The Lightning Network is ostensible to repair Bitcoin’s delayed sell and high fees, but so distant it’s caused as many problems as it solved. Luckily, there’s another cryptocurrency watchful to take up the slack.
The thought of using Litecoin as an easy onramp to Lightning payments is not new. As Charlie Lee tweeted progressing this summer:
Litecoin will also be the easiest onramp onto the Lightning Network. BTC takes too long and fees to high? No problem. Open an LTC remuneration channel on sequence low and quickly, then atomically barter for BTC if/when you need to. This can be finished in one step using submarine swaps! 😮
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) July 11, 2018
The thought of Litecoin as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” has depressed out of preference as Mr. Lee’s venerate diminished. But for a number of reasons, not only is Litecoin a expected contender, it might be Lightning’s only trail to adoption.
Lightning Still Throws Sparks
Before we get underneath the hood, let’s recall how the engine works. The Lightning Network is the resolution to Bitcoin’s delayed blocks and high fees, which make bland spending impractical. While some cryptos have explored other scaling solutions, the Lightning Network is an sell of instant, peer-to-peer IOUs, which creates it reasonable to use Bitcoin to buy a sandwich.
Although Crypto Briefing has poked peaceful fun the Lightning Network’s, routing problems and bugs, these are problems that crafty developers can eventually solve.
But there are a few problems that can’t be solved, because they are fundamental to the Lightning Network’s design. One is that there’s no way to totally shun transaction fees: nonetheless Lightning sell are intensely cheap, you still have to compensate a unchanging Bitcoin price to open and tighten your channels.
The second problem is that Lightning channels are not secure, and therefore unsuited for vast volumes. Lest we be indicted of exaggerating, here it is in the disproportion of Andreas Antonopoulos, one of Lightning’s most respected advocates:
There is a confidence risk. That system will have keys on it, so it is a prohibited wallet. And if you’re using that prohibited wallet with lots of bitcoin on it then it’s a aim for attack, and someone can penetrate into your node and use it to empty your wallet.
So the outcome is something a bit like a Rewards card. You might put a few dollars in a Starbucks label to save a few percent on coffee. But you wouldn’t put more than a 10 or twenty, in box you remove the card; and you’d be crazy to put more than a hundred.
At the time of writing, the normal Lightning channel had a ability around $59.
But it takes sixteen lattes to get your money’s worth, and you can’t tip up as you go. While some maximalists might penchant the disturb of Lightning for Bitcoin’s sake, most of us have enough difficulty using a regular crypto wallet.
Big and Small Transactions, but not Medium Ones
The outcome is that Lightning is a shining solution, but for the wrong problem.
At present, Bitcoin is a good way to make a hundred-dollar transaction, and through the Lightning Network can also track a hundred different one-dollar transactions. But it’s not a good resolution for medium-sized or sparse transactions, except among loyal believers.
Which is where Litecoin comes in.
Since the Lightning Network launched in mid-March, Bitcoin fees averaged at around a dollar, nonetheless they declined as prices fell. The red line hugging the X-Axis is the normal price for Litecoin, which never exceeded 0.21 cents.
That’s a universe of difference, generally to the infrequent users to whom “mass adoption” refers. No receptive actor is going to spend a dollar to open/close a Lightning channel, unless they’re very frequent users. A Lightning channel with Litecoin, on the other hand, could be saved with 10 or even 5 dollars, and cost reduction than what you’d leave in the tip-jar.
The outcome is a banking that fills up all the holes in the crypto-economy: not only for macro- and micro-transactions, but also bland expenses. In crypto as well as in genuine life, silver, not gold, is the best conductor of electricity.
The author is not invested in Litecoin, but does possess Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.