Improvement proposals as Bitcoin BEEPS would reach the Lightning network

Key facts:
  • The proposals would not seek to replace the current standard, but rather serve as support.

  • Lightning Technology Base (BOLT) is the name of the current standard.

A proposal on documentation of Bitcoin’s Lightning network would establish a standard known as Lightning Network improvement proposals (LIP), similar to the one already used in Bitcoin under the acronym BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals).

The new format would not eliminate the current network standard known as BOLT (Base of Lighting technology) if not that would serve as a complement.

The proposal was published by developer Ryan Gentry on the Lightning-dev mailing list on June 30. Born from a discussion on the standardization of channels zero-conf (zero confirmations) known as turbo channels. These, although several wallets are already using them, as is the case of Muun Wallet, have not yet been collected in the relevant current documentation: the BOLTS.

The BOLTS are the documentation of the Lightining network that allows to set the standards on the development of technologies that work under the same network. This is the case of LND (Lightning Network Daemon) and c-Lightning, which, despite being different customers, by using the same standards, allow payments with bitcoin on the same Lightning network.

Documentation for each BOLT standard can be found within Github. Source: Github.

Each BOLT picks up a particular standard from the network. For example: BOLT # 2 describes the protocol for channel creation, both at the documentation level and at the code level.

In this sense, the purpose of the LIP (Proposed name not yet decided) would be establish better documentation standards for parallel technologies developed in Lightning, as is the case with Turbo Channels. Or also solutions such as the development of static payment invoices, which do not have an expiration date and are already used by the LND client, a fact reported by CriptoNoticias.

Documentation at the software development level

Documentation is an essential part of the development of any software, however simple it may be. It is based on explaining, in a practical way, the function of each part of the code. This allows external developers, who do not know the source code, can read the relevant documentation and continue the development. It’s like some kind of user manual.

In Bitcoin and the Lightning network, being open source developments, any developer must know what the code does. For this there are documentation such as BIP and LIP proposals, which will allow to improve scalability when other programmers want to propose their own improvements using the same standards.

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