After speaking to multiple Bitcoin developers who are building products for the ecosystem, Square’s newly set up Bitcoin team, led by Matt Corallo, is releasing a Lightning Development Kit (LDK) to allow wallet and applications creators to give their users custom experiences without running into major problems, January 22, 2019.
Adoption is the Goal for Square
In their attempt to build something truly valuable for Bitcoin, Square‘s cryptocurrency division embarked on a series of conversations to find the biggest pain point for developers and address it. In these conversations, they found that developers were incredibly bullish on the prospect of Lightning, but building wallets or any other application around it took a lot of extra manpower and time.
This was because Lightning uses a different mechanism for key storage and backup and it requires a completely new security approach All of this together resulted in Lightning introducing unique UX tradeoffs. Square then decided the best thing for it to do is to build a tool to improve the developer experience.
As an open-source team that works together, Square can choose to tackle larger problems as they have the manpower to truly solve these issues. The Lightning development kit aims to resolve developmental problems and help the ecosystem grow with better products that can be used by non-technical users.
Lightning as the Key Piece of the Puzzle
Considering Bitcoin’s nascency, there’s no way to conclusively detail whether layer one solutions with big blocks are our best bet or layer two solutions like Lightning.
The Bitcoin ecosystem believes decentralization requires more full nodes, meaning smaller blocks. This route inevitably ends with Lightning becoming the cornerstone for Bitcoin adoption.
In essence, the Lightning network will cater to the masses by providing a fast experience with negligible fees. Bitcoin’s main layer will still be used for larger payments, but Lightning would then become the key piece of the puzzle. If this holds true, Square’s development kit will go a long way in abstracting the complexities of Lightning development so users can have better products with improved user experience.