The founder of Litecoin Charlie Lee is not hiding his enthusiasm for the Lightning Network, and the role of Litecoin in it. Recently, @Satoshilite tweeted that Litecoin nodes may be a suitable addition, and the Lightning Network (LN) may grow into a decentralized exchange:
Litecoin will also be the easiest onramp onto the Lightning Network. BTC takes too long and fees to high? No problem. Open an LTC payment channel on chain cheaply and quickly, then atomically swap for BTC if/when you need to. This can be done in one step using submarine swaps! 😮
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) July 11, 2018
Lightning Labs currently added a beta feature to its network where two crypto coins could be selected, but this connection is not on the live mainnet yet. Litecoin has an independent lightning network and has tested atomic swaps, but the prediction for interoperability between the blockchains is not realistic right now.
Litecoin remains one of the actively used digital assets for fast and cheap on-chain transactions. But the Bitcoin (BTC) network has also overcome its congestion, and runs on relatively low fees, and is the preferred channel for sending larger transactions, highly risky through LN node routing.
Oh, is it a new option I can see here? LND support (BTC+LTC)!
Please, this is still beta, I still need to test it on mainnet! It is only for playing for now.
— BTCPay Server (@BtcpayServer) July 11, 2018
The Lightning Network has been in the works for a few years and was launched in March 2018, as a series of experimental channels carrying very small transactions. The start of the LN was rough, with traffic troubles and some losses, and users were urged to use it only for live testing, not sending large transactions.
Even now, the capacity of LN is limited, and not all nodes have the same importance.
— Lightning Network statistics ⚡ (@LNstats) July 12, 2018
For expanding the Lightning Network, the chief developer of Viacoin (VIA), Romano, has attempted to create a connection with the Bitcoin Lightning Network, but so far has failed. Viacoin and Decred (DCR) are seen as coins that could be compatible with Bitcoin in the future, for atomic swaps and potentially faster transactions.
The Lightning Network, however, is still more of an experimental setup. Tests are still done on optimizing payment channels and avoiding high-fee routes. Running a LN node is not free, and some large node owners have a relatively large influence and cannot be circumvented easily.