World’s First Lightning Network (LN) based Decentralized Bitcoin Exchange, ‘Sparkswap’ Goes Live With Beta Version

Sparkswap, the world’s first Lightning Network (LN) based Decentralized Exchange (DEX) went live with its beta version on Monday, 8th April 2019.
SparkSwap is an ambitious Cryptocurrency Exchange that is both decentralized and also world’s first Exchange built on the Lightning Network (LN). The private keys of the Sparkswap Exchange Wallets are held with the users itself providing protection from exchange related issues.
Terry Griffith, Sparkswap Founder announced that
Sparkswap, the first cryptocurrency exchange built on Lightning Network Atomic Swaps is live for trading on MainNet in its Public Beta.
Nevertheless, trading will be limited during the beta launch, and only BTC/LTC trading pair will be active as the developers perform would need the incubation time to assess the real-time operations.
Exchange of the Future
Lightning Network Atomic Swaps is the core technology upon which the Exchange operates. The Lightning Network (LN) on Bitcoin (BTC) will be used to facilitate the cross-blockchain swaps and transactions along with Sparkswap’s DEX software. Together they are both fast and reliable.
“At no point can either Sparkswap or your counterparty deprive you of your assets — the trades either complete or they do not,” Sparkswap Founder Trey Griffith told Bitcoin Magazine. “We are also a venue for trading, not an over-the-counter service like ShapeShift, so users are trading with each other.”
Griffith also noted that:
“Our focus is on making cryptocurrency trading fast enough for professional users without sacrificing Bitcoin support and self-custody,”
Snapshot of the Sparkswap Exchange
However, the user interface of the exchange resembles the DOS window currently, which might cause a hindrance in its mainstream adoption.
The platform was initiated sixteen months ago, soon after the Lightning Network development started on Bitcoin (BTC). The Exchange also stands as a testimony of the development of the Lightning Network (LN). While the founder agreed that ‘Lightning Network is not a finished product’ yet, but even now it offers a plethora of applications like cross-chain swaps.

One more step on our way to building infrastructure for the future of the financial system. https://t.co/wMGWZTDfUp
— Trey Griffith (@tgriff3) April 8, 2019

Moreover, the Startup also raised $3.5 million in the initial seed round from Initialized Capital, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, and Y Combinator. Pantera Capital is an investment firm and hedge fund operating exclusively on Bitcoin, other digital currencies and companies in the space.
Do you think that the exchange will gain mainstream soon like the Binance Exchange? Please share your views with us.
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Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network: Users can lose all their money through no fault of their own, says Peter R Rizun

Peter R Rizun, the Chief Scientist of Bitcoin Unlimited, was previously in the headlines following his comments about the Lightning Network, the second-layer protocol proposed to solve Bitcoin’s scalability problem. The Chief Scientist is in the news again after he claimed that a Lightning Network user can lose all his money, without doing anything wrong.
Lighting Network, the second-layer solution, allows users to make off-chain payments, thereby ensuring faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions. The Lightning Network is dependent on the underlying technology i.e. the Bitcoin blockchain, and was mainly created to serve the needs of small transactions. It enables users to make payments without having to record them on the blockchain, until it is settled. Moreover, the Lighting Network can act as multi-currency routing network in the future.
Peter R Rizun had this to say about the LN on Twitter,
“A Lightning user can lose all of their money through no fault of their own, in an environment with high and volatile L1 fees. BTC’s block size limit ensures high and volatile fees whenever demand for block space spikes.”
To this, Emin Gur Sirer, a Professor at Cornell University, said,
“Satoshi did not design for blocks that are mostly full, and the devs who came afterwards have not been able to design a fee mechanism that leads to stable and predictable fees.”
Further, Jungans, a Redditor, questioned whether this was not the same for on-chain funds scattered across several UTXOs. Peter Rizun clarified that the two were different cases. He said,
Source: Reddit
The Lightning Network was in the crypto-space’s limelight recently after it crossed around $5 million per channel capacity, with the reason speculated to be the Bitcoin bull run. Further, the Lightning Network gained support from one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges Zebpay, after it announced Lightning payments in around 131 countries.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] Lightning Network achieves $5 million capacity on the back of the bull run

