March 16, 20183min1627

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Enters Beta Testing Phase

Yesterday, 15th March 2018, Bitcoin’s lightning network progressed into beta testing phase on the mainnet.


Seen as Bitcoin’s ultimate savior, the success of lightning network cannot be overstated. Lnd 0.4-beta is the first beta release of the Lightning software implementation from Lightning Labs. Beta status means that the software is considered to be feature complete and safe enough for use on Bitcoin’s mainnet.

Concurrently with the release of the beta , Lightning Labs also announced a $2.5 million seed investment round, which will fund further development of lnd. Investors include big names in the Bitcoin, blockchain and broader tech industry, such as Litecoin creator Charlie Lee; BitGo CTO Ben Davenport; Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey; former PayPal COO and Yammer founder David Sacks; Tesla and SpaceX angel investor Bill Lee; head of Square Capital and Square’s People Lead Jacqueline Reses; Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz; Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev; and The Hive, Digital Currency Group and others.

“We’re calling this lnd release a beta as it has all the necessary safety, fault-tolerance and security features that we’ve deemed necessary to feel comfortable with early users to start experimenting with small amounts of real bitcoin and litecoin,” said Lightning Labs CTO Olaoluwa Osuntokun.

The new version of the software is now compatible with various Bitcoin implementations. Whereas the alpha versions of lnd relied on btcd to interact with Bitcoin’s blockchain (both lnd and btcd are written in Google’s Go programming language), the beta release gives users the option to use their own preferred backend, including bitcoind (part of Bitcoin Core, in C++), Bcoin (JavaScript) and others.

Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark hopes that development of Lightning Network technology will now move into its next phase.

“Lightning is not just about scalability, it’s also an app development platform. I think a lot of people don’t get that yet,” Ms Stark said.

Lightning Lab’s Lightning App Directory already features a number of apps, including some not developed by Lightning Labs itself. Examples include Lightning wallets for desktop and mobile, a blogging platform with micropayments, a gambling site and others.

“This is still an early beta version aimed at developers and advanced users,” Stark said. “As with any early software there will still be bugs. Users shouldn’t be putting more money on Lightning right now than they are willing to lose.”

This is very nice progress since our last report on the development of the lightning network back on 30th January 2018. For more details on the beta launch please check out the release notes.

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