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Stellar Adopts the Lightning Network in a Flash

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Stellar is gaining ground in the cryptocurrency sphere, with an increasing number of major partnership announcements. However, Stellar co-lead Jed McCaleb has admitted that the blockchain project may suffer from scalability issues in the near future. If all of these partners use the Stellar platform to its maximum potential, the system could see slowdowns and traffic jams. Bitcoin saw the same issues until they adopted the Lightning Network protocol. The clever code base for the Lightning project helps circumvent the inherent limitations of traditional blockchain tech. Using this workaround, transaction volume increases exponentially and ensures that traffic is a near non-issue.

Stellar Signs on to the Lightning Network

In an attempt to curtail the possibility of slowdowns, Stellar announced that they will be integrating Lightning technology. This early adoption ensures that scalability issues removal before they can become a problem. This type of forward facing pre-planning speaks volumes about the foresight of Jed McCaleb and his Stellar team. It is inherently easier to tackle a perceived problem before it has an impact on the blockchain itself.

Messaging app Kik recently abandoned the Ethereum blockchain due to scalability issues. Instead, they will be building their transactions on the Stellar platform. Although the platform would currently be unable to fully support Kik’s plans, Lightning could change that. Lightning Network technology would allow the Stellar system to support not only Kik’s ambitions but also those of partner IBM. IBM intends to use the Stellar network to support remote banking projects, another potentially resource draining partnership.

How Does the Lightning Network Work?

Bitcoin’s block size and transaction volume became an issue at the end of 2017. As trading volume increased to a previously unheard of amount, the blockchain became bogged down. Transactions not only took obscene amounts of time to complete, but the priority system created extremely high fees. The Lightning Network project foresaw this situation and began development over a year before the spike. Their project relies on the ability to create an additional payment layer on top of the parent blockchain.

This second layer is created through inter-person connections. Anyone involved in transactions opens a channel directly to their receiver. Subsequent transactions by either user open additional channels that can use the original as throughput to complete transfers between disparate users. In this way, transactions complete without establishment on the public blockchain. When a channel closes at the request of a participant, the transactions proceed to the public blockchain.

This allows the second layer to handle the vast majority of the transactions, sparing the public blockchain from that traffic. For legacy coins like Bitcoin, the Lightning Network is a sorely needed upgrade that ensures the continued feasibility of the cryptocurrency. For new projects like Stellar, it offers an opportunity to avoid the problem before it appears.

Atomic Swaps on the Lightning Network

One of the most attractive aspects of Lightning Network adoption is the ability to make trades across blockchains. This would allow a user that owns Stellar Lumens to theoretically trade them directly for Bitcoin – without a third party exchange. This creates a new form of liquidity that was previously infrequent or directly unavailable in the cryptocurrency world.

This functionality is a result of smart contracts. These contracts are executed within a certain time frame, dependent on the currency accurately arriving. If that fails to happen, the transaction is canceled and all currency returned to its original owners. The trust-less factor of blockchain based smart contracts avoids any fraudulent transactions. In this way, transactions across chains can be as safe and secure as those within a single chain.

Stellar Prepares for the Future

The Lightning Network is one of the most significant upgrades to blockchain functionality since the original release of the technology. As such, the cryptocurrencies that adopt this platform early will rightfully appear as forward thinking, progressive and invested in the success of their product. These are strong indicators of long-term validity for investment. Stellar is one of the first, continuing their commitment to banking the unbanked while still producing value for their investors. Stellar is challenging other top cryptocurrencies, jockeying for a top slot by market cap. Given their fairly recent release, their performance is impressive – and with decisions like Lightning adoption, likely to continue.

We will be updating our subscribers as soon as we know more. For the latest on XLM, sign up below!

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of John Fowler via Flickr

Blogs

How is the Crypto Market Changing?

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It has been around a month and a half since the start of 2019, and there are already some pretty obvious changes in the way the crypto market operates, especially when compared to the last year. Early 2018 was almost a complete opposite. The previous year started with cryptocurrencies at their strongest, only to see them crashing down after a few weeks. Back then, the ICO model was still quite strong, and so was the hype surrounding the crypto space. New investors kept entering the space, and new startups emerged with their tokens ready to be sold.

As the year progressed, things started to change. The prices continued to drop, the ICO model went down from around $1.4 billion in raised funds at the beginning of the year to only $100 million in the last month.

The ICO model lost investors’ trust, as many of the projects turned out to be either too weak to survive after the crypto winter struck, or scams which tricked investors out of their money and disappeared. Not to mention that the increase in ICOs popularity attracted the regulators who cracked down on them pretty hard, especially in the US.

With all of that happening, it is of a small surprise that the investors started giving up on ICOs, especially with the constant drops in prices which saw even the largest coins…

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Understanding the Uses of Different Types Of Cryptocurrencies

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Cryptocurrencies – a term which has become incredibly prominent in the mainstream media during recent years due to the proliferation of Bitcoin millionaires. As a result, the new form of currency has earned an almost infamous status. However, as with any major step forward, there is still much confusion regarding the use of cryptocurrencies, what different types of innovative electronic cash exist and what they might mean for the future.

We’re putting all of this to rest as we explain what each of the leading cryptocurrencies can do.

Bitcoin

The most popular form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was first thought up in 2008 by the elusive and still unknown creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the whitepaper online.

It took almost a decade for the cryptocurrency to reach its peak, but in December 2017 a single Bitcoin roughly exchanged for the price of $17,000, meaning anyone who held a substantial amount of the electronic cash became significantly wealthy.

In its early years, the cryptocurrency was strictly used as an alternative for cash transactions, and predominantly for trading goods and services. However as it has increased in popularity, its range of uses has also widened, now deployed for a variety of purposes including acting as collateral for investments at merchant banks, a direct debit for subscriptions services and most notably for sports betting.

Ripple

Bitcoin’s closest source of competition, Ripple was founded…

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New DoJ Ruling May Cripple Gambling dApps

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A new decision made by the US Justice Department has expanded restrictions regarding online gambling in the US affecting gambling dApps. While the Federal Wire Act of 1961 prohibited online gambling regarding sports since 2011, the new decision expanded on this, and it now includes all forms of internet gambling. Unfortunately for many, this now also includes cryptocurrencies.

The new decision came due to considerable difficulties when it comes to guaranteeing that only interstate betting will take place and that payments will not be routed via different states.

The new announcement was explained in a 23-page-long opinion issued by the Department of Justice’s legal team, which pointed out that the 2011 decision misinterpreted the law. According to that decision, transferring funds was to be considered a violation, but data transfers were not included. By exploiting this oversight, it was possible for gamblers to turn to internet gambling. Unsurprisingly, many have realized this early on, including startups, as well as large, established firms. This, of course, also included cryptocurrency companies as well.

The new decision changes what is allowed online

The decision to include all forms of internet gambling is a massive hit in the…

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