Electrum will soon support Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN), founder Thomas Voegtlin revealed at a blockchain event last week. Speaking to CoinDesk at the BIP001 blockchain event in Odessa, Ukraine, Voegtlin said that the work to integrate sending lightning transactions with the Electrum wallet was almost completed and an official release was imminent.
Speed Boost for Users
Integrating LN would mean a significant speed boost for those sending BTC through the wallet, with transactions being conducted in seconds rather than hours. Voegtlin told CoinDesk:
We’ve been doing this work for about a year in a separate branch [on GitHub] and we’ve reached the point when we are ready to merge it with our master branch. This is going to happen in the coming weeks until the end of July, and it means that the next major release will have lightning support.
Lightning Network adoption has plateaued somewhat after meteoric growth in the first quarter of the year, with the number of nodes doubling between January and May. Encouragingly, the sharp rise wasn’t just a pump and dump and the numbers have stayed consistent since then, although the capacity has dropped 12% in that time to just under 950 BTC, although this is 28x more than the same time last year, which just shows the incredible jump in adoption experienced by the technology.
Electrum Hopes for Better Days
Electrum has had a rocky first half of 2019, with two separate hacks hitting the wallet, one of which was a phishing attempt that saw hackers try and encourage Electrum wallet holders to download a fraudulent update, while the other was a DoS attack that continued sporadically for some three weeks. integrating Lightning Network however should generate some positive headlines, as well as being a genuinely useful update to the platform that will hopefully be echoed elsewhere.