Grasping Lightning: Mapping the Key Players in Bitcoin's Next Phase

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Lightning could multiply the transactions possible, while making transactions faster and cheaper.

The lowest-level coders are working on so-called lightning implementations, the code which puts the payment network into practice.

Bitcoin's lightning may be the only payment system in the world that allows for payments that small.

Info, don't support lightning payments yet, because the technology is still experimental.

For the most part, a parallel ecosystem of daredevil developers have been creating completely separate bitcoin wallets that allow users to send and receive lightning payments.

Lightning desktop wallet Zap started as a one-person side project by young developer Jack Mallers.

Zap lets you make lightning transactions from your smartphone, while running one of these clunky full nodes at home.

Wallets like Breez and BlueWallet are taking different approaches to building a slicker interface for lightning.

If they do, they can use one of these wallets to send to a lightning "Channel," like a separate specialized bitcoin account secured by a smart contract that lets you start making lightning payments.

While adoption across bitcoin companies is minimal for now, the goal for many of these players on the vanguard fringe of bitcoin is that once lightning is mature enough, most bitcoin wallets and exchanges will absorb it.