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glossary

Definitions and terminology related to cryptoeconomics, blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
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Lightning Network

The Lightning Network is a system of bi-directional payment channels that enables users to securely send fast, low-cost cryptocurrency payments. Lightning gained initial traction with Bitcoin as a layer 2 scaling solution by enabling efficient micropayments and instant transactions, which allows Bitcoin to function more effectively as a medium of exchange. The network's design builds on earlier work in payment channel development, utilizing cryptography to trustlessly route payments in an off-chain network without counterparty risk. This approach mitigates the scalability constraint of a fixed block size. While the Bitcoin Lightning Network is most established, other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Decred are also implementing versions.