The Bitcoin Lightning Network scaling protocol has passed a fresh landmark of 8000 nodes as a new solution launches to increase its mainstream usage.
Lightning Rides Growth Highs
Lightning, which continues to advance its presence as Bitcoin’s foremost scaling solution, hosted 8016 nodes at press time April 16 according to monitoring resource 1ML.com, up 8 percent over the month.
The network now has a total payment capacity of 1062 BTC ($5.37 million), having reached an all-time high of 1080 BTC earlier this month.
Designed to allow off-chain Bitcoin transactions which are almost instant and free, Lightning has come on leaps and bounds since it debuted on the Bitcoin mainnet at the start of 2018.
As Bitcoinist reported, frenetic development soon spawned publicity campaigns and endorsements from well-known tech figures, most notably Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
A transaction relay, Lightning Torch, further aimed to raise funds for the plight of Venezuelan citizens while stress testing the nascent network, a test it passed without technical difficulties.
Breez CEO: Lightning Use Must Be Unconscious
According to the developers of one new Lightning product, however, the experimental nature of the protocol means it – and Bitcoin generally – will stay a niche phenomenon unless they are reimagined for the non-technical user.
Breez, an all-in-one Lightning wallet, payment platform and merchant service, aims to do just that, its creators claim.
Currently in beta as an Android app, Breez attempts to remove the technical hurdles involved in using Lightning in its current form.
With its solution, users no longer need to open channels, run a node or create invoices manually, something which involves technical knowledge.
“Breez runs on the Lightning Network, with its benefits of speed and economy, but it’s non-custodial and requires zero configuration on the part of the user,” the company’s co-founder and CEO Roy Sheinfeld wrote in a blog post April 8.
The Breez hub opens and funds the payment channel automatically, letting users start transferring and receiving payments from any entity on the Lightning Network as easily as they would send a text message. If you can download the mobile client, you can understand how to use it.
As Bitcoinist noted, Dorsey himself plans to give Lightning a mainstream break via its incorporation into his payment network Square. A dedicated spin-off, Square Crypto, is currently hiring blockchain developers.
Other consumer-oriented offerings have already appeared, serving limited sectors such as those wishing to order Domino’s pizza with Lightning.
“Until casual users can use it to buy pizza and Netflix without thinking about it, bitcoin won’t become the currency it was always meant to be,” Sheinfeld added.
What do you think about the Lightning Network and products like Breez? Let us know in the comments below!
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