Saturday, September 30, 2023

Lightspark CEO David Marcus has expressed his acknowledgment of the challenges and complexities involved in building on top of the Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling platform for Bitcoin. He stated that developing software around this protocol is “incredibly complex and hard,” highlighting the constraints it poses for builders.

Marcus, with extensive experience in the payments industry, including roles at Paypal, Meta’s Novi, and the Diem Board of Members, explained that Lightspark chose to build on the Lightning Network due to the unique qualities of Bitcoin as an underlying network. However, he emphasized that building on this protocol is considerably more difficult compared to other blockchain protocols, estimating it to be at least 5 times harder.

One of the major challenges he highlighted is the rigidity of Bitcoin’s layer 1, making it extremely challenging to introduce new code into its base layer. This inflexibility makes it nearly impossible to get a new opcode to mainnet. Despite these difficulties, Lightspark embraced the challenge and committed itself to build a payment solution that can stand the test of time and remain relevant for the next century.

Marcus believes that the world needs a universal open protocol for payments, and Lightspark’s decision to persevere with Lightning Network reflects their dedication to realizing its fullest potential.

It’s worth noting that others in the industry, including Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and Bitcoin developer Fiatjaf, have also acknowledged the intricacies and difficulties of working with the Lightning Network, with CZ describing it as “more complicated” than it appears, and Fiatjaf criticizing it as an “inelegant pile of ugly and complicated hacks.”

The vision of building on top of the Lightning Network represents a challenging yet promising endeavor for Lightspark, with the hope of contributing to the establishment of a universal and open payment protocol.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

Q: What is Lightspark, and what do they do?

A: Lightspark is a company that builds business-grade payment solutions on top of the Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling platform for Bitcoin. They aim to facilitate payments using the unique qualities of Bitcoin as an underlying network.

Q: What did Lightspark’s CEO, David Marcus, say about building on top of the Lightning Network?

A: David Marcus stated that building software around the Lightning Network and Bitcoin is incredibly complex and challenging. He acknowledged the constraints and difficulties this protocol presents for companies.

Q: Why did Lightspark choose to build on the Lightning Network despite the challenges?

A: Lightspark recognized the potential of Bitcoin’s underlying network and considered it a challenge worth embracing. They aim to create a payment solution relevant and future-proof for the long term.

Q: What are some of the difficulties associated with building on the Lightning Network?

A: The rigidity of Bitcoin’s layer 1 poses a significant challenge, making it hard to include new code and changes. Getting new opcodes to the mainnet is extremely difficult.

Q: How does Lightspark view the Lightning Network in the context of other blockchain protocols?

A: Lightspark considers building on the Lightning Network to be at least 5 times harder than building on other protocols. Despite this, they are committed to realizing the full potential of Lightning and Bitcoin.

Q: What have other industry leaders said about the Lightning Network?

A: Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, acknowledged that including Lightning Network services on their platform was more complicated than it appeared due to on-demand invoices. Bitcoin developer Fiatjaf criticized the Lightning Network for being an “inelegant pile of ugly and complicated hacks.”

More about Bitcoin’s Lightning Network


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