The Lightning Network is bringing payments back to Bitcoin

Bitcoin's history is dominated by investment activity but use of the Lightning Network for payments is rising quickly. Will the Lightning Network help fulfill Satoshi Nakamoto's original vision of bitcoin for payments?

This article was originally posted as part of Coindesk's Payment Week.

In the fall of 2008, the white paper "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System," authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, circulated on a cryptography mailing list. As signaled by the title, it proposed a protocol for creating an electronic cash system without the need for intermediaries or trust. Some months later, in January 2009, the first-ever Bitcoin block was mined.

There was no block size limit on the Bitcoin network in the very beginning. To prevent network spamming and the blockchain size increasing exponentially, a block size limit of 1MB was introduced. The Bitcoin Network has maintained its small block size and long blocktime to keep the network decentralized through tumultuous times with considerable disagreements.

The limited throughput capacity of the Bitcoin blockchain makes small payments expensive

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