What Is Lightning Bitcoin?

The last thing most people needed right now was another Bitcoin hard fork. We have seen far too many coins abuse the Bitcoin name for financial gain in the past few weeks. That hasn’t prevented the Lightning Bitcoin team from trying to make their mark on the ecosystem, though. It is an interesting form of Bitcoin, although it won’t necessarily succeed in dethroning Bitcoin, or even Bitcoin Cash for that matter.

Lightning Bitcoin is Coming Soon

It will be interesting to see how many more forks of Bitcoin come to market during the next few years. Surprisingly, there seems to be a genuine market for these sorts of currencies, even though most people will agree that replacing Bitcoin will not be easy whatsoever. Lightning Bitcoin may sound appealing at first, but it is evident things are on the verge of really getting out of hand. So many forks make the cryptocurrency industry look as childish as it did about five years ago.

The main selling point of Lightning Bitcoin is that it aims to make Bitcoin “fast” again. This will be achieved with a three-second block time, with all blocks being 2MB in size. It is an interesting change of pace compared to the 8MB block forks we have seen over the past few months. The goal is to support between 1,000 and 10,000 transactions per second, which would certainly be a milestone for any form of Bitcoin. After all, this is one of the main flaws associated with BTC, as the latter can only support so many transactions per second.

Moreover, Lightning Bitcoin uses the DPoS consensus mechanism, which allows for the separation of voting and bookkeeping rights. According to its site, “Users can maintain the policy discourse as long as they possess tokens, thus achieve the true autonomy.” At the same time, this consensus mechanism may backfire on Lightning Bitcoin, as there is no perfect consensus model in the first place. The tokens will be distributed to existing Bitcoin holders at a 1:1 ratio, which means it is another airdrop for Bitcoin users.

Furthermore, it appears Lightning Bitcoin will have built-in smart contract support, allowing users to issue digital assets of their own. This seems to be an effort to compete with Ethereum, although it is unclear why anyone would issue tokens on the LBTC ecosystem now or in the future. Last but not least, there is support for dApp development in this ecosystem as well, combined with zero-knowledge proof for additional privacy and even cross-chain atomic swaps. It’s an interesting combination of features, although nothing that will necessarily win over the community whatsoever.

The goal is to introduce this new currency once the Bitcoin network hits block 499,999. That should happen in a few weeks from now, with the mainnet launch scheduled to happen in the following week. Smart contract deployment will not be available until Q3 of 2018, and that 10,000 TPS milestone will not be reached until 2019. While this may appear to be a proper roadmap, it is evident the value of LBTC will be mainly determined through speculation first and foremost. There will be nothing setting this new network apart from Bitcoin or any other hard fork other than its consensus algorithm.

So far, it seems this new currency will find its way onto a few cryptocurrency exchanges from day one. The website lists CEX, Gate.io, BTCC, and others as supporting this upcoming altcoin. Whether or not there will be much demand for this new currency remains to be seen. It is evident there’s good reason to hold onto Bitcoin right now, as many different airdrops are coming in the near future. Lightning Bitcoin will not be the last of these; that much is evident.