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How Does BTC Lightning Network Solve The Blockchain Congestion Issue?

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  • Digital Team 

The thrilling fact about the decentralised economy is that technology always evolves and develops in response to ongoing issues. Ultimately, these tools were innovated to better serve users and provide better facilitation than centralised methods.

The Bitcoin blockchain was the first network developed to register and track crypto transactions using BTC and other tokens minted on the same network. However, due to the increasing demand and congestion on the blockchain, the lighting network was introduced to solve this problem.

Let’s discuss exactly what the Bitcoin lightning network is and how it solves the blockchain performance problem.

What is Lightning Network in BTC Blockchain?

The Bitcoin lightning network is a layer-2 scaling solution developed on the BTC mainnet to offload the network congestion. The Bitcoin network has become highly demanded, and its fees have increased over time due to coin capitalisation and its role as the first and best cryptocurrency.

This innovation was developed to fix the speed and scalability issues of the blockchain network by processing payments, operating digital assets and executing transactions on the LN instead of the mainnet. The BTC main network can be used to register new blocks and add/release newly minted Bitcoins to miners.

This protocol helps avoid congestion time and increased gas fees that occur during network peak times, where transactions take a long time to be processed, and transaction fees can exceed $50 per payment.

How Does Bitcoin LN Work?

The lightning network happens directly between users with minimum interference from the blockchain’s main operators. This peer-to-peer transaction contributes to faster payment settlements and decreased fees.

Operations processed on the layer-2 network minimise the workload from miners, which reduces its security exposure. Transactions processed using LN technology are settled faster, which minimises the risk of being targeted by hackers while being processed or in the pending pool.

Despite being developed mainly for the Bitcoin blockchain, other chains and networks started using a similar technology to improve the network performance and increase their DeFi ecosystems.

Features of Bitcoin Lightning Network

The Bitcoin lightning network solution is one of the many layer-2 additions many protocols are developing, such as Ethereum, Avalanche and Polygon, which proves the utility of this technology. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this network solution.

Elevated Security

This technology uses the Basis of Lightning Technology 12 (BOLT 12), which is a safer protocol for data encryption before reaching consensus. This way, transaction information is not exposed to nodes, which makes the process safer.

Additionally, LN transactions are settled almost instantly, which minimises the risk of being hacked or redirected to other destinations.

High Scalability

Due to the fact that the Bitcoin chain is the first and oldest blockchain, some consider it a rigid platform that does not accommodate modern flexibility and scalability.

Therefore, the lightning network solves this issue by adding layer 2, which facilitates fractional payments, hosting decentralised applications and interaction with other blockchains and protocols.

Quick Settlements

Instead of the traditional transaction process of going to the pending list and waiting for miners to process payments, the LN network finalises payments through multiple channels and network participants to find the fastest way possible to settle each order.

This solution minimises the work on the mainnet, which can be congested with long waiting pending times and increased fees.

Less Energy Consumption

Bitcoin transactions are known for being high energy-requiring, consuming a lot of energy from processors and mining machines. This increased demand can have catastrophic environmental consequences. 

Therefore, a layer-2 solution offloads some of the transaction processing burden from the main network with minimum machine requirements classically used by proof-of-work protocols. 

Conclusion

The Bitcoin lightning network is a new invention that elevates the BTC blockchain utility and solves its main challenges. It is a layer-2 solution that offloads some transactions from the mainnet to process and settle them directly with minimum power consumption and low fees.

This activity results in faster processing times and lower exposure risks. Additionally, the LN protocol increases network interoperability, allowing it to transact and interact with other chains and manage dApps.

This introduction comes among the increasing popularity of scaling solutions that most popular blockchains have introduced, such as Polygon and Avalanche.

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