Lightning Strikes! First Mainnet Beta Release Goes Live With $2.5M Seed Funding

· March 15, 2018 · 1:00 pm

The first official beta implementation of the Lightning Network (LN) went live March 15 as developer Lightning Labs announced it had won $2.5 million in funding.

Lightning’s Mainnet Milestone

The Lightning Network Daemon (styled ‘lnd’), which enables easy access to LN for developers, represents the first mainnet beta release for the technology, which is tipped to revolutionize Bitcoin’s use as a currency.

“This release is also the first release of lnd that has an option to run on Bitcoin’s mainnet, with the necessary safety, security, and fault-tolerance features required for real-world, real money usage,” Lightning Labs wrote in an accompanying blog post.

The release marks the latest milestone for LN, which continues to see broad increases in adoption and technical progress.

Earlier this week, Bitcoinist reported on how the protocol had grown to over 1000 nodes and almost 2000 channels – growth achieved almost solely in 2018.

Jack Dorsey, Charlie Lee Joins Big Name LN Investors

With backing from computer giant Microsoft as well as some of the Bitcoin industry’s best-known names, it was with little surprise that Lightning Labs also revealed participants in its new funding round included Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, with lnd likewise supporting Litecoin.

Lee had signaled his enthusiasm for LN publicly, releasing a dedicated post of his own about its future in January.

Other figures from cryptocurrency, including Blockstream CSO Samson Mow, continue their bullish take on Lightning, Mow this week likening it to a bar tab in a Bitcoin pub on social media.

The technology has not advanced without criticism, however. Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd voiced concerns over hasty uptake of the protocol before security questions had been resolved this month, arguing the potential for users to lose money made a fast rollout irresponsible.

Andreas Antonopoulos and creator Cobra have similarly raised doubts since the start of the year.

What do you think about Lightning Labs’ first Bitcoin mainnet beta? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Source: Bitcoinist

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Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin, and in some ways a direct competitor. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin exists as a blockchain where participating nodes process transactions, and miners provide security and verification for each of those transactions. Litecoin was originally conceived and developed by Charlie Lee in 2011. For a period of time, Charlie was a Director of Engineering at Coinbase, having joined our team in 2013. Since its launch in 2011 Litecoin has seen steady adoption with an active community of traders, merchants, and developers. We believe Litecoin is here to stay and will continue to play an important role in cryptocurrency and digital asset development.
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