Lightning is a second-level solution for Bitcoin blockchain that solves the problems of scaling that surround it today.
Similar to Bitcoin, Lightning is an open source protocol to which anyone can contribute. Whether through programming and application development or creating a node, participation in Lightning is not only accessible. It is accepted
The Lightning community is already lively and growing every day. Pierre Rochard is a person who has already consolidated his place in the Bitcoin community as a strong advocate of digital currency, founding Bitcoin Advisory in 2013. More recently, his work with Lightning has garnered a lot of attention through his suite of Lightning applications. Specifically, the Lightning plug-in integration of Rochard for Microsoft Excel showed the world that Lightning has a place in commonly used applications.
The Lightning plug-in uses the neutrino, a sidechain solution whose purpose is to allow interaction with the history of Bitcoin global transactions without downloading the entire blockchain. Specifically, the neutrino has been designed to facilitate this problem on devices with low power processors, limited storage or bandwidth and intermittent power, in essence, a good fit for an Excel spreadsheet.
Regarding the case of use of this application, Rochard has mentioned in the past that it is for "expert users" who are very familiar with the technologies used and not for the everyday user. Nonetheless, its general purpose is to send Lightning payments from an Excel spreadsheet.
Rochard's Lightning suite of applications is a testament to the progress made in developing the Bitcoin second-level solution in the first year of its existence. In the following interview a Bitcoin Magazine, Rochard discusses his Lightning plug-in and the broader image of Lightning in reference to the global adoption of Bitcoin.
In the months following him announced that this plugin can execute a complete node within the spreadsheet. Rochard has created a node start-up GUI to help people configure a Lightning and Bitcoin node locally for the plugin to connect.
"My first experiment with the Excel plug-in was that it would have a Lightning node bundled with it and run inside it, using Neutrino instead of a complete node," said Rochard. But there was a problem with this set-up. Neutrino is not implemented on mainnet, so it can not yet be used with real bitcoins, which means that no one would be able to use the Excel plugin with real bitcoins.
Neutrino against Full Node
The Satoshi white paper describes a process called "simple payment verification" (SPV). But the SPVs have never actually been implemented.
Instead, explains Rochard, the Bitcoin community has opted for "compromises that are SPV-ish".
At this time, using this compromise process, a portfolio will send a list of transaction IDs to a node and send all information related to those transaction IDs. The trick is that not all transaction IDs that the SPV wallet is sending to the node actually come from the SPV wallet. Instead, the list includes a series of random information in addition to the actual queries it is really interested in. This action is intended to preserve a little privacy because the node does not know which piece of information is the specific piece it is looking for. He just knows it's somewhere in there, hidden in a crowd of other information.
However, Rochard pointed out that few mobile portfolios have actually implemented this process. "Instead, most of them are basically contacting a trusted server that is only the specific addresses it is interested in and then receives information about it in such a way that it provides zero privacy."
With Neutrino, the complete node sends what is called a "block filter", which is essentially a brief summary of a bitcoin block, to the "light client" and checks whether specific transactions or addresses of interest have a match in this filter. .
"If they do," said Rochard, "then we will ask for the complete block and we will download it and then extract the data from it, so basically it means you have a lot more privacy because now the complete node does not know what specific transactions in that blockade have aroused your interest because there are thousands of transactions in one block. "
Naturally, the Neutrino is not as secure as the Bitcoin blockchain itself. In particular, it does not validate all protocol rules, it only controls transactions in a specific block. In other words, it does not check the limit of 21 million bitcoins, which opens the door to compromises on security.
"I would like to emphasize strongly that there is simply no substitute for making your whole knot work," Rochard said. "In reality, Neutrino functionality is a kind of convenience / UX enhancement, but it compromises the properties of Bitcoin." This was the other motivation for this node launcher created by Rochard. He wants people with bandwidth abilities to run a complete node to do it.
"I think we should have the user interface for every platform and in every programming language and we really should have as many interfaces as possible. As for the ones that will be most used, it's an area where I want maximum competition and where really I embrace pluralism and it would be against tribalism, which is unusual for me because I am usually very tribalist with my bitcoin maximalism. "
As for the Lightning user interface, however, Rochard is much less "tribalist".
"I am a supporter of UI alt, multi UI, and the reason is that we would like to put the entire spectrum of users on board from people who use Lightning on their mobile wallet, to people who use Lightning in an & rsquo; Chrome with Joule to people who use Lightning in an Excel spreadsheet with my plug-in. Wherever the user is more comfortable and wherever it is more practical and simple for them, I want there to be a wallet for them ".
The Future of Lightning: overcome bottlenecks for adoption
"I think the adoption of Lightning basically reflects the adoption of bitcoin, and the adoption of bitcoins comes from a very popular source, it's not like a top-down thing," Rochard said. "We have also seen Bitcoin companies emerge from basic users for the most part." Someone becomes a Bitcoin enthusiast. [gets] in the ecosystem and then starts a service related to Bitcoin where they see a gap. This was a little bit of the general path. "
Rochard predicts that Lightning's growth will follow a similar path, but in the first place, users will need tools that allow them to work with the protocol.
"There are people who love bitcoins and who are like," Oh, so what's this neat, second-level, out-of-the-ordinary network people are turning on on Twitter? Now, I'm using Windows: I do not have technical skills and I do not know how to use a command line, so today I can not access Lightning Oh, Pierre came out with a nodal thrower Ok, now I can get on Lightning. "
"And that's how the process is about to happen." At the beginning there will be ten people, then a hundred people and then a thousand people. "
Adoption through the infrastructure
Participation in a recent Lightning residency at Chaincode Labs was a pivotal moment for Rochard and turned him from "prudently bullish" to Lightning's "indoctrinated fanatic cult member".
There, he met a software developer in Bitmex who gave the impression that while Lightning was on the radar of Bitmex, it was not a priority from the development point of view.
"Now in the next two years they will have a Lightning function," Rochard suggested. "That's clear, so I think, you know, it will not be in the next six months, but in the next few years, trades will have characteristics of Lightning.
"Now the question is: How useful are these? Because if it's about depositing $ 20 of bitcoins, it's not useful to anyone, besides understanding how useful it is for exchanges, it's too early right now. dollars are transferred to Lightning in payments, we need to have atomic multipath among other things. "
Looking to the future, Rochard said that when it comes to exchanges, the adoption of Lightning will continue to evolve; users will find themselves using bitcoins on-chain in the meantime. In the future, however, by increasing the capacity of the Lightning network, the use of Lightning for daily transactions in exchanges will become automatic.
"In five years, it is not the case that you will no longer be able to use bitcoins in an exchange without using Lightning, but it is much longer in the long run."