Lightning Network Without Invoices Brings Us Closer to Streaming Money

lightning network bitcoin streaming money liquid

A new feature for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) implementation allows users to send funds instantly without needing to first create an invoice.

Sphinx Enables ‘New Use Cases’

The latest upgrade, ‘Sphinx,’ which developers describe as being a “work in progress,” is nonetheless already available to anyone.

“The coolest part about this new feature is that it can be used today in the wild as long as both nodes are updated to this branch!” author Olaoluwa Osuntokun wrote in a Github repository dedicated to the project.

The Lightning Network is a protocol currently active for Bitcoin and Litecoin which allows users to send tokens instantly and for a fee averaging less than 1 US cent.

The technology debuted on the Bitcoin network a year ago, and has grown rapidly, but remains in an experimental state as developers iron out stability and reliability issues.

At present, sending or receiving a transaction still requires some technical understanding, which has made Lightning an unattractive option for entry-level users despite its time and cost benefits.

Lightning’s ‘Best’ Feature Yet?

Sphinx, which Osuntokun says “allows users to start exploring a new set of use cases,” aims to solve that predicament.

It removes the need to create a payment invoice for a transaction, allowing more “spontaneous” activity and sidelining a major technical element potentially off-putting for novices.

“This is only a draft implementation and while it works today on mainnet out of the box (if both sides are upgraded) much this will likely change,” he added.

Sphinx caps a frenetic development period for LN which continued throughout 2018. Despite fluctuations, capacity, node and channel numbers have all reached new highs in recent weeks.

According to data from monitoring resource 1ML, Bitcoin Lightning’s capacity is now 571 BTC ($2,076,000) among 5234 nodes and 19,500 channels.

Sphinx meanwhile has already begun to see a warm reception, commentators variously saying it had attracted them to start using Lightning and that it was now the network’s “best” feature.

What do you think about the Lightning Network’s Sphinx? Let us know in the comments below!

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Grandma-Friendly Bitcoin Lightning Network Wallet Launches in Australia

Australia Sydney Lightning

A partnership to roll out Bitcoin payments using the Lightning Network across Australia went live January 4 with the beta launch of Wallet of Satoshi.

1000 Beta Wallets Launch

The product of payment gateway Living Room of Satoshi (LRS) and TravelbyBit, billed as “Australia’s first cryptocurrency travel agency,” the wallet aims to bring Lightning payments to entry-level Bitcoin users.

As Bitcoinist often reported, LN has made significant progress over the past year, breaking records for both capacity and adoption.

The technology nonetheless remains in an experimental state, and only technically-proficient users could previously navigate it efficiently.

Wallet of Satoshi’s developers wanted to change this, issuing a Lightning wallet with a user interface, which could make it simple to send and receive payments.

“We want everyone and their Mum to be able to participate in the new international economy, so it is focused on ease of use, and is available on iOS and Android,” LRS CEO Daniel Alexiuc told local cryptocurrency magazine Nugget’s News.

Lightning Emerges From The Tech Shadows

While uptake of Bitcoin for small-scale payments remains modest, LN has undertaken preparations to dramatically scale the number of transactions the Bitcoin network can handle.

Interest is tangible; Lightning now has over 5000 nodes, almost 18,000 channels and a total capacity of 543 BTC ($2,050,000) according to data from online monitoring resource 1ML.

“Lightning is the real world retail payment system we’ve been anticipating for years, and it is finally here!” Alexiuc continued.

Wallet of Satoshi is currently only available to 1000 beta users, prior to a full release “in the coming weeks.”

TravelbyBit meanwhile announced it had brought LN payments to all its Point of Sale merchants in Australia, which include Brisbane Airport. In October, exchange Binance invested $2.5 million in the company.

At the same time, other development teams are seeking to corner the ease-of-use market in Lightning, with BlueWallet last week releasing its own offering to which it is still adding features such as the ability to issue invoices (receive LN payments) and make withdrawals to on-chain BTC wallets.

