Lightning is Here
The last of those who mocked Bitcoin are sure to have gone extinct in 2017. After the incredibly successful year, even those who dislike the technology know it can no longer be taken for granted. More people have come to understand the technology and its usefulness. With the increased popularity and adoption came the pressing need to find a solution to the scaling problem. Well, here we are in April 2018 with 1,128 Lightning nodes and 2,687 channels. Lightning Labs are leading the charge on developing layer two solutions for Blockchains. Leading Lightning Labs as CEO is Elizabeth Stark. This article sheds light on her work so far in the cryptocurrency space.
In a presentation at the 2017 Blockstack Summit, Elizabeth Stark explained the importance of 2nd Layer solutions on the Bitcoin blockchain. She touched on how onchain scaling is simply not feasible. Microsoft agrees with this.
She also gave reasons why a layer 2 solution like Lightning works. She pointed out that it is secure, because it is still anchored to the most secure Blockchain. In her own words, with Lightning, we have “Instant, high volume off-chain transactions that still use the underlined Blockchain for security”. Another reason was that lightning is also trustless. The Lightning network is set up in a way such that there is no counter party risk.
The importance of Lightning can be easily grasped by anyone who witnessed the divisions the scaling debate brought about in the Bitcoin community. Small payments can now move to the Lightning network and free up space in the mempool. High fees can also finally become a thing of the past. It’s still early days but we can say Lightning struck away a number of Bitcoin’s problems along with the complaints that came with them. Thanks to Elizabeth Stark and the Lightning team, we have an open road to further developments and improvements.
It’s Not Just Lightning
Elizabeth Stark has and is involved with other projects in the cryptocurrency space. She is a fellow at the Coin Center, which aims at having a regulatory environment that allows uninhibited innovations in permissionless blockchain technologies. Coin Center publishes research on blockchain technology to give policymakers and the media a better understanding of the technology.
Stark also worked as an advisor to a number of decentralized technology and A.I related start-ups. Comma.ia, which is working on innovations in autonomous driving with machine learning and A.I, is one such start-up.
Stark’s Off The Blockchain Works
Outside blockchain world, Elizabeth Starks’ efforts have been centered around improving the internet in terms of making it more open. When the SOPA and PIPA were proposed, she rose to play a key role in fighting for freedom of speech on the internet. The Open Video Alliance, which promotes free expression of video on the internet, was also co-founded by her. Our esteemed blockchain personality is an alumni of Harvard University and has also taught at Stanford and Yale.
Elizabeth Stark’s track record shows she has an interest in keeping the internet free, open and decentralized. Naturally, this makes the cryptocurrency industry a good home for her. I think I speak for most when I say we are glad to have her here with us.