Block’s TBD, the blockchain development division for the financial technology firm founded by ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has disclosed details into how it is delving into infrastructural scaling solutions for the Bitcoin blockchain through the Lightning Network.
The scalability and security of Bitcoin transactions has often been overlooked in terms of potential, and Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Layer 2 scaling system is looking to turn this around, alongside improvements to the protocol’s ability to scale transactions and handle liquidity.
The Lightning Network was designed as an off-chain solution developed to handle Bitcoin transactions without burdening users with the often complicated aspects of transaction fees and settlement time.
Dorsey has been very vocal on his support for Bitcoin as a tool of financial liberation and financial inclusion, especially in developing countries where access to traditional banking solutions are either severely limited or walled in by a set of restrictions imposed by central banks. Barriers to entry and participation in an open, decentralized market still proliferate, and a largely negative perception of Bitcoin and crypto in general is still disseminated across mainstream media.
Block’s new business entity is dubbed “C=” (pronounced as c equals), a reference and perhaps also a homage to the famous equation by Albert Einstein which grounded the theory of relativity between mass and energy. One could think of the reference as also a kind of metaphor for how crypto is evolving into a full-fledged technology and ecosystem: it has the potential to expand exponentially but has a limited curve that can be optimized and utilized only if the rest mass, that is to say the untapped population of crypto users, could be gathered together to move it forward through innovation.
As such, C= is focused on the goal of improving liquidity and routing from within the Lightning Network. While Lightning Network transaction volume has reached its all-time peaks in recent months, the general reliability of finality and execution has degraded over time, with reports of failed transactions caused by inefficiencies in the payment routing infrastructure, as well as low instances of liquidity across the network. Current capacity for the Lightning Network (LN) is rated at 5,424.42 BTC, based on an aggregation of decentralized nodes running LN.
According to the firm, C= seeks to address these issues by engineering usability and performance infrastructure for the Lightning Network, further bolstering the network’s reliability.
We’re building an LSP. We want to meet you where your lightning needs are. Are you a business looking to accept Lightning payments? A wallet in need of channels or inbound for your customers? A hardened plebnet veteran looking for your next big source?
— c = (@c_equals) March 2, 2023
C= will henceforth leverage Bitcoin as a base layer, while utilizing Lightning Network to connect with more users and businesses aiming to accept BTC as viable payment instrument. C= was established in June 2022, with an alpha release coming within the year.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.