Bitcoin Isn’t the Only Crypto Adding Lightning Tech Now

Lightning is spreading across the cryptocurrency landscape.

Originally designed for use on bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market size was also the first to implement the concept, touted as a way to make transactions faster and cheaper by moving them to a layer above the blockchain. But with scalability emerging as a pressing issue across the industry, developers of other cryptocurrencies aren’t letting the once-novel idea go to waste.

Entering 2018, litecoinzcashethereum and ripple are just a few of the many cryptocurrencies planning to implement or test some form of the lightning network.

Known as the “silver to bitcoin’s gold,” it’s perhaps not a surprise that litecoin is one of the furthest along, working closely with startup Lightning Labs to launch its version at the same time as bitcoin’s.

But others are close behind, with developers taking formal steps to add the concept to their outlooks. The most recent project to embrace the idea is stellar, the seventh-largest cryptocurrency, which added lightning to its 2018 roadmap in January.

And its developers there see a similar potential in unlocking lightning’s advances.

Bitcoin Core contributor Jeremy Rubin, who’s leading development of stellar’s lightning network, went so far as to call the tech a necessity for any platform that would like to remain efficient for payments.

Rubin told CoinDesk:

“Lightning is perhaps the most important protocol innovation happening in the cryptocurrency space right now. When bitcoin’s lightning network comes online fully, any community not preparing scalable off-chain solutions is going to get left in the payments dust.”

Like lightning

That said, not all blockchain projects are interested in lightning exactly as its described for bitcoin.

For instance, ethereum developers are working on an off-chain scaling technology called raiden, while neo has its own version called trinity. While working from different code, both projects take the same concept, seeking to create a top-level network with which users can move transactions.

Other crypto networks simply recognize that a lighting-like system will be needed to scale in the future, although they don’t have time to focus on actual implementations right now.

Several cryptographers working on the privacy-minded cryptocurrency zcash, as an example, have proposed BOLT, a new type of lightning-style micropayments tech that also preserves the network’s anonymity. And project developers have hinted the technology is being worked on, even though it’s not clear when it will launch…

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