Bitcoin [BTC] Lightning Network reached a milestone, after recording an impressive $5 million in capacity, on the back of the bull run in the cryptocurrency market.
According to data released by 1ml.com, the network capacity of the Lightning Network, at press time, was listed to be 1,068.17 BTC, around $45.3 million. This is an all-time high for the 2nd-layer payment protocol.
When compared to last month, Bitcoin’s transaction capacity increased by over 50 percent. The number of active channels recorded was 39,124. The number of channels surged by 22.36 percent over the past 30 days.
The capacity per channel, at press time, remained at an average of $128 and was indicated by the violet line. However, as the blue line indicated, the capacity per channel achieved higher efficiency, raising the average to around $425.
Source: Bitcoin Visuals
The progress of the Lightning Network was highlighted by the development of Lightning Loop, a non-custodial service that made it easier for people to receive funds, last month. The objective of the loop was to simplify the process of the transaction over the 2nd layer payment protocol.
Another advocate for the increased popularity of Lightning Network has been the Lightning Torch experiment. The experiment continued into its third month, involving more and more well-known personalities from inside and outside the cryptocurrency sphere.
At press time, Henry Brade had the Lightning Torch, after he received it from @CryptoRafe, a Bitcoin enthusiast on Twitter.
Source: Twitter
Other famous personalities to be involved in the experiment were Tron’s Justin Sun, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Can the Bitcoin Lightning Network Revolutionise Online Publishing?

Although the Lightning Network is most often touted as a way to reduce transaction burden on the main Bitcoin blockchain, various other use cases are becoming apparent as more people experiment with it.
One of the most potentially revolutionary is the ability to make incredibly small payments for online content. This could have a massive impact on the way content creators monetise their work and, if the largest names in publishing get on board, could be massive for Bitcoin adoption generally.
Is Lightning Network Poised to Strike Online Publishing?
It is no secret that the internet has had a detrimental effect on the quality of journalism. Where advertising revenue is king, sensationalism pays the bills. Some once-highly-respected publications have tried to avoid the temptation to rely too heavily on such “click-bait” tactics by using subscription services.
Lightning Network could provide a massive opportunity for online publishing.
However, the problem with these membership schemes is that many readers don’t want to pay for a whole month’s access to a publication just to read a single article. This poses an interesting opportunity for Bitcoin’s second layer payments network, Lightning Network.
Since Lightning payments are cheap and fast, they could easily be used to provide pay-per-view services at publications both large and small – a use case highlighted in a post last September on crypto portfolio application Crypto Millionaire’s blog.
The author of the piece, titled “I sent letters to top newspapers asking for Lightning Network micropayments. Here are their responses so far”, claims to have done just that. In a letter addressed to “Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, and many other”, they outline the above argument that many people wanting to read articles behind pay walls would be happy to pay for them. However, the current subscription model does not cater to the occasional reader:
“I’m not going to pay $15 to $30 dollars a month for a subscription… I would be way more likely to pay a few cents for a particular article I’m interested in.”

I sent letters to top newspapers asking for Lightning Network micropayments. Here are their responses so far: https://t.co/3iVukE7L4t … CoinGatecom #Bitcoin #Crypto #Ethereum #Litecoin #Ripple #EOS pic.twitter.com/4ghSL62gRW
— Crypto Millionaire App (@eagletwitt3r) April 3, 2019

