On 20 March, 2019, Lightning Labs announced the launch of Lightning Loop Alpha, “a non-custodial service” that connects on-chain and off-chain Bitcoin, with the implementation of submarine swaps. The key advantage of the Lightning Loop is that it will make receiving funds on the Lightning Network easier for users.
Announcing the same, Lightning Labs stated that the Lightning Loop’s vision was to enable users to move their funds “securely” in and out of their Lightning Channels, with “non-custodial Bitcoin contracts”. The announcement further claimed that all users and node operators will be able to keep their channels open “indefinitely” with Lightning Loop, ensuring the efficiency, stability, and inexpensiveness of the network.
The announcement read,
“As we’ve watched the network and the number of Lightning applications grow over the past year, many users have told us they were interested in a solution to help with receiving on Lightning. We’ve also seen more and more use cases, from earning satoshis on microwork sites, to selling goods with Lightning […], where the ability to receive is key.”
In the release, Lightning Labs enabled the Loop-out feature, allowing users of the Lightning Network to “increase their receiving capacity by off-loading their funds” to either an on-chain address or a cold wallet via an exchange platform. Further, this ensures that users can off-load their Bitcoins without requiring to close their channels. It also paves a path for new users to accept payments, without the need to wait for another user to open channels with them.
According to the Lightning Labs Github post, Loop-out provides users with three main benefits;
Next on the list was the Loop-In feature, allowing users to re-fill funds from their on-chain Bitcoin wallet or exchange to their Lightning channels. The benefits of Loop-In feature are:
gotamd, a Redditor, said,
“They created problems so they could build solutions that allow them to profit. It’s pretty sad.”
Yuri de Gaia, a Twitter user, added,
“What a day! You can now receive LN payments easily and withdraw them to your onchain wallet using Lightning Loop.”
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