The Lightning Network has been getting a lot of attention in the past few weeks, partly because of the recognizable boost in performance that it has been offering, and partly because of the fact that various notable figures in the industry have been passing on the “Lightning Torch.”
This time, LinkedIn’s co-founder and executive chairman, Reid Hoffman, has borne the Lightning torch, taking it from Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream. Hoffman was also an early investor in blockchain startup Blockstream.
Hoffman said that it was great to see Lightning help Bitcoin achieve scale and usability:
— Reid Hoffman (@reidhoffman) February 26, 2019
The billionaire entrepreneur then passed the Lightning Torch to Fidelity Investments, a noted institutional investments firm. Fidelity is the first investment bank to hold the Torch.
— Fidelity Digital Assets (@DigitalAssets) February 22, 2019
The Lightning Network experiment is currently being passed between trusted entities, informally dubbed the “Trust Chain”, because users are sending the payment to other users who they expect will pass the Bitcoin on rather than keep it themselves.
As a second layer solution, the Lightning Network opens a payment channel between participants who only make transactions between each other. Once the whole set of transactions is complete and the channel is closed, it pushes the entire log of transactions to the main chain.
Tech giants have recently been showing support for cryptocurrencies, with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience and stating that he believes that the “internet will have a native currency.” Endorsements have also come from other business people, though some, like Warren Buffett, believe more in blockchain than in Bitcoin.
The Lightning Network has seen a very positive reception in the past few weeks because of the provable increase in performance, and there is a palpable belief that the scaling solution can bring greater adoption for Bitcoin.
In November 2018, the network reached $2 million in transaction capacity and it has only performed better since, imbuing many investors with confidence as far the future usability of Bitcoin goes, and BTC’s potential to be a real challenge to Visa and Mastercard.