Lightning Labs’s first mainnet release is now live, according to an announcement made earlier today. Beta version 0.4 of the Lightning Network Daemon (LND) will allow users to send both Bitcoin and Litecoin through its experimental scaling solution.

“This release is also the first release of LND that has an option to run on Bitcoin’s mainnet, with the necessary safety, security, and fault-tolerance features required for real-world, real money usage,” the team stated.

Recently, the Lightning Network surpassed over 1,000 active nodes on the mainnet, and the achievement is believed to signify further adoption of the Lightning Network protocol.

Major steps with Lightning Network Daemon

The LND beta will undoubtedly bring the Lightning Network to the hands of more users than ever before. This marks the first time that the client has Bitcoin Core support, and with the ability to send BTC and LTC, this is a significant step for the network as a whole.

Previous iterations of the LND beta ran on the ‘testnet,’ meaning transactions sent and received did not hold any real value. Proponents believe that this update to LND could serve as the building block for new applications to be built on top of the Lightning Network.

Lightning Labs secures funding from major players like Twitter’s CEO

Accompanying the announcement is the news that Lightning Labs – the startup company behind LND – secured $2.5 million USD (over $3.2 million CAD) in funding from major players in the tech world. Included in its list of investors is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Litecoin inventor Charlie Lee.

Caution and other iterations of the Lightning Network

While LND is not the only iteration of the Lightning Network, proponents believe this to be the most mature version of the protocol currently available to consumers.

However, the Lightning Labs team does warn users to be careful when trialing the new release, stating that it is primarily intended for developers and to serve as the foundation for developing future applications.

“As this is the first mainnet release of [Lightning Network Daemon], we recommend that users experiment with only small amounts,” the team stated.

Lightning Labs’ approach to the Lightning Network is one of many, as teams attempt to tackle the current scaling issues preventing Bitcoin from serving as a feasible platform for day-to-day spending.


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