The Lightning Network and Bitcoin

Is the Lightning Network going to change Bitcoin? Although it may be too soon to tell, it is the question on everyone’s lips after tests that have taken the highly anticipated tech that much closer to launching. The network has garnered a considerable share of excitement over the past while, with businesses and individuals looking forward to taking advantage of the cheap, fast payments it makes possible. Its raised eyebrows amongst those who think it will be used for nefarious purposes, but this is the case with almost allcryptocurrency, so most people are not too fazed.

Nayuta, Lightning Payments, and the IoT 

Out of all of this a Japanese startup, Nayuta, has started experimenting with adding Lightning payments to the IoT, wherein everything from locking doors to your BMW is connected to the internet in order to increase efficiency.

Whatever you do to relax online, like placing bets with one of the many horse racing betting sites that make their services available, watching movies or television shows, or catching up on your social media networks, is streamlined along with your lighting, grocery shopping, and more with the IoT, and paying for things is going to be much easier with Lightning, because the older payment systems and even bitcoin are simply too slow.

The Limitation of the IoT and Bitcoin 

Nayuta began in 2015 by making normal bitcoin transaction available adding to the Internet of Things in a variety of prototypes. But, like others making use of bitcoin, the limitations were disappointing. They found that the instant zero-confirmation transactions were not safe enough, and that ten minutes was simply too long to wait in order to ensure that a transaction was secure.

Then Lightning came along, with the idea being that it is possible to make more secure instant payments, albeit with some caveats. Since it is far faster than traditional payments are, Nayuta decided that it was the only solution to the IoT’s demand for payments as quick as the internet connections that fuel them. 

The Smart Lock and Lightning Payments 

One very recently popularised product from the IoT is the Smart Lock: instead of needing the various metal keys we are all used to, and having that much more to carry around and remember to bring with you, the rightful owner of anything can simply make use of their smartphone to unlock it.

Revealing the company’s switch in gears towards Lightning, they have recently released a proof of the concept of a lock like this that is only able to open once it has sent a payment via Lightning.

While neither of these are particularly useful right now, at least in the current form -why would you want to necessitate a payment to unlock something? – these kinds of proofs of concepts are able to illustrate how real time payments can affect the IoT on a broader spectrum.

The test payment was processed between the home-grown Lightning software implementation belonging to Nayuta, dubbed Thunderbird, and a software implementation by Bitcoin infrastructure c-Lightning. Nayuta is opening the door to interesting use cases for Lightning while also diversifying the amount of Lightning software implementations there are.

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