The solution proposed is for publications to implement Lightning Network micro-payments for content. The author of the letter argues that publications implementing LN payments for content would:
“… get a lot more revenue, a lot of hype from the crypto and millennial communities and, most importantly, look cool and like keeping up with the times.”
Old subscription models could even be retained for those wishing to pay the full monthly fee and enjoy unlimited content. Meanwhile, a lot more casual readers would be contributing to the publication’s overall profitability. This increased revenue could then be spent on quality investigative journalism, rather than perpetually budget-cutting to keep costs down and relying more heavily on click-bait-style content.
In last year’s piece, a few of the publications responded. The Washington and Wall Street Journal stated that the suggestion was being forwarded to the relevant departments. Meanwhile, the Financial Times were rather more positive:
“You have a good point in suggesting Lightning Network micro-payments in which customers can use if they want to read an interesting article on ft.com. We take onboard your suggestion and hopefully one of the things that our marketing teams would consider.”
Bitcoin Micro-Payments at Major Publications Could Seriously Drive Adoption
It’s been six months since the publications were contacted and unfortunately there is still no sign of Bitcoin Lightning Network micro-payments at any major news publication. This feels like the beginnings of a missed opportunity for both the publications and Bitcoin.
Although initial uptake might be limited, if visitors to a pay-walled article realised that there was a way to pay for a single article, many of the keenest readers would likely choose to explore it. Not only could such a payment model serve to increase the quality of journalism across the board but it could be a serious boon for Bitcoin adoption too.
That said, it is still early days for Lightning Network. The size of the network and the value it’s capable of transferring have been growing at a rapid pace, however, it still might be moving a little too quickly to have the Wall Street Journal announce Lightning micro-payments right now. The network is still very much in its infancy. That said, when the network has matured, integrating Bitcoin micro-payments with leading publications is surely the perfect way to both reinvigorate a struggling industry and promote BTC adoption.
 
Related Reading: Jack Dorsey Tweets Support for Lightning Network Use on Twitter
Featured Image from Shutterstock.
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Bitcoin Lightning Network will never be production ready, says Bitcoin Cash [BCH] proponent Rick Falkvinge

Rick Falkvinge, a prominent Bitcoin Cash [BCH] proponent, said that the much-anticipated Layer 2 solution or the Lightning Network project is a “dead end for all intents and purposes”. According to Falkvinge, the so-called solution failed to provide solutions for some of the major problems plaguing the Bitcoin network since the past year.
In a recent video, Falkvinge claimed that unlike a normal project, whose completion time decreases over time, the LN project’s completion time has only increased over time.
Backing his claim that the Layer 2 solution would never be project ready, in his presentation, Falkvinge pointed out that in late 2015 or 2016, the Lightning network was just six months away, but in 2017, it was announced that the project was 18 months away. However, no updates were revealed the year after that. The founder of the Pirate Party, who has been a huge critic of the scalability solution project, outlined eight problems with the Lightning Network back in February last year.
He also opined that the concept of Watch Tower was fundamentally wrong. Talking about deploying watchtowers to monitor on-chain transactions on the network, Falkvinge said that it was an unnecessary complexity. One of the problems that he noted was that the users must be online to receive funds.
Falkvinge said that the “so-called” solution that LN presented over the past 12 months is that in place of users, a third-party ecosystem called “watch towers” would be online to detect possible threats and other malicious actors and neutralize it. According to him, this is not a solution as Bitcoin does not require “anybody” to be online for a transaction to settle.
He also spoke about the legal liability associated with Lightning Network nodes. He stated that when a user on the network deposits money into a channel with another user, the individual starts acting like a bank and that bank requires a license to run. This is where the legal liability comes into the picture, he said.
Additionally, calling it a design flaw in the Layer 2 solution, Falkvinge said that there would be no cold storage and the users on the network wouldn’t be able to store funds safely.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Lightning Labs Releases Loop Feature to Improve Bitcoin Payments on Lightning

Coinspeaker
Lightning Labs Releases Loop Feature to Improve Bitcoin Payments on Lightning
Lightning Labs has announced alpha release of Lightning Loop aimed to imrove the efficiency, scalability, and usability of Lightning.
Lightning Labs Releases Loop Feature to Improve Bitcoin Payments on Lightning

Continue reading at Coinspeaker
Source: CoinSpeaker

Will Lightning Network’s Latest Feature Help Bitcoin Achieve Mass Adoption?

