In a panel discussion at the Bitcoin 2023 conference moderated by a CNBC technology reporter MacKenzie Sigalosleaders from some of the largest businesses in the construction of services based on the Lightning Network discuss the opportunities and challenges for Bitcoin in payment-focus on the second layer protocol.
The discussion, titled “Building Lightning-Native Companies,” was featured Elizabeth Starkthe CEO of software development firm Lightning Labs; David Marcus, the CEO of Lightspark, a company focused on making Lightning adoption easier and easier; and Miles Suterthe Bitcoin product leader in the Cash App, a mobile payment platform that will introduce Lighting payments to its more than 40 million users by 2022.
“We’ve really reached a point now where Lightning is maturing and we’re seeing more adoption,” Stark said, summarizing the momentum he’s seen since he founded Lightning Labs in 2016. people network because it solves real problems for them.”
By allowing peers to create closed payment channels between themselves, which are only settled by the underlying Bitcoin blockchain when closed, the Lightning Network enables bitcoin payments to happen in seconds while still benefiting from security in the base ledger of Bitcoin. But since this second layer is still relatively young, adoption represents only a fraction of the larger number of digital payments worldwide.
The panelists emphasized the importance of developing products and services that make Lightning easier to use and solve some of its unique issues, such as the relatively low liquidity of the network and the limited number of nodes.
“A channel-based payment network is very complex,” Sigalos pointed out. “There isn’t a ton of liquidity sitting on nodes right now” for example.
In response, Suter noted that many of the challenges in making Lightning more accessible stem from Bitcoin’s most important qualities.
“Bitcoin development is difficult,” he explained. “We see that every day…
But all the panelists agreed that if there were more problems that Lightning could solve, such as in countries where it could help people access dollars or make more efficient cross-border transactions, adoption would see As more problems emerge and companies like these continue to build products and services on top of Lightning, they expect adoption to accelerate.
“Making it easy will drive more adoption,” Marcus said. “Between now and next year when we get together again, we’ll be in a better place when it comes to Lightning adoption.”