By Elizabeth Stark, CEO and Co-Founder
Six years ago today, I was geeking out with a friend about bitcoin, and one of my biggest takeaways was that while this technology had the potential to be game-changing, no one had built the application layer yet. I promptly tweeted about it:When #bitcoin emoji?
Fast forward to 2016, when I started Lightning Labs. I saw that bitcoin could fulfill this vision of making it far easier to send and receive money on the internet, and had seen firsthand how difficult it was with the legacy system. Try paying $1 for a song? Various intermediaries will take 50%. Want to send $20 to a friend in Argentina? Good luck doing that with fiat. I knew that Lightning would enable instant, high volume transactions on bitcoin, and this sparked my imagination. It wasn’t just the existing use cases that drew me in, but the whole world of possibilities that I could foresee emerging.
That’s why today I’m excited to announce a major milestone for Lightning Labs — we’ve raised a $10M Series A to further develop our Lightning payments technology and scale the developer ecosystem. We at Lightning Labs see this as not an accomplishment in and of itself, but a means to achieving our goal of bringing instant bitcoin transactions to millions of people.
We’re also announcing a major product release today: the beta of Lightning Loop, our first paid product. Loop helps startups, node operators, and end users send and receive on Lightning more efficiently. With Loop, users can move funds between the bitcoin blockchain and the Lightning Network in a non-custodial manner. Loop opens up a world of Lightning-native financial products, and this is the first of several “blue sky” Lightning products we’re building.It’s an infinite Lightning loop.
Less than two years ago, we released the first beta version of lnd for bitcoin mainnet. Since then we’ve seen an explosion of growth among startups and companies integrating Lightning. If y...