So it happened. Lightning Labs released lnd 0.4-beta, and is now usable on Bitcoin's mainnet.
As some of you may have noticed, I've been slowly getting more and more excited about Lightning in the past months.
The massive congestion and poor user experience that Bitcoin users have experienced recently have been a real threat to the future success potential of Bitcoin and crypto currency in general.
Lightning, albeit with its own quirks, solves a lot of problems at once and brings back the original promise of ~free, fast, p2p value transfers.
The main reason that I'm excited about this, is the fact that I've been thinking more and more about the entanglement of the Store of Value and Medium of Exchange use cases.
My latest thinking is verging towards a realization that in order for a currency to be used as a medium-of-exchange, it also needs to have won the store-of-value use case.
Put it another way, I don't think there's going a currency launched that will take away the medium-of-exchange use case from Bitcoin, unless it also steals the store-of-value use case.
(I'm taking out the unit-of-account scenario here, as I'm still of the belief that one can actually be virtualized and not necessarily tied to the others.)
The reasoning is the following: for a currency to be exchanged, it needs to be held in the first place, and people would only hold it if they thought it would retain value.
At the same time, it would be really, really, inconvenient for users if they had to immediately exchange a currency for another every time they had to do or receive a transfer. It can surely be automated, but it's way suboptimal, and complex.
Given the above, technology like Lighting obviously makes the SoV use-case stronger in my mind, and thus, as a holder of BTC, ultimately makes me happier.
Worth noting the participants in the reasonable $2.5M funding round for Lightning Labs:
Jack Dorsey, David Sacks and Vlad Tenev (yes, you can release a product without raising hundreds of millions!).
David Sacks was PayPal's COO, but most importantly Jack Dorsey and Vlad Tenev both run consumer-facing companies very much into crypto today: Square and Robinhood.
I wouldn't be surprised to see LN adopted in earnest at these and other SV-based firms.