Blockstream Releases New Lightning Network Software with Improved Performance, Documentation

  • Blockstream has introduced new Lightning Network (LN) software (for c-ligtning).
  • The new version comes with improved performance and greater flexibility for developers to integrate c-lightning into existing crypto payment solutions.

Blockstream, a Canadian bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain-related development firm, has launched a new version of c-lightning, the company’s proprietary implementation of the Lightning Network (LN) protocol - which has become an increasingly popular layer-two payment solution for cryptocurrencies.

Written using the C programming language, the latest version (0.7) of Blockstream’s LN software is notably the company’ first major release in the past 8 months. The newly launched LN implementation reportedly features performance improvements, software bug fixes, additional privacy options, and more detailed documentation.

As mentioned in Blockstream’s official blog post, the new features were developed by a team of 50 different contributors from throughout the world. In total, the group of developers published 1,300 commits (additions to c-lightning’s codebase).

New Features For C-Lightning

The new features for c-lightning include:

  • Plugins: “the flagship feature for the 0.7 release”. These “allow allow developers to extend Lightning with their own applications written in any language”,
  • Routeboost: lets users “send and receive payments over non-public (private) channels by adding their details to invoices”,
  • “Improved funds management”: “better control over which coins are used to fund channels”,
  • Option_data_loss_protect: a function that allows for greater security against potential data losses
  • “Reproducible builds”: lets developers build their “own Ubuntu binaries” which are a “collection of items [including] scripts, libraries, text files, a manifest, license”,
  • “Better documentation”: “revamped ... documentation which are now automatically generated at lightning.readthedocs.io”

As explained in Blockstream’s blog: “While extensibility and customizability, along with performance and security, have always been our primary goals, until now users had to write fully-fledged daemons in order to add simple functionality or make small changes.”

6,933 Lightning Network Nodes Have Been Launched 

Daemons are software programs that run as a “background process” instead of “under the direct control of the interactive user” and are used to perform tasks related to the main programs or applications.

According to 1ML.com, a website that reports statistics for the LN, there are currently 6,933 LN nodes which is notably an 18.76% increase in the past 30 days. Total capacity for the LN has exceeded 700 BTC (appr. $2.83 million at current market prices), a 17% increase over a 30-day period.

As CryptoGlobe reported recently, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey shared screenshots of him using the $300 Bitcoin Lightning Network full-node he received from Casa, which is notably a sign of the billionaire entrepreneur’s growing commitment towards the layer-two crypto payment network and the flagship cryptocurrency.

Bitfinex Wants to Offer 100x Leverage For Crypto Derivatives Trading

Michael LaVere
  • Bitfinex will offer 100x leverage trading for cryptocurrency derivatives
  • According to the exchange's CTO, the hedging product is "ready for prime time"

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex revealed it wants to offer derivatives products with up to 100x leverage for cryptocurrency traders. 

Hedging On Cryptocurrency Derivatives

Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino told The Block on June 25 that the cryptocurrency exchange was ready to ship a 100x leverage product for certain users. According to the post, the project has been under development for some time and is “now ready for prime time.” 

The product was referenced in last month’s whitepaper published by Bitfinex for its $1 billion private token sale of LEO, stating

“Qualified Bitfinex account holders will be able to trade a new hedging product through a derivatives wallet.”

The whitepaper originally claimed that the new hedging mechanism would be released by the end of June, a timetable that fits with Ardoino’s “ready for prime time” statement. 

Ardoino confirmed that only “verified” customers will be allowed access to the product, given the risks involved in such highly leveraged trades. 

The CTO also took to Twitter to quell user concerns over Bitfinex’s existing 3.3x margin trading. Ardoino explained 100x leverage will be “optional,” and that their current leveraged trading products will be unaffected by the release. 

Big Risk, Big Reward

Bitfinex is looking to compete with rival exchange BitMEX, who already offers 100x leverage through its bitcoin perpetual swap contract. However, Bitfinex claims its product is designed as a legitimate hedging tool for clients, rather than a gambling mechanism. 

Max Boonen, CEO of trading firm B2C2, believes the product will only appeal to retail hedgers, as large investors will shy away from the risks involved in 100x trading. 

According to Boonen, 

“There’s nothing wrong inherently about 100x. But as a commercial hedger you want lower leverage margin. The larger investor wouldn’t want to take the risk of 100X, typically. They don’t want to go balls to the wall.”

The cryptocurrency derivatives market has been heating up. Last week bitcoin-bull Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital announced plans to offer cryptocurrency options contracts.

Binance has also reportedly been exploring futures trading. On June 24, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted the exchange had executed its first margin liquidation for a BTC short.