Bitcoin’s Lightning Network may be getting closer to general use, as LDK, one of the network’s key implementations, embarks on an ambitious new plan to improve user functionality and accessibility.
Lightning Development Kit (LDK) is an important component of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, and the project’s team recently demonstrated technical advancements at a Twitter Spaces that they intend to work on over the next year.
It is significant because Bitcoin enthusiasts believe that if anything can bring Bitcoin mainstream, it will be the Lightning Network, which makes payments cheaper, faster, and more scalable.
Nevertheless, while the Lightning Network is operational, it is ragged around the edges, making it difficult for new users to transfer payments. The LDK roadmap, which includes a variety of improvements, intends to address this issue in order to make the Lightning Network more appealing to general consumers.
The LDK team strives to be more modular and flexible in order to make the life of developers easier when creating (especially mobile) Lightning wallets and apps. Because LDK is not a node in and of itself, it allows developers to create custom Lightning nodes that meet their specific requirements.
The LDK roadmap, compiled of a number of features, aims to tackle this problem—with the goal of making the Lightning Network more appealing to mainstream users. The roadmap includes LDK Node Mobile, which simplifies the process of creating a node.
Another novel feature being developed by LDK is “async payments.” One of the vexing issues that Lightning mobile users experience is that if they try to send a mobile payment to a friend, the buddy must be online to accept the money; otherwise, the payment will fail.
To tackle this situation, LDK roadmap shows, putting async payments into practice is a chief focus for the LDK team over the next year.
LDK is working on adopting BOLT 12, a proposal for making it easier to invoice and accept Lightning payments. BOLT 12 will allow for a better user experience where users can reuse Lightning invoices to accept payments.
“There is no doubt that is an ambitious roadmap,” Lee said, stressing that development project time estimations can be “tricky.” Yet, it gives a realistic picture of what Lightning Network engineers will be working on in the near future.