From its’ inception last year, until now, the Lightning network has been consistently touted as the savior of Bitcoin and other slower crypto networks, in terms of scaling. As with just about every other blockchain service, the major issue that it has been experiencing is how to scale its’ own user numbers to the point where its’ solution seems viable.
According to an article today from Coindesk, the reason for this is the steep learning curve that each new user has to go through in setting up a Lightning Network payment channel. In the same article, CoinDesk claims that Bitrefill, which specializes in connecting Bitcoin with everyday payments, already has the solution to this issue via their service called Thor.
Overall, Thor is appears to be an on-demand service for users to open Lightning Network payment channels by connecting to Bitrefill’s existing Lightning Network node. Why this appears to be special is because in doing so, little to no specialized technical knowledge is required on the part of the user. Bitrefill has boiled the process down to four simple steps, which they detail on their landing page for the Thor service.
All in all, any interested user need only open a Bitcoin Lightning Wallet from the Google Play store, then create your wallet passphrase, click open a new channel on the top right corner of the app, and go to the Thor channel opening service page, from which you pay and scan a unique QR code to get access to your new channel.
In considering this new service, keep in mind that at least for now, Bitrefill is limiting payment channels to a thirty-day window, before they close them. Their reasoning for this is simple. Allowing users to open channels via Thor means that Bitrefill has to lock a certain amount of their Bitcoin in that user’s channel to keep it open. This also means that in truth, Bitrefill is opening these channels for themselves and allowing users to use them for a fee.
Therefore, in the end, while Thor is an exciting development, it is still quite far being the answer to easing the Lightning Network’s barriers to entry.
By: BGN Editorial Staff