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Lightning Network Retools for Litecoin

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM

With SegWit set to activate on Litecoin – a proposed second layer for bitcoin to enable micro-transactions – in the coming weeks, Lightning Network developers are celebrating the implications for their lnd Litecoin implementation.

Lighting , which seeks to support bidirectional payment channels, announced the support for Litecoin’s new testnet with ‘lnd’, which was easy to develop once ltcd had been built out. Developers continue to “review the additional software infrastructure we built to make the shift possible, and provide a brief peek into a Lightning Network that spans multiple blockchains.”

They add on the Lightning Community site: “The activation of SegWit on Litecoin will serve as a proving and hardening ground for the Lightning Network until segwit activates on Bitcoin’s mainnet. And as Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin, we can redirect our pre-production development efforts to Litecoin’s testnet without loss of generality for our ultimate launch on Bitcoin’s mainnet.”

Lightning developers, with Litecoin developers, forked btcd (a Bitcoin implementation written in coding language ‘Go’) and created ltcd  (Litecoin implementation in ‘Go’) to be used on a Litecoin testnet network using the software infrastructure and libraries developed in btcsuite  on Github. The most recent addition to the code’s repository was three hours prior to this post’s writing.  

“In collaboration with the Litecoin developer community, we’ll continue to maintain ltcd as a fully independent implementation of Litecoin,” write Lightning developers.

Lightning developers created a new channel faucet  dedicated to Litecoin’s latest testnet in January. “The faster block times ease testing and development a bit as scenarios such as opening, closing or force closing a channel are carried out much more quickly on Litecoin’s testnet compared to Bitcoin’s testnet,” developers wrote.

The developers are looking to support a multi-chain version, as well.

“By multi-chain ware, we mean that lnd will be able to ‘straddle’ multiple chains and fully manage channels on all of its active chains,” they write. “This is a highly anticipated feature as Lightning Network daemons that can manage channels on multiple chains are a prerequisite for the implementation of: decentralized off-chain cryptocurrency exchanges, native off-chain cross-chain payments, and cross-chain atomic swaps.”

Changing lnd support from single-chain to multi-chain is a minor difference, they say. “For the time being, though, we’re focusing our development efforts on finalizing, hardening, and achieving stability of Lightning on a single chain before venturing out into the exciting world of cross-blockchain Lightning.”

Both Lightning Developers and Litecoin developer Charlie Lee have indicated that Segwit’s activation on Litecoin has attracted many talented developers to the world’s second largest digital currency.

“The activation of segwit on Litecoin allows us to deploy Lightning on an active production blockchain,” they write. “With our ultimate launch, we’ll be able to examine monetary incentives within the network, observe the emergent properties of the networks’ channel graph, and see the rise of production services and applications built on top of the network.”

The benefits of Lightning deployed on a digital currency like Bitcoin or Litecoin include rapid payments, no third-party trust and reduced blockchain load times.

Featured image from Shutterstock.