The Lightning Network Intertwines Bitcoin and Litecoin: Two Huge Developments You May Have Missed Over the Holidays
In December, the Lightning Network both successfully completed transactions on the main Bitcoin network and executed the first successful atomic swap between Bitcoin and Litecoin. These developments bring the crypto community one-step closer to the public implementation of the Lightning Network–scheduled for the summer of 2018. These accomplishments solve Bitcoin’s scalability problem and offer Litecoin the chance to make transaction fees more affordable to consumers.
The Lightning Network allows users to transact using Bitcoin and Litecoin with virtually zero transaction fees. This is because these transactions will happen mostly off-chain (meaning off the blockchain). Currently, consumers make a purchase and the transaction gets added to the blockchain. These on-chain transactions require very expensive mining equipment to solve complex problems in order to add the transaction to the blockchain. When a user joins the Lightning Network, however, the transactions occur off-chain, meaning there is no need for the use of expensive mining equipment. This significantly reduces costs and allows for many more transactions to occur at any given moment.
The only time users will have to pay such fees will be when they open and close their Lightning Network portals. In order to gain access to the Lightning Network, users will need to execute only one on-chain transaction by either using Bitcoin or Litecoin. This is possible due to the Lightning Network’s atomic swap capability, which allows users to take advantage of Litecoin’s lower transaction fees when opening their Lightning Network portal. This is because the mining process for Litecoin is much cheaper. Atomic swap also allows consumers to pay a vendor in Litecoin, even if that vendor only accepts Bitcoin. Going forward Bitcoin and Litecoin will synergize with each other and provide consumers with cheaper more efficient ways to buy their morning joe.
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