Lightning is expanding fast, but it is not ready for merchants yet

The Lightning Network is one of the most exciting projects for Bitcoin right now. The vision of transacting through secure and trustless micro-payment channels makes Lightning a strong potential to help merchants and service providers get integrated with the Bitcoin ecosystem. Two days ago, Lightning Network hit a record 12,000 active nodes. While the network is expanding aggressively, lots of work needs to be done before the infrastructure is mature enough to support vendors seamlessly. In the blog post below, Andreas Brekken, the operator of the largest channel to date, describes the experience of paying for goods and services on Lightning.

Update on the Lightning Network participation

Bitcoin Lightning Network #3: paying for goods and services
(Andreas Brekken)

"TL;DR: Sending payments using the Lightning Network is cheaper than the regular Bitcoin network, but suffers from routing errors and wallet bugs that make it impractical even for highly technical users."

Technical Updates

How to send Secure Messages through ZenCash Swing wallet

Bitmex perpetual swap
(Romano RNR)

"Another scenario is someone wants to close their position in order to avoid paying funding but the market can rally in a 'premium' more than he has to pay funding. This can lead to a loss bigger than the funding was about to be. If you want to open a trade again, you pay a fee, pay the spread and most likely pay a premium. The market often over correct as traders try to get out of their position before funding is charged and the other side of traders will try to lower their bids or raise their offers."

Algorithms behind modern storage systems
(Communications of ACM, by Alex Petrov)

"Every application is different in terms of read/write workload balance, consistency requirements, latencies, and access patterns. Familiarizing yourself with database and storage internals facilitates architectural decisions, helps explain why a system behaves a certain way, helps troubleshoot problems when they arise, and fine-tunes the database for your workload."

Multiparty privacy in social media
(Communications of ACM, by Jose M.Such and Natalia Criado)

"Designing MP tools is a complex and difficult task, as users have different privacy attitudes and preferences; they socialize online with multiple types of relationships; and they share varying amounts of different types of content. In this article, we discuss the limited MP support users current have, the coping strategies users are forced to resort to in the absence of adequate MP support, and the latest developments in MP mechanisms and tools."

News & Commentary

Commentary on the price manipulation of alts

Why major cryptocurrency investors are betting heavily against Ethereum
(Forbes, by Jeff Kauflin)

"Timothy Young, a former entrepreneur who sold tech startup Socialcast for more than $100 million in 2011, is shorting ether through his San Francisco family office, Hidden Hand Capital. Hidden Hand has more than $100 million in crypto assets under management. And Bay Area hedge fund Neural Capital also has a short position, according to a person familiar with the matter."

Commentary on Ethereum-based Ponzi scheme PoWH3D

Institutional investors swap Bitcoin futures for physical BTC in Wall Street first
(CCN, by Josiah Wilmoth)

"The CME EFP Bitcoin transaction, facilitated by E D & F Man Capital Markets, a registered futures commission merchant, and itBit, an institutional-grade cryptocurrency exchange, saw two institutional traders swap a position in CME’s bitcoin futures market for an equivalent amount of the “physical” asset itself."

Commentary on the EFP announcement

Coinbase announces a new deal to let you pay for your Uber with crypto
(City A.M., by Emily Nicolle)

"The deal, which will be powered by WeGift, enables Coinbase users to buy an electronic gift card, load it with cryptocurrency from their Coinbase wallet and then use them at over 120 retailers like Tesco, Uber, Amazon and John Lewis."


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