Despite it having a strong fundamental premise, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has yet to see the adoption that its proponents hoped would happen.
According to Lightning data provider 1ML, there is only $9 million worth of BTC locked in the network. There are also only 13,000 Lightning nodes, which, while many more than last year, is not yet signaling mainstream adoption.
Yet a product was launched yesterday that changes the Lightning Network’s trajectory for the better.
Bitcoin Lightning Network Gets Boost With New “Strike” App
If you’ve been following the Lightning Network’s development for a while now, you’ve likely heard the names “Jack Mallers” and “Strike” mentioned a few times.
Mallers is a prominent developer and entrepreneur in the Bitcoin space. And Strike is his latest project — a BTC wallet focused on allowing regular people to use the cryptocurrency and the Lightning Network.
On July 2nd, Strike finally went into public beta, launching for iOS, Android, and Chrome.
“Strike is the direct result of years of Bitcoin + Lightning development, countless hours of user research, intense product iteration, and months of BETA testing.”
I just published Announcing Strike Public BETA
Your debit card can now pay Lightning invoices. Your bank account now speaks Bitcoin.
Ready for liftoff https://t.co/KDhKA3BTl1
— Jack Mallers (@JackMallers) July 2, 2020
In Mallers’ words, Strike is a service allowing “anyone in the world to interact with the Bitcoin and Lightning Network protocols using only a bank account and/or debit card.”
It removes the abstract elements of using the Lightning Network, like nodes, seeds, and channels, and replaces it with an app.
Mallers hopes that this product will help “usher in an era of Bitcoin that we believe can achieve our goal of true mainstream adoption.”
Community Celebrates The Move
Many in the Bitcoin space have been quick to celebrate the new product, which is the first public-facing application that gives consumers a chance to use Lightning.
Kraken’s Dan Held, a former executive at Blockchain and former employee at Uber, wrote:
“Congrats Jack Mallers. A fantastic product laser focused on delivering a great UX for Bitcoin users. “You don’t need a wallet, a node, a seed, channels, liquidity…and so on to interact with this new global digital economy.”
A fantastic product laser focused on delivering a great UX for Bitcoin users.
“You don’t need a wallet, a node, a seed, channels, liquidity…and so on to interact with this new global digital economy.”https://t.co/ZzikeImIEa
— Dan Held (@danheld) July 3, 2020
Blockstream CSO Samson Mow echoed the optimism, writing in response to a tweet from Mallers: “the teams that focus on user experience will win over the next billion Bitcoin users.”
Notably, Strike isn’t the only product looking to make the Lightning Network a more mainstream technology.
Square’s crypto division earlier this year released the Lightning Development Kit (LDK).
It is like a traditional software development kit (SDK) but one suited for the Lightning Network. The LDK will allow for:
“1) Adding Lightning capabilities to existing bitcoin wallets — no need to create a separate wallet just for Lightning. 2) Supporting multi-device, multi-application access to a single wallet. 3) Allowing wallets to make UX/security/privacy tradeoffs such as external transaction signing and customizing their state backup to a cloud service.”
We’ve got the team. We’ve got the mission. We’ve got hit or miss tweets. And now it’s time to talk about what we’re building: Introducing the Lightning Development Kit, or LDK. https://t.co/o73cJy7Cur
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) January 21, 2020
Featured Image from Shutterstock Bitcoin Community Celebrates as Crucial Lightning Network Project Launches