The CEO of Lightspark, David Marcus, has come forward to share his experiences on building atop the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Marcus noted the challenges the Lightning Network held for builders, stating that it was incredibly difficult and complex to develop software around the protocol.
The Bitcoin Lightning Network And The Challenges It Holds for Builders
According to the Lightspark CEO, a firm involved in developing payment solutions on the Lightning Network, a layer-2 scaling platform for Bitcoin, the firm decided to build on the network because of the “unique qualities” Bitcoin provides as the underlying network.
He explained that Lightspark’s objective is to build a cheap, very open, and interoperable protocol for virtual money/payments, and the Lightning Network is designed to be similar to layer 2 ZK-rollup for Bitcoin.
However, the former president of Paypal and co-creator of Diem noted that building on Lightning and Bitcoin is about five times more difficult than developing on other protocols. This is because the process to create software around the protocol is incredibly difficult and complex to do.
Nevertheless, with these objectives in mind, the platform committed to building on the Bitcoin Lightning Network and to do “Whatever it takes to reach their full potential.” But despite having high hopes about the prospects of the network, Marcus’s recent disclosures on Twitter have shown that building on the network was no easy feat.
Moving Forward Despite Difficulties
According to Marcus, part of the challenges is attributed to the rigidity of Bitcoin and the difficulties involved in altering its structure to contain new code in its base layers to meet the needs of specific solutions. He pointed out that Bitcoin’s layer 1 is particularly rigid and building a new opcode to mainlet was practically not possible.
However, despite these challenges, Lightspark remains upbeat, and instead of completely abandoning the Lightning Network protocol for other less complex chains, the platform intends to develop a payment solution that would still be applicable “100 years from now.”
The firm also intends to reorganize the process enabling crypto market users to connect to the Lightning Network. Although this will depend on their ability to put in place the necessary peer-to-peer payment channels.
Apart from Lightspark’s CEO, other players in the sector have also recognized the intricacies and general challenges of building software around the Lightning Network. Popular CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao has previously pointed out that integrating Lightning Network services on Binance was more complex because of the usage of on-demand invoices, which are different from pre-generated addresses.
Additionally, Fitatjaf, a prominent Bitcoin developer and founder of the decentralized social protocol Nostr, has also offered criticism of the Lightning Network, terming it a pile of complex and ugly hacks.