Lightning Labs, one of the major contributors to the Lightning Network, has announced the alpha launch of a new feature coming to the second layer micro-payments solution on top of the Bitcoin network. Lightning Loop, as the update is called, aims to address current issues surrounding channel capacity limits with regards to some of the early applications of the technology.
Until Lightning Loop, once a user’s channel reached maximum capacity, it could accept no more payments. Obviously, for businesses hoping to use Bitcoin’s Lightning Network as a payment method, such interruptions in service are unwelcome.
Lightning Loop: Making Bitcoin Payments Easier to Receive Using Lightning
The alpha launch of the first stage of Lightning Loop was announced by Lightning Labs earlier today via Twitter and an accompanying blog post. This initial phase of the update is being referred to as Loop Out.
The idea is that users can offload Bitcoin from their Lightning Channel and back on to the main chain, freeing up the maximum channel capacity to receive additional payments, whilst keeping the channel open.

Announcing the alpha release of Lightning Loop, a non-custodial service that makes it easier to receive #bitcoin on Lightning.
With Loop, users can get inbound capacity and withdraw from Lightning while keeping channels open.
Read more and try it out: https://t.co/KoAXDm9JFl
— Lightning Labs (@lightning) March 20, 2019

To illustrate how Loop Out will make Lightning Network more useful for merchants, Lightning Labs used a Bitcoin-relevant analogy revolving around a pizza shop choosing to accept Bitcoin via the Lightning Network. Since such a business presumably has takings larger than its outgoings, eventually its payment channels reach capacity and the shop will no longer be able to receive transactions. However, using Loop Out, the shop can continue selling pizza since it can now send funds back to the main chain and free up space for new payments in its channels.
Additionally, Loop Out will allow new users to the network to have an initial receiving capacity, rather than relying on others to open channels with them. This will supposedly make it easier for those new to the network to receive Bitcoin.
First Loop Out, Then Loop In
As mentioned, Loop Out is just the first of two proposed updates addressing the issue of channel capacity restricting economic activity on the Lightning Network. The second will be called Loop In and will allow payments to be made to Lightning Channels from exchanges and other on-chain sources. This means that a user can stay connected to their payment channels, even after they have depleted the entire balance of all their open payment channels through spending.
Further details about Loop In can be found on Lightning Labs’s GitHub repository.
A Big Year for Lightning Development
Despite still being very much in its formative period, Lightning Network has already made great leaps forward in 2019. The Bitcoin payments network once again received high profile attention from the likes of Jack Dorsey, Circle and Twitter CEO, as a publicity generating “Lightning Torch” was sent to him.

Cool example of #BitcoinTwitter experimenting on the Lightning Network.
Torch received, now passing along to @starkness! #LNtrustchain https://t.co/YVMAv62fCN
— jack (@jack) February 5, 2019

The long-term Bitcoin bull was also impressed by the work of the developers behind the Tippin browser plug-in that allows Twitter users to send micro payments to one another as a tip for strong content. Such a hive of development and excitement around the project has allowed the network to quickly swell to a total capacity of over 1,000 BTC and almost 7,500 nodes at the time of writing.
No doubt today’s news of additional functionality coming to the Lightning Network will excite Dorsey, who was one of Lightning Labs’s major financial backers last year.
 
 
Related Reading: Buy Pizza With Bitcoin! Crypto Twitter Enamored With Lightning Network App
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Bitcoin Cash’s [BCH] Roger Ver says altcoins are BTC’s layer two scaling solution

