Blockchain’s ‘Project Thunder’ to unleash power of bitcoin micropayments

17 May 201619 Shares

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Blockchain has revealed Project Thunder, a new way to make off-chain microtransactions in a speedy and secure way

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Blockchain has revealed its latest ‘Project Thunder’, which lets users make off-chain bitcoin payments in seconds and unleash the power of bitcoin-based microtransactions.

Blockchain said that Thunder has the potential to enable secure and instant payments.

Blockchain is the maker of the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet.

The company said it was motivated by how the community of users were researching new innovative uses of its technology.

‘According to our tests so far, we can achieve better-than-Visa scale (100,000 TPS) with only a few thousand nodes on the network’
– BLOCKCHAIN

One of these ideas was using smart contracts to build super-charged payment networks and it hired a talented engineer called Mats Jerratsch to lead research into it.

“Lightning networks have been purely conceptual, research-based, and only in test nets and labs – until now. Today, we release the alpha version of our Thunder Network, the first usable implementation of the Lightning network for off-chain bitcoin payments that settles back to the main bitcoin blockchain,” Blockchain said.

Power of microtransactions via Bitcoin

Blockchain said that Thunder has the ability to unleash the power of microtransactions and allow the bitcoin network to handle heavy loads and increase user privacy.

The Lighting technology lets users make off-chain bitcoin payments in seconds and settle back to the bitcoin blockchain.

“According to our tests so far, we can achieve better-than-Visa scale (100,000 TPS) with only a few thousand nodes on the network.”

Blockchain said that Lightning will enable extremely cheap payments and all communications between nodes and wallets are encrypted using AES-CTR.

It also revealed that payment channels can be opened and closed at will, with transactions settling onto the bitcoin blockchain.

Blockchain said that, currently, Project Thunder is best suited for transactions among a trusted network of users and it is alpha-testing the software.

“We believe it is critical to get something in the hands of users as soon as possible to gain feedback that will enable us to be ready when the network is,” the company said.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com