With the introduction of Lightning Charge earlier this year, Blockstream paved way for a new family of applications that could be built upon the Lightning Network, leveraging from the second layer solution’s swift transaction capabilities.
Blockstream, which is one of the core teams behind the Lightning Network, aimed for the Lightning Charge to supplement the network’s functionalities and for developers to create their own payment apps through it.
Since its introduction this January, the Lightning Charge has gained significant traction. To boost it further, Blockstream decided to run a “Week of LApps”, in which it introduced multiple LApps that have the potential to make Lightning Network a surefire success.
All of the following LApps have become a part of the Elements Project in order to make them available for developers who can work on additional capabilities with their concepts.
Woocommerce lightning gateway – Lightning network lapps
The WooCommerce Lightning Gateway is the first ever LApp to be built on the Lightning Charge.
It is a webcommerce payment solution that leverages Lightning Network’s functionalities, and is what the test Blockstream store used when it introduced the implementation of LApps.
FileBazaar – Lightning network lapps
FileBazaar is an ecommerce solution for content developers.
The app will be an online marketplace for text content, images, and videos, which can be bought by interesting individuals or companies. The payments will be facilitated through the Lightning Network.
Nanotip – Lightning network lapps
Nanotip LApp looks into one of the most encountered yet one of the most overlooked aspects of everyday life: tipping for services.
Since tips are considered micropayments, the concept of facilitating them through Bitcoin would have been absurd just a short while ago given the network’s issues with high transaction fee – which would have gone higher than the amount being sent itself.
However, since the Lightning Network reduces transaction fee considerably, it makes tipping in Bitcoin easier and far more effective than anyone could have thought. That utilization of micropayments is what Nanotip demonstrates.
Paypercall – Lightning network lapps
Paypercall is yet another use case for micropayments, where developers could utilize the LApp within their own applications.
By doing this, they can ask for micropayments whenever a user performs a specific action on their app.
Users can then choose to pay for the action and complete the action using the Lightning Network
Ifpaytt – Lightning network lapps
Ifpaytt (If Pay Then That) leverages the popular IFTT (If This Then That) structure for conditional programming.
This LApp works on the same mannerisms as Paypercall, with the difference being that it asks for the invoice to be processed first before accessing a function, rather than letting users trigger the invoice requirement by accessing a specific function.
However, just like Paypercall, the Ifpaytt LApp works with facilitating users with Lightning Network payments.
Nanopos – Lightning network lapps
This LApp provides a point-of-sale system for vendors.
You may think of Nanopos as a self-checkout mechanism, where users will be able to select the items that they want to purchase from a vendor. The items are then sorted through a graphical interface, with the vendor accepting the payment through the Lightning Network.
Lightning Publisher – Lightning network lapps
The Lightning Publisher allows developers to “self-publish” their websites.
Instead of asking users to turn off their ad blockers and see irritating banner ads in exchange for viewing a site’s content, website owners can directly ask their visitors to pay an amount to them quickly through the online plugin in order to receive unrestricted access to the respective site.
Lightning JukeBox – Lightning network lapps
The Lightning Jukebox brings out the lighter side of LApps by introducing a prototype music-on-demand solution, showing that money is not the only thing that Bitcoin and LApps have made to be digital.
While this LApp is just a simple functionality, it does show a use case of LApps for the entertainment industry through proper development.
These Lightning network lapps are only the start to something bigger
As you must have noticed, the primary purpose of most of these LApps is to signify use cases. Where WooCommerce Lightning Gateway, Lightning Publisher, and FileBazaar offer comprehensive and adaptable solutions right from the start, other LApps such as the Lightning Jukebox are meant to open doors to newfound innovation.
With the way that the Lightning Network is progressing, it would be indeed interesting to find out if these LApps would work just as popularly as DApps on the Ethereum Network, or actually get to surpass them in terms of usability.
Speaking of which, it would be amusing if any of the future LApps could be built upon as the “lighter” versions of the following DApps on the Ethereum network.
DApps on the Ethereum Network
In the Ethereum DApps, Golem is also known as the global supercomputer.
It is not just a euphemism either. Golem is indeed an open source supercomputer that can be leveraged by anyone.
Boasting computing power from participating users’ machines and datacenters all across the world, Golem can perform tasks that are not possible through conventional machines.
Augur is perhaps one of the most innovative and potentially influential DApp that has been built on the Ethereum blockchain.
The DApp collects direct answers to questions from participating users and uses the information to bring about real time predictions based on a large audience insight.
By using this predictive market mechanism that remains accurate due to the underlying blockchain technology, Augur aims to redefine segments of analytical markets in the future.
FunFair is Ethereum’s answer to online casinos.
The platform utilizes the transparency of blockchain technology in order to ensure that the games it is offering to its users remain provably fair.
FunFair offers a variety of games on its platform and provides previews for them so users could pick the game that has the potential to garner their interest.
EtherDelta is a decentralized exchange on the Ethereum platform.
It deals in the trading of ERC20 tokens and leverages from the network’s blockchain capabilities for the utmost security that an exchange can provide.
BlockCat remains to be one of the most helpful DApps on the Ethereum blockchain.
It provides a graphic user interface (GUI) instead of coding characters for smart contracts to help those users deploy them who want to leverage from the technology, but do not have the technical knowledge of coding.
Due to the very apparent need of this service, BlockCat is yet another successful idea from a growing community of Ethereum developers.