Roger Ver, the founder of Bitcoin Cash [BCH] has been a critic of Lightning Network [LN] since its inception. The Bitcoin hardfork proponent once again bashed the Layer 2 solution for the original Bitcoin core.
The Bitcoin.com CEO tweeted,
“Altcoins became BTC’s layer two scaling solution.”
The crypto community was left puzzled with Ver’s latest post, with many assuming that he was implying Bitcoin Cash was an altcoin. This is not the first time Roger Ver has made confusing statements on social media. Previously, Ver had opined that Bitcoin Cash can do better than all the functionalities of Bitcoin Core.
He has also echoed similar statements to the ones made by Gabriel Cardona, the Director of Developer Services and Head of R&D at BCH, bashing the second-layer network and branding it as an ”absolutely horrible user experience.”
However, the success of the Lightning Torch experiment has reinforced the Bitcoin community’s support and solidarity with the new technology. Many crypto luminaries, including Binance’s Changpeng Zhao [CZ], co-founder of Coinapult, Erik Voorhees, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, also participated in this experiment.
Fidelity Digital Assets, the digital assets arm of financial services behemoth, Fidelity Investments, was the first investment bank to receive the Lightning Torch. Acquiring the Lightning Torch from a Bitcoin maximalist marked the foray of the digital asset wing into the cryptosphere. The LN torch wave has crossed approximately 40 different countries, since its inception.
A scalable solution to the Bitcoin core, the Lightning Network, adds a second layer to Bitcoin’s existing blockchain. This allows users on the network to build payment channels between any two individual users on the newly added layer. Since channels are created between two users on the network, transactions will be executed instantly with low or negligible fees. Another noteworthy aspect of the network is that the channels can exist as long as they are required.
Responding to Ver’s tweet, a Twitter user, @francispouliot said,
“Literally not layers of the object but distinct objects from said object. With all the random non-sensical quotes you post, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day you tweeted out a valid nonce.”
Another user, @balthusaur, tweeted,
“All cryptos will be denominated in Bitcoin(BTC). The true king coin that did not elect itself. BCH will always remain an alt coin.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin’s [BTC] Lightning Network is semi-custodial banking, says Bitcoin Unlimited’s Peter Rizun

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has become one of the most popular topics in the cryptocurrency space. Lightning Network is a second-layer mechanism used for transmitting off-chain payments by utilizing the security of the Bitcoin blockchain. The channel enables two participants to create a channel for the purpose of transferring Bitcoin, without the need for recording it on a blockchain.
The hype for the Lightning Network gained momentum after the Lightning Torch campaign on Twitter. Influencers such as Jack Dorsey, Charlie Lee, Samson Mow, WhalePanda, CZ, and Riccardo Spagni, have all participated in passing the torch around the Twitterverse.
However, the second-layer network has been questioned by many despite its rising popularity. Peter R. Rizun, Chief Scientist at Bitcoin Unlimited, is one of the critics who remarked that the Lightning Network “is a semi-custodial banking.”
He further stated that “the degree of custodianship is proportional to the fee required to escape from a non-cooperative channel.” Rizun added that if the fee required to escape from a non-cooperative channel was in the “same order of magnitude” as a user’s channel balance, then the Lightning Network is “effectively full-custodial banking.”
Rizun views were backed by Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell Professor, known to give his views on cryptocurrencies and the financial system on a regular basis. He said,
“Peter nails it. If channel creation is expensive, LN turns into a re-creation of the banking system.”
Rizun further explained his pointers on a Reddit thread. He said,
“Imagine that fees averaged $100 per transactions. You’ve been using a channel for a while and now your remaining channel balance is near $100. When I say “your remaining channel balance,” I mean the amount you actually have available in that channel, already net of the $100 fee to close the channel to the blockchain.”
Source: Reddit
He further added,
“$100 fees are a low estimate in a future where most transactions are done on LN. But $100 is a lot of money to most people in the world. This means that for most people, LN will not bring them financial freedom and the ability to be their own bank and send payments to anyone they choose. For most people, LN will look like banking looks today.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] Lightning Network has more active nodes than XRP, Litecoin and EOS combined

