While many see the Lightning Network as the main hope for bitcoin’s scaling issues and potentially reduce fees, it’s unclear whether many developers are actually working to make that a reality.
That is why a group of 26 universities known as the Bsafe.network have launched a contest to entice people to evaluate bitcoin’s layer-two technologies, namely Lightning.
Although the prize hasn’t been named yet, the contest looks to entice engineers, students and professors to measure the security and privacy of the network and “collect attack models” that bad actors could use to disrupt payments going over the Lightning Network. This extra boost in scrutiny comes at a time when users and developers are anxious for Lightning to launch for real.
While Lightning Network developers recommend only using the technology on the testnet with dummy coins, a handful of eager users and developers have begun playing around with the technology with real bitcoin. Some of these intrepid testers have even lost a little money in the process. A few companies, such as VPN provider TorGuard, already accept Lightning Network payments.
The competition is inspired by past successful contests to improve the cryptography standards commonly used across the internet to secure data, such as AES and SHA-3, said Bsafe.network co-founder and Georgetown University research professor Shin’ichiro Matsuo.
And, he continued, Bsafe’s global test network maintained by the universities will act as a neutral research body to analyze submissions for battle-testing Lightning Network.
“We think many enhancements of Lightning Network will come through this competition,” said Matsuo.
Submissions for the contest, which is open to anyone, are due in March. Once all the proposals are in, the universities will test all of them on Bsafe’s global test network, culminating in a conference in August where winners will be announced.
*Image via Coinspeaker
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