The development team behind blockchain project Stellar has revealed that they intend to launch a mainnet implementation of the Lightning Network (LN) by the end of the year.
On Monday, the Stellar team released the technical specifications and roadmap for its implementation of the Lightning Network, a technological upgrade that allows cryptocurrency networks to increase speed and efficiency by moving payments “off-chain” into second-layer payment channels.
Stellar’s developers claim that its LN implementation could prove to be even more robust than those created for Bitcoin and other similar coins, allowing users to complete “any operation you can execute on the Stellar network (such as not only payments, but also creating, deleting, or changing permissions on accounts)...within a payment channel.”
From the post:
“Stellar’s state channel implementation relies on the fact that every Stellar transaction specifies a source account and a sequence number. We’ve figured out how to use those sequence numbers as a natural versioning mechanism for off-chain payments; it’s similar to how your bank gets alerted for out-of-order cheques.”
LN proponents also forecast that, down the road, this technology will be used to allow users to trade cryptocurrencies or make transactions across blockchains using "atomic swaps."
That an LN implementation will launch on Stellar does not entirely come as a surprise. The project first floated adopting state channels in 2015, and a roadmap released by the cryptocurrency developers in January included Lightning among its development goals for 2018.
However, that the developers are so confident they can employ it this quickly is significant.
Indeed, it was just last week that Lightning Labs released the first beta version of a Bitcoin LN implementation.
Moreover, the Bitcoin-based LN source code cannot be simply ported and modified for Stellar; XLM's developers must create their own version of the software.
However, Stellar has enlisted the efforts of Bitcoin Core developer Jeremy Rubin, and it believes that Stellar’s implementation of the Lightning Network will receive a beta release by Oct.1, with a full release slated for Dec. 1.
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