Lightning Strikes Stellar Lumens: Interstellar Starlight …

First Bitcoin (BTC), then Litecoin (LTC), then….Stellar (XLM)? Developers for the sixth-largest cryptocurrency have suggested the first rungs of a second-layer payments system, potentially opening the doorway to an immediate off-chain allotment with no fees. In a Medium post, Interstellar suggested the first testate demo for “Starlight,” a Lightning Network for the Stellar Lumens cryptocurrency. 

The pierce puts Stellar in the footsteps of Bitcoin and Litecoin, which have also explored off-chain payments as emancipation for their longer retard times and flourishing fees. Instead of profitable fees for mixed payments, participants using off-chain remuneration rails can escrow their supports in a multi-signature wallet, permitting many bi-directional exchange for only a singular set of fees.  

“Normally, creation a remuneration on a network like Stellar involves edition sum of the remuneration to all observers, profitable a small fee, and watchful for the network to strech accord and endorse the payment,” wrote Interstellar’s Dan Robinson, in the post. “A remuneration channel, on the other hand, uses the network to ‘lock up’ some supports for use by the channel’s participants. They might then compensate each other these supports but serve involving the network. Such payments are so private, instant, and free.”

As Crypto Briefing has formerly reported, the system gets more difficult when there are more than two participants involved. Multi-hop payments have proven to be the Achilles’ heel of the Lightning Network, causing long delays and astonishing complications. 

At present, Starlight is only designed for two-party settlement, but the blog post indicates that this might merely the first step. “As we extend the Starlight devise to support not only remuneration channels but also multi-hop payments across those channels,” Robinson wrote, “we devise to build in harmony with other payment-channel networks, such as Lightning and [Ripple’s] Interledger.”

Starlight, Star-Bright Future?

Day-to-day payments are not expected to find vast advantages from off-chain payments, deliberation that Stellar fees are already about 10 times cheaper than Litecoin transactions, with allotment times totalled in seconds. 


Above: Average fees for Bitcoin (red) Litecoin (gray) and Stellar (orange). Via


However, a arguable system of off-chain payments would lift the probability of new kinds of transactions. In particular, it enables micro-payments at a sub-cent level, something which is not unsentimental in the wildest dreams of the bequest payments system. 

We’ve already seen some relief applications for the Lightning Network in Bitcoin, like the homemade vending machine that allows users to compensate for soda by the milliliter. There are also applications that engage profitable for music by the second, incremental mobile top-ups, paid content, and profitable for storage through services like FileBazaar. 

However, it’s too early to get vehement for Starlight—the testnet-only demo is not nonetheless practical, even for singular use, and developers advise users to design bugs and exclusive updates. Those cautions probably won’t stop lumenauts from forgetful of a destiny where payments pierce at the speed of—well, you know. 


The author has investments in Stellar and Bitcoin. 


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