Lightning Network, a technology that many hope will make the Bitcoin payment network substantially more efficient, is becoming a reality. Standards have been adopted, Lightning transactions were first demonstrated in early December, and late last week, the VPN service TorGuard touted what might have been the first purchase of physical goods using Lightning.

Was this the first physical item purchased on Lightning Network? https://t.co/tSq8mOcCSX

— TorGuard (@TorGuard) January 19, 2018

For the many still trying to figure out exactly what Bitcoin itself is, understanding why Lightning matters might be tough. At the bottom is Bitcoin’s scaling challenge, which has kept it from fulfilling its promise of rapid, cheap money transmission. The search for a solution has led to major personal and technical schisms in the open-source, democratically governed project. Lightning Network is regarded by many as the most promising long-term answer to the scaling issue, though in a sense it solves the problem by not solving it at all.

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Blockchains like Bitcoin are inherently inefficient, trading speed for decentralization, reach and security. To get around that fundamental …read more

Source:: Fortune.com – Tech

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