First Bitcoin (BTC), then Litecoin (LTC), then….Stellar (XLM)? Developers for the 6th-largest cryptocurrency have revealed the first rungs of a 2nd-layer bills system, potentially commencing the door to a right away off-chain settlement with out a expenses. In a Medium submit, Interstellar revealed the first testate demo for “Starlight,” a Lightning Network for the Stellar Lumens cryptocurrency.
The move puts Stellar within the footsteps of Bitcoin and Litecoin, which have also explored off-chain bills as redemption for their longer block times and developing prices. Instead of paying expenses for more than one payments, individuals using off-chain fee rails can escrow their budget in a multi-signature wallet, permitting many bi-directional transactions for only a single set of prices.
“Normally, making a payment on a community like Stellar includes publishing information of the payment to all observers, paying a small charge, and expecting the network to attain consensus and verify the price,” wrote Interstellar’s Dan Robinson, within the post. “A payment channel, alternatively, uses the network to ‘lock up’ some finances to be used by way of the channel’s participants. They might also then pay every other those budget with out in addition concerning the community. Such payments are for this reason personal, immediately, and loose.”
As Crypto Briefing has formerly suggested, the system receives extra complex while there are extra than two members worried. Multi-hop payments have confirmed to be the Achilles’ heel of the Lightning Network, causing lengthy delays and sudden headaches.
At present, Starlight is only designed for two-party settlement, but the blog post indicates that this may merely the first step.“As we extend the Starlight project to support not only payment channels but also multi-hop payments across those channels,”Robinson wrote,“we plan to build in compatibility with other payment-channel networks, such as Lightning and [Ripple’s]Interledger.”
Starlight, Star-Bright Future?
Day-to-day payments are not likely to find large advantages from off-chain payments, considering that Stellar fees are already about ten times cheaper than Litecoin transactions, with settlement times measured in seconds.
However, a reliable system of off-chain payments would raise the possibility of new kinds of transactions. In particular, it enables micro-payments at a sub-cent level, something which is not practical in the wildest dreams of the legacy payments system.
We’ve already seen some ersatz applications for the Lightning Network in Bitcoin, like thehomemade vending machinethat allows users to pay for soda by the milliliter. There are also applications that involve paying formusic by the second, incrementalmobile top-ups, paid content, and paying for storage through services like FileBazaar.
However, it’s too early to get excited for Starlight—the testnet-only demo is not yet practical, even for limited use, and developers warn users to expect bugs and incompatible updates. Those cautions probably won’t stop lumenauts from dreaming of a future where payments move at the speed of—well, you know.
The author has investments in Stellar and Bitcoin.