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Blockstream releases and tests Lightning Charge

Blockstream yesterday announced their latest edition to their elements project, Lightning Charge.

What is Lightning Charge?

Lightning Charge is a micropayment processing system which it claims will make it simpler for developers to build bitcoin apps on top of their lightning network.

The company states:

Together, these additions make it easy for developers to use c-lightning to create their own, independent web-payment infrastructures.

as well as:

Web developers will be able to work with c-lightning through their normal programming techniques, and they’ll also get expanded functionality such as currency conversion, invoice metadata, streaming payment updates, and webhooks.

What does this mean?

Lightning Charge is written in node.js and it can be accessed by developers using an API via its JavaScript and PHP libraries, both of which are part of Blockstream’s Elements Project. Developers for Coinbase, Bitpay, Binance and the like could not theoretically impliment it into their products easier, which, as Blockstream promises, will give users access to faster payments and lower fees. Blockstream is also allowing you to test it out, via their new store by offering t-shirts and stickers.

While still not ready for general use, the Lightning Network has been one of the most watched and sometimes controversial Bitcoin scaling solutions.

Instead of changing the underlying Bitcoin code, Lightning basically adds an additional layer to the network by which transactions would theoretically be made cheaper and faster than directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.

I just ordered a sticker to test it out, and it seems to work just fine! I’m looking forward to my sticker and to seeing future applications of lightning charge, especially the lower fees part!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Lightning Network as well as on Lightning Charge for future discussions, so tweet me: @CryptTee

Tiaan Wolmarans is a cryptocurrency investor and trader, airplane pilot, musician, and writer.

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