Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin and a famous Bitcoin [BTC] bull has been a prevalent figure in the cryptocurrency space due to his efforts to propagate the advantages of the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
In a recent video, Antonopoulos explained the differences between the famous Lightning Network [LN] and the mainstream UTXO model. He was asked whether the two networks were the same and if they run on the same blockchain model. The Bitcoin bull stated that the LN is not a blockchain, but is rather a routable network of smart contracts exchanged between parties. In his words:
“In case of the lightning network, the smart contracts are basically signed BTC transactions or LTC transactions. Participants in the network exchange signed BC transaction and one important thing to note is that the transactions do not occur on the Bitcoin blockchain. The LN is different from the BTC blockchain as it is a layer on top of the BTC blockchain and other blockchains.”
He elucidated on the benefits by stating that the LN provides a way to quickly exchange values which are confirmed instantly. According to Antonopolous, small amounts can be sent on the LN very quickly as the scalability is available to a much larger degree, while at the same time using the underlying security of the BTC blockchain.
The author went on to explain the ways in which users can participate in the Lightning Network practically and easily. He said:
“Actually there are a number of ways that users can participate and it does not always involve a node creation step. The best way is obviously creating a node but that might be technically difficult for some users as they have to run a full BTC node and then run the LN on top of it. Maybe in the future, there will be a lightweight blockchain that will be easier to run but then again that will take time.”
Antonopoulos suggested an easier method of running desktop wallets like Zap that includes the functionality of a full node, but also warned users that running such desktops wallets would consume a lot of space on the user’s hard disk; somewhere in the range of 150 GB to 250 GB.