Lightning Network, the second layer scaling solution for Bitcoin, is arguably the greatest success story that the crypto space has seen in the year 2018.
The network of payment channels is growing at an impressive rate and is already holding over 600 BTC in value despite a cautionary 0.16 BTC limit per channel. Considering the age and complexity of the protocol, the network is surprisingly robust and has attracted lots of attention from a growing community of Lightning App developers.
Several of the problems that the Lightning Network is seeking to solve in Bitcoin are also apparent in Mimblewimble protocol implementations. Due to their proof-of-work nature, Mimblwimble chains have a limited transaction throughput and cannot offer instant payment confirmation. This may hinder some use cases and slow mainstream adoption.
But the implementation of a Lightning Network offers a chance to solve these issues with it’s fast and cheap off-chain transactions.
That is why Beam has started with the development of a Mimblewimble compatible Lightning Network already on its wishlist for future development.
Beam and its Lightning Network on top of Mimblewimble
The groundwork of research how a Lightning Network could actually be realized on top of Mimblewimble has already been a subject of discussions on the Mimblewimble mailing list. Over the past couple of weeks, we have verified the feasibility of these ideas and started to put fractured pieces of information together into a more comprehensive plan. This gave us much greater insight into the requirements and necessary steps to realize a Lightning Network on Mimblewimble in general and Beam in particular.
The Lightning Network for Beam is on our roadmap for 2019 and we have been researching the technology for the past several weeks. Read our initial position paper for more information and follow us to receive future updates. The work is just starting, and we will be releasing more information and code as we go.
We would like to thank @fjahr for leading the research and putting together the paper.
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