What do you think about Wallet of Satoshi? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is Quietly Scaling for the Next Bull-Run

Lightning network

Bitcoin passed more significant milestones this week as data reveals its Lightning Network (LN) implementation passed 500 BTC ($2,066,000) capacity for the first time.

Lightning Network Sees Parabolic Rise

Statistics from monitoring resource confirmed the record capacity for payments at press time, with the number of accessible nodes also rocketing 13.7 percent and channels close to 25 percent.

The figures cap a period of constant improvements for Lightning, which has only added to its growth in both technical prowess and popularity in recent weeks and months.

Last week, the sale of what became known as the “cheapest work of art in history” using an LN payment sparked renewed applause for the technology.

Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, whose technology facilitated the sale, subsequently claimed that the cost of the microscopic artwork was cheaper than a single grain of sand at 1 millisatoshi ($0.00000004143).

Bitcoin ‘Not Going To Zero’

Lightning’s achievements were just some of the encouraging signs Bitcoin remains in a stronger technical position than ever in its history, despite the Bitcoin price 00 continuing to hover around $4000.

Further advances came in areas such as block propagation, the time transactions take to reach network nodes, which roughly halved through 2018.

A robust technical basis has become a key argument for proponents combating claims Bitcoin will ultimately trend to zero following this year’s extended bear market.

Other aspects, including institutional uptake of Bitcoin for trading, also see regular attention, this week from crypto-focused venture capital firm  Dragonfly Capital Partners.

“Bitcoin could maybe fall as low as $2,000, or even $1,000, but not $0. And that’s a milestone for an asset,” managing partner Alex Pack told Forbes December 23.

“For something like bitcoin, which is a landmark in the history of money, it has become a more dependable store of value. People buying and using it have got to be confident it’s not going to zero.”

Last week, Bitcoinist reported on a definitive bear market reversal occurring around the next block reward halving, set for May 2020.

What do you think about the Lightning Network’s growth? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bitcoin Price Now Hinges On 50-Month Moving Average

Bitcoin price analysis moving average

BTC traders were concentrating on one metric in particular this week as Bitcoin price slowly slides towards $3000.

Bitcoin’s ‘All Over’ Scenario

The largest cryptocurrency had recovered from fifteen-month lows over the weekend around $3130 to trade around $3200 at press time December 17.

In the short term, however, the situation could deteriorate exponentially, veteran trading guru Tone Vays warned in his latest market update Sunday.

Vays, who had previously correctly forecast BTC/USD’s drop to between $3000 and $3500, now singled out the 50-month moving average Bitcoin price 00 as a determining factor for the future.  

With the pair now hovering just above that average, a reversal must come to keep Bitcoin in line with its historical behavior, having tested the barrier twice before.

Conversely, a full candle below would spell a run down to $1300, Vays describing it as being “all over.”

“We have crossed the 50-month moving average twice before but never closed below it; I pray to God we don’t close below it because if we do, shit gets bad,” he summarized bluntly.

…The moment we can close below the moving average and have a full candle below the moving average, it’s all over; we’re going to $1300 and hopefully not lower.

Technical Strength Keeps Building

Analyzing weekly chart behavior, Vays said the 200-week moving average, which had likewise not seen a full red candle open and close below it before, could also represent a watershed moment.

“…Let’s hope it holds but I’m not very optimistic,” he added.

Cryptocurrency markets had broadly steadied over the weekend, with some assets gaining 1-2 percentage points to stem losses which had seen many reach 18-month lows.

The two strands of Bitcoin Cash (BCH and SV), which continue to fight a hostile publicity and hash rate war, likewise modestly improved, despite the legacy chain still trading at its lowest ever (BCH) price 00 in both USD and BTC terms since inception in August last year.

Bitcoin itself meanwhile has seen fresh technical improvements. Its mainnet Lightning Network implementation has been rapidly growing to reach 477 BTC capacity Monday.

What do you think about the short-term future Bitcoin price? Let us know in the comments below!

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