The lightning network is the main hope in solving bitcoin’s scalability issues, however, it is still foggy if efforts are being made to make this a reality. According to Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark, there could be as few as 10 full time developers working on the lightning network to implement the technology. Obviously, with a low amount of human resources, the launch of the network couldn’t happen sooner and won’t happen for awhile.
This can all change after 26 universities known as the Bsafe.network have launched a contest to influence individuals to evaluate bitcoin’s layer two technologies, mainly Lightning. So far a prize for the contest hasn’t been named, but the main goal of the contest is to entice engineer’s students, and professors to measure the security and privacy of the network. The contest is open to anyone and submissions are due in March. Once all of the proposals are in all of the universities will test them on Bsafe’s global test network. Finally, in August a conference will be held to announce the winners.
Bsafe.network co-founder and Georgetown University research professor Shin’ichiro Matsuo, hopes the submissions will bring light to the security and privacy of the technology and how it will interact with bitcoin’s layer one. This contest can act as a vital tool to to understanding how the technology will be used when placed at scale. Matsuo further commented;
Layer-two technologies such as the Lightning Network are needed to enhance the scalability of payments over the bitcoin blockchain, but they might change the trust model, meaning Lightning Network might not be wholly decentralized.
After the submissions are judged and awarded, the Bsafe.network will open-source all of the code so the bitcoin community can pick through it and learn from the results. Hopefully the competition will help analyze layer two technology and steer more productivity towards implementing the lightning network.