Ark Protocol: Revolutionizing Inbound Liquidity and Complementing Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

Futuristic financial landscape with Ark Protocol and Lightning Network, dynamic duo of bitcoin technologies, abstract cyber shapes, warm yellow-orange glow, confident and innovative mood, faster and seamless transactions, collaboration over competition, sense of community, hint of a visionary developer.

Last year, 24-year-old self-taught Bitcoin developer and researcher, Burak Keceli, made headlines for disrupting Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Now, Keceli has proposed a new layer 2 protocol called Ark, which he claims will solve Lightning’s “inbound liquidity” problem.

Inbound liquidity refers to the ability to receive funds on Lightning, a layer 2 payment network introduced in 2016 to enable faster and cheaper bitcoin transactions. However, before being able to receive funds, recipients must commit funds and make outbound payments. Keceli believes his new protocol Ark will not only make bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper like Lightning but also eliminate the need for recipients to commit funds.

Keceli has been working on Ark mostly solo and has chosen to keep the project open-source and donation-funded. The project has already garnered attention from notable figures in the bitcoin community, with the Human Rights Foundation’s Chief Strategy Officer, Alex Gladstein, expressing his excitement for the new protocol.

The Lightning Network operates with a model that requires users to commit bitcoin to a channel to create liquidity, which works for users who want to send Lightning payments (outbound liquidity) but creates a problem for those who want to receive them (inbound liquidity). To solve this, Ark utilizes Ark service providers (ASPs) that provide continuous liquidity services for a fee.

Despite solving some issues with the Lightning Network, Keceli does not necessarily view Ark as a direct competitor. Instead, he thinks the two systems will complement each other, with Ark service providers also serving as Lightning service providers. This hybrid approach allows users to benefit from both the privacy advantages of Ark and the established user base of the Lightning Network.

Ark’s development is still in its early stages, with Keceli focusing on answering questions from the Bitcoin community and finalizing technical specifications. His long-term vision is to build a company like Lightning Labs or Blockstream, creating key Ark infrastructure and necessary tools.

Ultimately, the development of Ark offers an important example of advancements and innovations in the world of cryptocurrencies. It highlights the potential for collaboration between technologies rather than direct competition, and the ongoing search for solutions to challenges faced by users. While it remains to be seen how far Ark will go to improve cryptocurrency transactions, its emergence signifies a continued drive forward in the industry.

Source: Coindesk

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