the chief browsers involved in this effort.


 Even so, two years ago at the same yearly meeting of the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C), the working group leading the event reportedly had trouble getting any representatives of the Bitcoin Network to participate in their developmental work regarding payments. Therefore, this project had been under consideration already, before it was announced again with earnest today. What is perhaps most exciting for those of us who have been awaiting Cryptocurrencies being a truly normal payment method, is that the overall goal of this partnership seems to be for Cryptocurrencies to be a “one click payment method.”


In doing this, it seems that everyone involved aims to put all Cryptocurrencies that are currently supported by the Lightning Network on the same major payment APIs that are already integrated with our favorite browsers.


In other words, if this vision is realized, then in the future, we will really be choosing between options like PayPal, Credit, or Crypto.



By: BGN Editorial Staff

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