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has been one of the most instrumental scaling solutions for the cryptocurrency, since its inception. The second layer open protocol system was officially launched on the Mainnet in January 2018. However, it only recently picked up popularity due to the ongoing Lighting Torch experiment.
According to recent reports, the Lightning Network has more active nodes than the combined numbers of XRP, Litecoin and EOS.
Data produced by longhash.com indicated that the Lightning network had 3,884 active nodes with active channels, at press time. Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] were the only cryptocurrencies with a higher number of active nodes, with 10,603 and 7,580 nodes respectively.
The combined number of active nodes acquired by Litecoin, XRP, and EOS was approximately 3300, an indication of the Lightning Network’s active utilization and rapid growth.
At press time, Lightning Network’s channels held BTC worth over $3 million, equivalent to around 759 Bitcoins. This suggested that the LN’s channel capacity had increased by a factor of 100, since February 2018. The graph below indicates the sum of channels value, since the launch of the Lightning Network.
Source: p2sh.info
According to data from 1ML.com, the Lightning Network had 7,320 nodes, at press time. In February 2018, the number of active nodes in operation was close to around 618. This remarkable growth marked an increase of around 532% since last year.
Source: 1ML
However, a major criticism of the Lightning Network is the possible centralization of a few large nodes. According to Diar, it was observed that 10 of the largest LN nodes commanded over 53% of the network’s capacity.
At the start of 2019, the 20 largest LN nodes had 38% of the network’s capacity. Despite improvements in distribution, over-reliance on larger nodes was still prominent.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network will demolish coin’s future, says Bitcoin millionaire Erik Finman

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has been one of the most sought-after scaling solutions since its inception. The addition of the second-layer protocol payments system was lauded as a solution to major Bitcoin complications in terms of fees and transactions speed. However, a Bitcoin millionaire has refused to get on the hype train and has in fact, criticized the technology.
Erik Finman, in a recent twitter rant, bashed the Lightning Network and its functionality. He said that it was not entirely decentralized, which in theory defeated the whole philosophy behind cryptocurrencies and the decentralization approach.
He explained that the Lightning Network was effectively transforming the largest cryptocurrency in the world into an internationally centralized payment network like Visa and Mastercard. These were the two original corporations that Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to eradicate when he created Bitcoin.
He opened his explanation with the statement “Bitcoin is dead,” and indicated that the Lightning Network will fundamental to its demise. He added that the use of Bitcoin via Lightning Network benefited people in the Silicon Valley, while ignoring the hardworking miners, and node operators, among others.
The teen Bitcoin millionaire explained that although the Lightning Network  is not completely centralized like the Federal Reserve institutions, it has decreased the decentralized aspect of the cryptocurrency. Finman is just one of the influencers and users within the ecosystem who believe that Lightning Network defeats Bitcoin’s scalability issues.
One of the most prominent supporters of the Lightning Network is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey recently revealed his intention of adding the technology to his mobile payments company Square app, presumably to improve Bitcoin’s merchant adoption.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC]: Major privacy complication still evident in 54% of transactions, finds research

Bitcoin is often considered the legitimate gold standard when a discussion about cryptocurrencies crops up between users and influencers. Since the introduction of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, there has been an overall improvement in Bitcoin’s privacy. However, a major Bitcoin privacy flaw is still evident in about 54% of the crypto transactions. The issue traces back to the re-usage of addresses.
Oxt.me, a website, calculated an address reuse ratio formula which gave them an accurate take on the trends in which Bitcoin addresses were reused. The solution to their formula provided them with the percentage of addresses used over a particular time period that were not newly created, but was being reused.
Addresses Reused Over Time | Source: oxt.me
According to the graph, there was a massive peak of about 77.63% address being reused back in February 2013. The percentage has since decreased as it was recorded to be around 41.34% around December 2017. There was also a spike recorded in July 2015, although it was likely due to the conduct of a “stress test” that month.
Since December 2017, Bitcoin addresses have been reused a lot more. In March 2019, the percentage recorded was exactly 53.57% of the total addresses that have been previously used.
According to longhash.com, it is  considered immoral to reuse Bitcoin addresses because it weakens privacy for not only the entity that reuses the address, but also the next user on the blockchain, as they all interact through the same address.
Forbes reported that Veriblock, a project that uses Bitcoin OP_RETURN transactions in an effort to bring additional security, accounted for 20% of daily Bitcoin transactions. Most of the legitimate transactions hinted towards the fact that the Veriblock system reused addresses many times for their proof-of-proof activities.
However, the trend regarding regular reuse of address on the Bitcoin network took place roughly seven or eight months before Veriblock had any kind of significant impact on the Bitcoin Network.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network sees major increase in application; Network capacity approaches BTC worth $3 million

