If you have been following the news about Bitcoin, you will have heard of the Lightning Network (LN). The LN is a layer 2 solution built on top of the Bitcoin network that allows for faster and cheaper transactions on the network.
Read on to discover some of the top Lightning apps (LApps) that have been built on the Lightning Network.
What is the Lightning Network?
To understand the Lightning Network, it is first important to understand the problem it seeks to solve.
Bitcoin, as currently implemented, can only process a limited number of transactions per second. This has led to increasing fees and delays in processing transactions, as the network becomes easily congested. The Lightning Network solves this problem by allowing for near-instantaneous transactions with very low fees.
The Lightning Network provides a way to scale Bitcoin’s capacity without changing its underlying structure, therefore making it a layer 2 network which acts independently but has an interface that connects it to the main bitcoin layer (considered as layer 1).
This scalability has led to widespread support for the technology among Bitcoin developers.
What Are Bitcoin Lighting Apps
Bitcoin Lightning Apps (LApps) are apps that are built on and use the Lightning Network.
Most Bitcoin lightning network apps are still in their early stages, but they have the potential to allow for much faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions. Lightning apps use “off-chain” transaction processing, which means that they don’t have to wait for Bitcoin blockchain confirmations.
This can be a big advantage for merchants who accept Bitcoin, as they can get paid almost instantly without having to pay high transaction fees. It also has the potential to make Bitcoin much more useful for small payments, as currently, it can be quite slow and expensive to send small amounts of Bitcoin on-chain.
Popular Lightning Apps (LApps)
Here are some of the most popular apps currently operating on the Lightning Network.
Bitrefill sells gift cards and vouchers for cryptocurrencies that can be redeemed at Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, PlayStation Store & many other providers. The solution is available in 170 countries, making it possible to top up prepaid phones with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Although Bitrefill is not built exclusively on top of the Lightning Network, it accounts for a large percentage of the transactions on this Layer-2 solution. Bitrefill ranks among the top nine nodes on the Lightning Network.
In addition to running its node, Bitrefill accepts Bitcoin over the LN as a payment method, allowing users to buy bitcoin gift cards as well as use other crypto assets (such as DOGE, ETH, LTC, etc.) and fiat currency to pay for products and services on the platform.
Sphinx is a decentralized, peer-to-peer microblogging platform. It is built on top of the Lightning Network and was developed by Lightning Labs. It is a free and open-source platform.
The goal of this project is to create an alternative to Twitter in which users can easily form communities around topics they care about without having to worry about censorship from centralized services like Facebook or Twitter.
In addition to basic instant messaging functionality, Sphinx users can send and receive Bitcoin from others as well as tip content creators via Lightning Network micropayments. Users can also listen to podcasts, and make video calls, among other features.
Stacker.News is a Lightning Network app that allows you to read and write news stories. It’s a fun way to earn a little bit of money by reading the news, writing about what’s happening in your community, or sharing an opinion with others.
As a Stacker.News user, you can read the latest news stories, write your articles and get paid for them, comment on other people’s posts, earn money from them, or share your opinions with others through social media.
Tipping.me is a lightning app that comes in the form of a simple browser extension. It allows you to tip content creators on Twitter. It is available for Google Chrome and Firefox Browsers.
Through Tipping.me, you can send bitcoin to your favorite Twitter personality by replying to their tweets with a tip command, or you can simply send them the money through the app itself. Either way, it’s an easy way to show your appreciation for other people’s content and help them out if they’ve done something helpful or interesting in their lives.
ZEBEDEE offers a way to connect gamers with Bitcoin. ZEBEDEE Infuse gives you instant access to competitive, single or multiplayer matches that let you play for bitcoin.
There are no barriers to entry, and waiting around for tournaments is unnecessary. All you need to do is download the app and the Zebedee Gaming wallet, and you are good to go. The app also boasts a slick and accessible store interface that lets you find and download Bitcoin games with ease.
Lightning Network apps are still in their early stages, but they hold a lot of promise. They could help to make Bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper, and help to improve the scalability of the Bitcoin network.
Since more Lightning Network apps are still being developed, it will take some time before they are ready for widespread use. However, they have the potential to revolutionize the way that people use Bitcoin.