Making payments more effective, easy and secure. This is the lightning network’s goal, however there are a few key obstacles that need to be dealt with. With the lightning network itself being very challenging and some might even say risky to set up and use, an effort is being made to fix these issues. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international group, which is responsible for all the standards of the web. W3C are working from several years on a way to make online payments easier for everyone.
Efforts are also directed towards giving users more freedom of choice. A variety of payment methods are available and more are being developed in web browsers by using an API. This is only concerning “big” browsers like Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
Currently the most popular payment methods are credit cards and Apple pay. The W3C is patient with the developers when it comes to adding lightning. This is a big step, which will result in bitcoin’s layer-two being more accessible and all the necessary precautions must be taken.
All the browser API development is taking place at the W3C’s Web Payments Working Group. It’s only natural that interest in cryptocurrencies there has been skyrocketing. W3C hasn’t had much success with bitcoin developers or crypto enthusiasts. The work often never goes smoothly as the different groups don’t see eye to eye on the majority of issues and solutions.
W3C showing increased interest in crypto is game-changing
This has only been the case so far. Recently a few developers began seeing eye to eye and crypto is beginning to look more and more compatible with the API. Additionally, lightning is also already compatible with the specification. This means that if no complications arise, bitcoin and lightning will be able to work together with the specification.
One of the biggest obstacles will be the so called “payment method ID.” This method must be assigned to both bitcoin and lightning before it can function as a part of the API. The developers are also in no rush. With their passive approach, the developers rightfully take their time and watch for developments in the W3C.
In order to push lightning on to the browsers, the W3C standards must be turned into code. Chrome, Edge and Safari have already put the API into use. Firefox is only running the beta version so the stability is still in question. Not a single browser however, has yet adopted the crypto or lightning part of the specifications.
That can largely be attributed due to specifications themselves being in progress. Developers also have a mountain of work in implementing and building the code for the lightning payments. With some users saying they lost money and lightning being new and experimental, there are definitely still ways to go in terms of safety. In time however, most developers have no doubt that lightning payments will be safer and more reliable than credit cards.
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- Alipay and WeChat Now Used by Binance to Accept Fiat - Oct 10, 2019
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