Reputable wallets start supporting Lightning Network: Electrum about to integrate LN payments

The team in charge of the Bitcoin Electrum coin wallet announced on Wednesday, October 3 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, that it will integrate Lightning Network (LN) into its transfer services and coin wallet.

The announcement was made by Thomas Voegtlin – founder of Electrum – at last week’s Bitcoin Wednesday conference in Amsterdam. Voegtlin pointed out that Electrum will soon integrate the LN micropayment network into its services in order to provide improved payment speeds for its users.

Voegtlin noted that the Electrum initiative seeks to improve the volume of transactions currently processed by the wallet, as well as help lower the cost of these services. In addition, the Electrum team plans to implement LN in tandem with its simple payment verification tool, also known as SPV, to improve the technical and security limitations that LN has today.

The SPV tool allows Bitcoin’s light clients, such as Electrum, to process payments instantly, without having to synchronize with the blockchain’s transaction history and download the entire block to be able to make a payment.

Although still under discussion, Voegtlin believes that there are possibilities that the function will help LN to be implemented in Electrum without lowering the security levels of the wallet – one of the technical challenges proposed by the creation of lightning channels -, which would help extend its use further.

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Lightning Network is a new protocol on the Bitcoin network that promises to scale Bitcoin payments to billions of transactions per day. However, the use of Lightning channels creates new security challenges, especially for Bitcoin’s light clients like Electrum, who don’t download the entire block chain. We will discuss the integration of Lightning into Electrum, a light client that verifies transactions via SPV.

Thomas Voegtlin.
Founder, Electrum.

In addition to Lightning Network, Electrum had recently added the SegWit functionality to its services, a decision that was well received by the users of the wallet but caused problems with installation errors at the time of its launch.

Electrum implemented an adoption of SegWit with the Bech32 format, a specific type of addresses for BIP 0173 that differs from the most common SegWit address format -which is P2SH- because it is only compatible with certain types of Bitcoin clients that have also previously implemented SegWit. Those responsible for the format promote an adoption campaign between exchanges and wallets.

Electrum is one of Bitcoin’s most used wallets, which manages to handle 10% of the blockchain’s total transactions, according to the company’s statements. Likewise, the group has managed to integrate the wallet with cold wallets such as Ledger Nano S, Keep Key and Trezor. These facts are an addition to Electrum’s long history in the ecosystem since its launch in 2011.

Electrum comes closer to a formal announcement of LN’s acceptance among its services, an improvement much awaited by the community of users and developers. It will then become part of the list of wallets such as Zap, Eclair, Rawtx, Shango and Lightning Wallet that were some of the first to join the micropayment network.


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