The prominent rise of Lightning Network is undeniable and its popularity has allowed Bitcoin to build its stock. Lightning Network’s recent rally led to a sudden growth in its BTC processing capacity, which was over 750 BTC [approx. $2.9 million] at press time. The payments channel also experienced an increase in the number of active channels, which improved from 8,000 to 32,000 in the past 30 days.
One of the key highlights of the Lightning Network was the Tippin.me service, which was added to Twitter last month. Twitter user @Kerooke recently shared Tippin.me Lightning Network’s statistics since it went live,

Source: Twitter

One of the fundamental reasons for the rapid growth of Lightning Network’s ecosystem was the popular BlueWallet mobile application. In fact, Lightning Network’s development team revealed that BlueWallet’s in-built “Lapp Marketplace” was accessed by over 40% of its traffic last month.
Nuno Coelho, the co-founder of BlueWallet, recently mentioned that the Bitcoin and Lightning Network wallets reported over 12,000 downloads and 16,000 active users in February. The figures noted a growth of +1.27% in users and downloads from January.
The CEO further mentioned that if users were capable, they can develop and set up their independent nodes and connect it to their respective wallets. He said he wanted users to “have the best of both worlds in terms of sovereignty and mobile experience”.
The Lightning Network has been active in the implementation of various applications and recently, even the LN Pizza was publicized. LN Pizza enabled users to pay for Domino’s pizzas via the Lightning Network.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Lightning Dev Explains Why Bitcoin Is Poised To Become the Global Currency

When the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto first released Bitcoin to the public, his goal was to remove the power governments and banks had over people’s money, and put the power back into the hands of the user.
Since then, Bitcoin has taken on a life of its own, showing far more potential than even Nakamoto initially realized. The first-ever cryptocurrency is disrupting the financial world, the technology sector, is predicted to reach a value of $100,000 up to “millions,” and is being pitched by top entrepreneurs as eventually becoming the world’s global currency.
After reflecting upon a recent trip to China, one Lightning developer saw first-hand the cryptocurrency’s potential on a global scale and is sharing his experience with the world.
Bitcoin As a Global Currency: Crossing Borders and Breaking Barriers
Jack Mallers is a developer for Zap, a Lightning Network-based wallet solution for desktop and soon to be iOS. The Lightning dev recently returned from a trip to China to promote his services. There, he discussed “all things Bitcoin, Lightning, Zap, and what the future may look like.”

1/ I've been in China the last week talking all things Bitcoin, Lightning, Zap, and what the future may look like. The reception has been amazing and made this experience something I will never forget.
Thread
— Jack Mallers (@JackMallers) March 4, 2019

Mallers concludes that although there are vast cultural differences between us all, such as having different views, hobbies, and even speaking different languages, the language of Bitcoin is “global.” Bitcoin’s code is at its core mathematics, which is yet another universal language.

2/ Bitcoin is the worlds first global language. All of us don’t natively speak the same language, eat the same food, enjoy the same hobbies, but we all gravitate to projects like Bitcoin, Lightning, and Zap because they represent a better world.
— Jack Mallers (@JackMallers) March 4, 2019

In addition to overcoming “all language barriers,” the leading crypto by market cap is unaffected by “government restrictions, public shaming, social attacks, and corporate enemies.” It has been outright banned in some countries, and has had its name dragged through the mud by finance magnates, banking executives, and politicians alike, yet it still lives on strong.
Because Bitcoin is decentralized and encrypted, it is free from any restrictions, government, distance, or otherwise. The technology can be used to facilitate cross-border transactions, or can act as a “mattress” for those that don’t trust banks or governments with their money.

