Daily Bitcoin News Update
The anxiously-awaited “Lightning Network” (LN) upgrade is finally out. It marks a major inflection point for Bitcoin. Three days ago, we anticipated its release, calling it a game changer for Bitcoin. We stand by our Bitcoin price prediction, which suggests that Bitcoin prices could nearly double from here.
Let me put it in plain English for you why the Lightning Network is a huge deal for Bitcoin.
The Lightning Network is to Bitcoin what “HTTP” is to the world wide web. It is the framework over which the future of blockchain will be built.
As Bitcoiners have realized over time, the original blockchain concept of Satoshi Nakamoto had scalability limitations. As the network grew, Bitcoin’s core technology could not keep up with demand. The growing volume of transactions clogged its network, leading to sky-high fees and longer-than-viable wait times.
And hence, Bitcoin ended up losing its utility as “digital money.” It became “digital gold”—something valuable but not truly fungible.
The Lightning Network is the silver bullet that solves all these problems. It helps Bitcoin become what it was meant to be in the first place—a digital medium of exchange.
LN will massively improve Bitcoin’s capacity to process transactions, facilitating as many as a million transactions to be verified in seconds.
The CEO of Lightning Labs—the foundation that released the Lightning Network Daemon (LND) upgrade—explains it more aptly in these words: “If bitcoin is like a decentralized savings account, Lightning is a decentralized checking account where users can send money instantly.” (Source: “Jack Dorsey is among backers of blockchain start-up Lightning Labs,” CNBC, February 15, 2018.)
The Lightning Network has just been deployed on the Bitcoin and Litecoin mainnet. While users can now send and receive BTC using LN, they are advised to keep it in small denominations for their own safety.
That’s because LN is still under development. So hold tight, because there’s more to come. A number of features are still in the pipeline that will be released over time as they are fully developed, tested, and fixed for bug issues.
One of these is the “cross-chain atomic swaps,” which will partly solve the biggest threat crypto investors face today—that is, the threat of hacks and coin robberies on centralized crypto exchanges.
Atomic swaps will allow Bitcoin to be directly and instantly exchanged with Litecoin and a bunch of other altcoins without the need for an exchange. It will also improve its fungibility against fiat money.
As expected, the Lightning Network’s release is music to investors’ ears. Bitcoin is finally picking up steam after the two-day-long price slump. Prices are seemingly marching toward the $9,000 mark again.
Chart courtesy of TradingView.com
As users, merchants, and exchanges gradually shift to the Lightning Network, they’ll begin to appreciate the ameliorating effects of LN on Bitcoin. We foresee Bitcoin overcoming its flaws with LN, which is why our Bitcoin price prediction is upbeat with a price target of $15,000.