Jameson Lopp is a software engineer at BitGo, creator of Statoshi.info and founder of Bitcoinsig.com. He enjoys building web services and is intrigued by problems of scale.
In this feature, Lopp examines the Lightning Network, a proposed solution for scaling the bitcoin network and enabling low-cost microtransactions, analyzing the potentially daunting challenges the initiative has ahead.
The bitcoin community has been discussing the concept of the Lightning Network for a year now. It is often cited in scalability debates as a solution to bitcoin’s limited transaction throughput capabilities.
However, it’s a complicated concept and several parts of the implementation are still theoretical or in development.
This article will attempt to provide more insight into how the Lightning Network will operate and the challenges it will face. The following assumes you have a basic understanding of Lightning Network. If you’re new to this concept then you can check out this explanation in layman’s terms or read the technical details here.
Since the Lightning protocol is in flux, some of my conclusions may already be invalid or may be invalidated in the near future. A variety of models and simulations will