4/ The force of Bitcoin overcomes all language barriers, government restrictions, public shaming, social attacks, and corporate enemies. It is something you don’t truly understand until you see it, use it and interact with it.
— Jack Mallers (@JackMallers) March 4, 2019

The effect is none more pronounced than in countries with struggling economies, such as Venezuela. There, Bitcoin is helping the economically strapped citizens enjoy some of the same basic freedoms the average global citizen is afforded. Without the cryptocurrency, these citizens would only be bound to the government’s control over the native fiat currency, the bolivar.

Is Lightning Network the Key To Bitcoin Becoming a Global Currency?
During the peak of the last bull run, Bitcoin transactions swelled and the network became congested. The exorbitant fees and slow transactions proved that the cryptocurrency wasn’t yet ready for public consumption at a grand scale – and certainly not at the scale necessary for it to become a global currency.
But the second-layer technology that Jack Mallers works to further develop might be the key to unlocking all of Bitcoin’s potential as a global currency. Lightning Network aims to speed up Bitcoin transactions and reduce fees. SegWit has already had a dramatic impact on transaction fees and speeds, and Lightning will only help further.
Related Reading | Twitter CEO Is Buying $10,000 In Bitcoin Each Week: Why Is He So Optimistic?
Bitcoin bull Jack Dorsey is among the top entrepreneurs that have claimed the first-ever cryptocurrency could eventually become the world’s global currency, and has recently become more involved in the Lightning Network in order to help Bitcoin along its journey to the top.
The Twitter and Square CEO recently took the “Lightning Torch,” an ongoing transaction experiment, and has even begun running his own Lightning Network node in a show of support.
The outspoken Bitcoin maximalist said that adding Lightning Network to his Square Cash app isn’t a matter of if, but when, and is also in support of Lightning-based Bitcoin tipping coming to Twitter. The more steps major companies in the public eye – like the ones Dorsey operates – can support Bitcoin, the sooner the leading crypto will been its way to becoming the world’s first global currency.
The post Lightning Dev Explains Why Bitcoin Is Poised To Become the Global Currency appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Bitcoin [BTC] donations to Tor Project moving away from BitPay

Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies have been used for anonymous transactions by a lot of services, be it for institutional purposes or for total anonymity on the Tor network.
A recent Twitter thread stated that the Tor project should use a Lightning Node for its functioning. The Lightning Network was in the news lately after the torch was passed from Iran to Israel as a gesture of peace.
The movement of the Lightning Torch from one country to another signified Bitcoin’s transcendence of national boundaries and its complete decentralization. Famous proponents of the field such as Anthony Pompliano also came out in support of the Lightning Torch movement. He said,
“The Lightning Torch was sent to @Ziya_Sadr in Iran yesterday. Bitcoin is uncensorable money. This is a prime example.”
Despite the advantages of the Lightning Network however, the Tor Project was considered an unfit candidate as it uses BitPay for accepting Bitcoin donations. This was followed up with a new revelation by Sarah Stevenson, Fundraising Director for the Tor Project who tweeted,
“We are close to launching methods other than BitPay for donating cryptocurrency. Send me a direct message about LN so I can research more.”
Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has received a lot of praise and criticism from several quarters of the cryptosphere. Andreas Antonopoulos spoke about how the Lightning Network encompassed one of the “most powerful and underappreciated features”- splicing. Antonopoulos stated,
“… splicing allows you to do is blend the open channel, close channel and on-chain Bitcoin outputs into a single transaction.”
Additionally, Jiang Zhuoer, the founder of Bitcoin mining pool BTC.TOP, had a contrary view of the Lightning Network. According to him, Bitcoin’s long-running scalability issue will not be solved with the implementation of the LN as BTC will be locked in the LN channels. In his words,
“For example, most of funds flow from crypto exchanges to payment gateways in a unidirectional way and BTC is consumed in the channels in a short period of time. Thus, executing the open and close of the channel simultaneously in each transaction will increase transaction fees, dampening merchants’ willingness to adopt LN.”
 
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Source: AMB Crypto