With the advent of the long-anticipated Lightning Network (LN), crypto enthusiasts have more to look forward to than faster, cheaper transactions. Just as smart contracts brought DApps to Ethereum’s network, the Lightning Network is primed to bring a host of Lightning apps to Bitcoin. These applications, fittingly dubbed LApps, will leverage the Lightning Network to usher in a new generation of payment applications to the blockchain industry.
Lightning Labs rolled-out their beta for the first implementation of the Lightning Network on March 15, 2018. In practice, the Lightning Network allows Bitcoin users to send transactions on an off-chain network through payment channels. Since these channels aren’t connected to the blockchain, users can send near-instant transactions, however small they may be, without incurring exorbitant fees.