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A Glimpse at the Potential of Complementary Protocols

A Glimpse at the Potential of Complementary Protocols

Jul 9, 2024
Marty's Ƀent

A Glimpse at the Potential of Complementary Protocols

Here's a great example in the wild of how protocols being built on top of bitcoin are complimentary and can make each other stronger, more performant and . In this case, the lightning network and the Cashu Chaumian Mint protocol.


What calle is proposing is a solution to a problem that can arise on the lightning network when nodes routing payments don't have sufficient liquidity on their side of the channel to send a payment forward to its end destination, which can lead to payment failure or longer waiting periods for payments. Instead of having a payment initiated and having it fail because a routing node along the path doesn't have enough liquidity, channel partners could pause the payment in route, conduct an atomic swap (sats on the lightning network for esats in the mint using a Cashu mint that both channel partners are members of, and successfully route the payment without failure. Increasing the efficiency and user experience of the lightning network for people making payments and the nodes they are routing those payments through.

This is a beautiful thing to see materializing. And from the looks of it, the team working on the core lightning implementation already has a plugin that would enable this use case.

What you are witnessing play out is the emergent symbiosis of complementary protocols being built on top of bitcoin. Highlighting the beauty of the interoperability that is native to the bitcoin stack. There are very few people on the planet who recognize how powerful this symbiosis is going to be at scale when all of these protocols, including the bitcoin protocol, mature, become more battle tested, attract more developers, and ultimately more users.

Each new protocol, if built to be interoperable with the other protocols, will enable new use cases and experiences for end users and the protocols themselves. Here we have a way to easily rebalance channels on the go while payments are in route. Highlighting that lightning and Chaumian mints will interact in more ways than the lightning network simply being the connective tissue between individual mints.

It's a brave new world and most people on the planet are completely unaware of the innovations that are happening on the bitcoin stack. Things are only going to get crazier from here. We're going to wake up in a decade or two to a completely new monetary, payments and financial system that operates with bitcoin at its core. It might make sense to get some just in case it catches on.

Final thought...

My oldest is diving under waves and body surfing and he couldn't have a prouder dad.

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