Two technologies designed for bitcoin and ethereum appear to be converging.
A new video demo released this week, presented by Imperial College London assistant professor Arthur Gervais, shows how ethereum wallets might function with a mechanism like Lightning Network – a payments protocol originally designed to enhance bitcoin.
It’s a notable step, as off-chain payments networks have long been touted as scaling solutions for blockchains such as bitcoin and ethereum. And although the wallets are not yet ready for use, the demo, from Gervais’ new project, called Liquidity Network, signals that more people in the ethereum community are interested in adopting the technology.
To users, the wallet functions similarly to other ethereum wallets, in that it allows users to send and receive ether. But under the hood, the wallet is more complex, allowing users to connect to so-called “hubs” if they can’t connect directly.
In the demo, Gervais shows one user depositing 100 wei (a tiny division of ether) into a hub.
Since the connection can then be used to send payments to any other user connected to the same hub, Gervais instantly sends 50 wei payments to one user and 30 wei to another.
Liquidity Network is working on a relatively new off-chain network for ethereum, that could possibly provide an alternative to the well-known in-development network, Raiden.
However, Liquidity uses slightly different technology modeled after the Revive payment channel – a model first put forth by the Liquidity Network founders in a white paper in September.