This week Bitcoin.com reported on the recent demo of the Lightning Network being tested by Bitfury on Bitcoin’s mainnet. Now the bitcoin technology company Acinq has launched its Lightning Network-based Android wallet “Eclair” because the company believes Segwit “seems to be on the verge of activation.”
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Eclair the Lightning Network Enabled Android Wallet
The bitcoin technology company Acinq wants to make the Lightning Network (LN) “user-friendly.” This week the startup launched its Eclair wallet for Android systems which is now available via Google Play. Acinq says the wallet’s default operations are just like any light-client wallet and LN is optional. Additionally, when Segwit gets activated the wallet will utilize the protocol for further LN functionality.
“All on-chain transactions sent by this wallet are segwit transactions, thus benefitting from a fee discount compared to legacy transactions,” explains Acinq. “Of course, because segwit is fully backward compatible, our wallet can send/receive transactions to/from all bitcoin wallets, even non-segwit ones.”
A Regular On-Chain SPV Wallet and a Lightning Wallet
The wallet’s user interface records both on-chain and off-chain transactions with different icons highlighted in the transaction log. Moreover, if users obtain a QR code for payment, the software will detect whether it is a regular bitcoin address or an LN payment request. There’s no need to reset the app to accept LN channels as the platform will recognize and filter through both types of sending procedures.
“So basically, you are free to use the wallet on-chain only, but if you wish to pay less fee and make instant payments, just open one or more channels, and you’ll be able to pay through Lightning,” the startup details.
Testing Out the Lightning Network at Acinq’s Virtual Coffee Shop ‘Starblocks’
Since Segwit isn’t fully activated yet, Acinq’s Lightning Network wallet is only available using Bitcoin’s testnet. However, the startup has created an LN-enabled coffee shop called Starblocks where testers can open a channel and buy a coffee.
“The purpose of this website is also to demonstrate how easy it is for merchants and businesses to receive funds through Lightning. We intend to provide merchant services in the future, and will be releasing a stripe-like API and a dashboard soon,” Acinq Adds.
What do you think about the Lightning Network? Do you think this technology will be beneficial to the Bitcoin network? Let us know what you think in the comments below.