Synonym, an open-source software company dedicated to bringing tools and protocols necessary to operate in a hyperbitconized world, has introduced the Blocktank suite to simplify Lightning Network LSP channel management and users’ onboarding.
The British Virgin Island company managed by CEO John Carvalho, CSO Paolo Ardoino of Bitfinex, and the CTO Reza Bandegi, works on a plethora of components to facilitate the adoption of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network and transform it “into an efficient ecosystem for digital commerce” according to the statement.
What is Lightning Network and a Lightning Service Provider (LSP)
Lightning Network is a layer 2 scaling solution built on top of Bitcoin. It’s made of a network of nodes connected by off-chain payment channels. The payments are routed through these channels to be settled on-chain once the channel is closed. Managing these channels may be difficult and this is where LSPs can facilitate the process.
“It is a purely P2P protocol that supports routing across any peers that are connected, there is no central server or such, just some peers that have more connections than others,” said Carvalho in a statement to Bitcoin News.
LSP is the equivalent of an Internet Service Provider (ISP). It’s a service running on the Lightning Network ensuring stable connection, liquidity, rebalancing, and channel management. The difference is that LSPs allow for more flexibility:
“Unlike ISPs, LN is merely a protocol and if the hub you are connected to stops serving you, you can simply close the channel and open one elsewhere. Centralization is mostly a non-issue for LN”.
Recently, Lightning Network has enjoyed a big adoption. Users can buy or sell BTC through Lightning Network on exchanges like Bitfinex, Kraken, Bull Bitcoin, and many others. Breez was one of the earliest apps implementing lightning network capability.
There are currently 36,852 nodes and 83,605 channels while network capacity is 3,681.36 BTC which, at the time of writing equals to $141,778,019.53.
Synonym “will be working on integrating Blocktank into popular end-user tools like Umbrel, Thunderhub, RTL, etc., in May,” says Carvalho.
What is Blocktank
Blocktank full-service Lightning Service Provider (LSP) is a set of software tools leveraging Bitcoin on the Lightning Network that bring useful solutions for businesses, apps, and web platforms. Thanks to Synonym, it’s now more simple and faster to monetize Lightning Network connections, manage routing fee tiers, and rebalance channel liquidity.
Through its Blocktank Web Widget, LSPs now have an easier way to onboard new users onto the Lightning Network. The widget placed on a website as an iframe enables visitors to configure and purchase Lightning channels and liquidity from Synonym’s node.
In addition to the widget, the software developer provides the API for Blocktank as well as the client library to allow developers to automatically write channels for the users and to set the ter;s of the channel. The customers hold their own keys at all times and have access to instant withdrawals and BTC liquidity.
“Instead of running the infrastructure yourself, managing liquidity you can just use our API and automatically open up channels for your users to instantly start using it,” says Jason van den Berg, Synonym developer.
Tightrope serves as a tool for automatic liquidity channel rebalance within an authenticated sub-network. It detects when channels have fallen below a balance threshold and rebalances dynamically trusted nodes.
Businesses wanting access to larger channels can use the Blocktank Hub program. Synonym’s Blocktank LSP provides these channels with lots of Bitcoin liquidity and routing and balancing services.
Being committed to open-source software development and the self-sovereign economy, Synonym lets anyone use the Hub and all other tools independently from them.
With their other product in production, Slashtags, they want to prove that Bitcoin is the only blockchain people need. The use of just Bitcoin doesn’t preclude the existence of tokens though.
“As I modeled a hyperbitcoinized world I came to the conclusion that there will always be multiple forms of money and the need for finance (using other people’s money to accelerate growth and cooperate on larger goals) and thus you need at least Bitcoin as decentralized abstracted value and “credit” as trusted issuer-defined value. We need tokens as credit and we need them to be as programmable as Bitcoin so we can leverage trust and abstract away the need for government fiat entirely,” said Carvalho in one of his statements.
“In the future we will add support for Slashpay within Blocktank, which can facilitate any payment method peers mutually support,” added the CEO of Synonym.