Lightning Labs Blocks Bitcoin On Twitter

lightning

The Lightning Network, an ever-growing crypto payment protocol, celebrated its first anniversary this week by trumpeting its accomplishments on Twitter. On Friday, Lightning Labs wrote, “If we can do all this in one year, just give us a few more.” However, a Bitcoin account quickly crashed the party by implying that Lightning has failed to deliver on its promises:

Prior to this, Bitcoin sarcastically commented on the difficulty of setting up a Lightning node. Now, it seems that Lightning Labs has had enough—as of Friday, the group has blocked Bitcoin on Twitter. Bitcoin, for its part, has responded by calling Lightning out on its sensitivity:

Not an Official Conflict

Lightning is still being supported by large portions of the Bitcoin community. The Bitcoin account on Twitter doesn’t officially represent Bitcoin, and nobody knows who actually operates it. Bitcoin.com is an obvious candidate since its views align with those of the Twitter account, but the site has asserted that it does not own the account.

Still, Bitcoin.com has been very critical of Lightning in the past, and the site’s owner, Roger Ver, has done the same. Ver himself has even criticized the Lightning Network for demanding more time to produce results—in this tweet, Ver reiterates complaints that another critic has made:

Needless to say, hostility toward the Lightning Network is not isolated to one account. Much of the conflict is driven by the fact that Bitcoin Cash is competing with Lightning. Both projects have the goal of providing faster and cheaper crypto transactions, and Bitcoin Cash is favored by Ver, Bitcoin.com, and Bitcoin on Twitter.

Lightning Makes Progress

Despite this ongoing conflict, the Lightning Network has plenty of supporters and active users in the Bitcoin community. As of mid-March, Lightning has amassed nearly 40,000 Bitcoin payment channels and just under 7500 nodes. Furthermore, the community-run “Lightning Torch” campaign has been attracting the attention of the general public.

Some critics do have a point, though. Lightning is plagued by the fact that its node software is notoriously difficult to set up. Fortunately, streamlined solutions have emerged. Coingate and Bitfury are now offering simplified Lightning tools to users and merchants. Additionally, Casa’s “node in a box” is gaining attention after an endorsement from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Nevertheless, the fact that Lightning has blocked a Bitcoin-related account is not a good look—the coin is, after all, driving the network’s growth. In the meantime, plenty of praise for Lightning can be found elsewhere. In particular, the Litecoin community has vocally supported Lightning, and the two will probably stick together through thick and thin.

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