Jeff Gallas from Fulmo answered our questions in an interview. He discussed with us the Lightning Network and what distinguishes it from other scaling solutions. He also introduced the upcoming Lightning Hackday.
The Bitcoin Lightning Network is known to every crypto enthusiast, but for many a book with seven seals. When it comes to the real technical details, many have to fit in and real experience with Bitcoins’ scaling solution is still limited. This is where the start-up company Fulmo comes in, which wants to clarify Bitcoins about this second layer. Among other things, the young company is doing this with the Lightning-Hackday, which goes into its third round on the first of September. BTC-ECHO therefore sat down with Jeff Gallas to talk about Bitcoin’s scaling solution, the company Fulmo and the event.
How did you get to Bitcoin, crypto trader and blockchain?
Actually, I would like to tell a great story about a retreat in a Thai monastery, where after six weeks of vows of silence I met a young Swiss businesswoman who told me on a warm summer night in a small beach bar about the overwhelming possibilities of this new, revolutionary crypto trader technology. The reality is more profane: I read about crypto trader on a news portal a few years ago. But the fire was no less ignited, with everything that goes with it: sleepless nights, endless monologues with friends and family, in short: love at first sight. And in principle, I haven’t stopped dealing with the subject every day since. By the way, that was at a time when people still said “Bitcoin” and not “Blockchain”. At the moment, the trend is back to that.
As with a prepaid card
The Lightning Network is a Bitcoin scaling solution that allows instant transactions with low fees. Can you explain in simple terms how it works?
The Lightning Network is a network of payment channels. A payment channel is a contract enforceable by the blockchain between two network participants in which it is agreed that payments up to a certain amount can be sent to each other. Bitcoin is stored in the channel for this purpose, similar to recharging a prepaid card. The special feature of the Lightning Network is that the network defines rules of the game that make it possible to pay every participant – even if there is no direct payment channel – risk-free.
Satoshi’s Place and Sweets: Because we can!
Instantaneous, royalty-free transactions not only make buying coffee more convenient, but also offer interesting opportunities in terms of inter-machine communication, faucets or in-game currencies. A few months ago Blockstream presented some Lightning Apps, LApps for short. What is the most exciting development for you in this field?
Satoshi’s Place is a pretty gimmick that wouldn’t work without Lightning, as would David’s candy machine Knezić. There are a lot of interesting projects, many of them playful and “because we can”. And that’s also the most exciting aspect for me: seeing the excitement, trying out new things and seeing where the journey is going. With the Lightning Network, a new platform is being created on which diverse projects can be realised.
“While Shitcoins are still doing marketing, Bitcoin is already scaling.”
Bad tongues say that Lightning makes the system unnecessarily complicated. Asked as the devil’s advocate: What can this scaling solution do that other scaling solutions like larger blocks, shorter block times, (delegated) proof of stake or a tangle cannot?
The Lightning Network differs from these proposals in two ways. First, it is a Second Layer Protocol, i.e. a second layer based on Bitcoin and other blockchains. So it is only one of many conceivable scaling options for Bitcoin in the future that leave the Bitcoin block chain itself untouched. On the other hand, this scaling solution already works. There is an active, growing network in which thousands of payments are made every day. The “scaling solutions” mentioned above live largely from loud announcements, but still have to prove what they can do. Or whether they are suitable for scaling at all. While Shitcoins are still doing marketing, Bitcoin is already scaling with the Lightning Network.