The Lightning Network is touted as the future of Bitcoin and could very well be Bitcoin’s last hope at being scalable enough to take over the world as a major currency. However, the Lightning Network has been plagued with issues and delays since its inception. Thanks to the hard work of Blockstream, a new update is out for the network that will drastically improve the Lightning Network, giving Bitcoin a fighting chance at remaining scalable.
C-Lightning Getting an Upgrade
C-Lightning v0.7.1 comes jam-packed with a whole bunch of improved features that should allow the Lightning Network to scale more efficiently. V0.7.1 includes Gossip improvements, longer default invoice timeouts, external-wallet channel funding, better peer error handling and general performance improvements. While these improvements will help the Lightning Network become more user-friendly and faster in the short-term, as more channels open up, finding an efficient path through millions of channels will become a tough task. This in turn will mean the Lightning Network ends up the same way as Bitcoin – needing a scaling solution.
Longer Default Invoices
One of the most interesting upgrades to C-Lightning is the longer default invoice settings. Up until this upgrade, the default timeout setting was 1hour. However, the upgrade has cranked this up to a rather lengthy 7 days. This means that invoices will hang around for much longer, giving people more time to take advantage of invoices and contracts on the Lightning Network.
Lightning Network Gaining More Support
More and more Bitcoin wallets are starting to add support for the Lightning Network. Earlier this month, Electrum added support for the Lightning Network, meaning users can now send and receive lightning transactions from their Electrum wallets. This is a huge move for the Lightning Network as Electrum is one of the most widely used Bitcoin wallets.
Watch Out for Data Mining
While using the Lightning Network is very exciting and new updates like C-Lightning v0.7.1 make it easier than ever, it’s still rather risky. People are gathering data at an alarming rate which is then being sold on to all sorts of agencies – both advertising and government. The best way to protect yourself from these data miners is by using Tor, private channels and coinjoins.
This new upgrade from Blockstream is huge and will help the Lightning Network thrive for many months to come. However, as the Lightning Network becomes more popular and the crypto world’s traffic slides over to the scaling solution we will eventually see it clog up and jam like a highway during rush-hour.