Recent hires by Bitcoin startup Blockstream suggest a new strategy in how the company will innovate Blockchain tech. Blockstream announced the hiring of Rusty Russell, Patrick Strateman, and Warren Togami, all three of which have extensive experience working on Linux and open source projects.
Blockstream's developers are hinting at shifting the development focus away from Sidechains and onto the Lightning Network, a decentralized system for Bitcoin where transactions are sent via micropayment channels. Linux kernel developer Rusty Russell dissected the Lightning network in his blog back in March prior to being hired by Blockstream, suggesting his role will be focused on lightning.
The Lightning Network mailing list has been set up by Blockstream. The company's team consists of many experienced technologists including Bitcoin core developers Gregory Maxwell and Pieter Wuille.
While still just a concept, Lighting Networks may prove a great solution for faster Bitcoin transactions where decentralization is favored over more centralized transaction solutions. With lightning, payment hubs are implemented where transactions within the hubs are settled instantly; the totality of all transactions within the hub would be settled on-chain.
While the Lightning Networks concept is still early in design, it seems promising as a method to scale Bitcoin to a global payment system.