Developers can now test an early version of bitcoin’s much-hyped Lightning Network.
Released by one of the most prominent startups working on the open-source micropayments protocol (San Francisco-based Lightning Labs), the daemon runs on the bitcoin testnet, so it’s not exactly for average users yet. Rather, the aim is for developers to get their feet wet testing the off-chain transactions, long heralded as one of the best ways to rapidly scale the network, (and it looks like some have already started).
Speaking to CoinDesk today, the Lightning Labs team called the release the “most feature-complete” implementation of the Lightning Network.
Taken together, they said it packages the full requirements of a working off-chain network, including the ability for channels to open and close and for payments to find a path through the network.
Lightning Labs co-founder Elizabeth Stark told CoinDesk:
“What our release does is it says to the world, ‘Hey, this is a package of features’, and it encourages people to contribute.”
Lightning co-founder Joseph Poon, one of the authors of the concept’s original white paper, added that the idea is to help prepare developers for Lightning’s launch on the live bitcoin blockchain and to ease businesses into integrating it.