Bitcoin Lightning Network — capacity problem?

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is considered the most important development of the year. It is not an easy task to solve the problem of scalability. Although significant progress has been made, there are still some concerns. Larger payments as well as aspects of capacity create problems, because it seems that only a handful of nodes provide over 50 percent of capacity.

Concerns about the Bitcoin Lightning network

The Lightning network is designed to scale the leading cryptocurrency and enable lightning fast transactions. But this is only possible if many people or clients use the technology, which is only in the beta test phase.

Although the Lightning Network (LN) has been well received, there are some shortcomings:

Larger payments through the LN will probably not be possible in the future. Most so-called payment channels do not have the necessary capital (in Bitcoin or the equivalent in USD) to handle large transactions across the LN. Currently only an average of $ 20 is deposited in Bitcoin. Transactions over $ 5 can often not be done.

However, we should keep in mind that the LN is in the testing phase and is explicitly warned against using larger sums.

The bigger problem is the capacity of the LN. The largest ten nodes of the LN represent over fifty percent of the current resources. That could lead to centrality. But even this problem does not have to be permanent. The more users participate in this system, the better the LN and capacity will be distributed. This problem can also be solved with more new clients.

New C-Lightning client

And that is exactly what is happening right now. Blockstream has introduced a new client for the LN this week. C-Lightning V 0.6., it is a client that meets the needs of users. This provides significantly more customization options, which can lead to improved distribution and acceptance.

New features provided by C-Lightning are well worth keeping an eye on. The lightweight nodes feature makes it easier to set up a LN node. Being able to communicate to remote nodes is a pretty big development for this relatively new protocol. Additionally, the new client has a built-in wallet for both on-chain and off-chain funds. Another more than welcome update for LN enthusiasts.

Basically, it can be said that the technology will improve significantly in the future, so that the average user can benefit from this technology. Decentralized protocols take time and a mature system rather than a rash, unfinished product.

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