Bitcoin startup Blockstream has released a micropayment processing system that it claims makes it simpler to build bitcoin apps on top of its Lightning Network.
Called Lightning Charge, the system complements Blockstream’s existing Lightning Network implementation "c-lightning" and is intended to make life easier for developers creating Lightning-powered payments applications, the firm said.
"Web developers will ... get expanded functionality such as currency conversion, invoice metadata, streaming payment updates, and webhooks," the post states.
To demonstrate its technology, Blockstream has also announced the launch of e-commerce store powered by Lightning Charge, which enables users to make use of Lightning micropayments on the bitcoin mainnet. However, since Lightning is still at the testing stage, the company says use of the store is "at your own risk."
While still not ready for general use, the Lightning Network is one of the most-watched bitcoin-scaling solutions.
Rather than changing bitcoin's underlying code, Lightning effectively adds an extra layer to the network by which transactions would theoretically be made more cheaply and more quickly than directly on bitcoin's blockchain.
Last month, prepaid phone payment provider Bitrefill reportedly used Lightning to top up a cellphone.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Blockstream.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.