Is the Lightning Network an altcoin

Lightning Network is a payment system to enable instant, cheap and anonymous

is lightning an altcoin

Is Lightning an altcoin?

transactions. ‘Is Lightning an altcoin?’ you might ask. On this page we will answer this question.

Lightning is not an altcoin
Other differences between Lightning and altcoins
Places where you can pay with Lightning
Lightning Network hardware


Lightning is not an altcoin

An altcoin is an alternative coin, thus a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. Lightning is NOT an altcoin because a Lightning transaction is transferring real Bitcoin. A payment channel, a fundamental building block of the Lightning Network comes into existence by writing a real Bitcoin transaction but not broadcasting it to the blockchain yet so that the balance can be updated between the two parties within the rules of the smart contract implemented in the network. 

Other differences between Lightning and altcoins

Other differences are that the Lightning Network is NOT funded by an ICO and that there is no consensus mechanism like PoW or PoS on Lightning itself. The Bitcoin blockchain will do the final settlement on the Lightning Network.

Lightning IS peer to peer because within a payment channel you will transact directly with your counterparty and when you need to route your payment through the network the nodes can’t compromise your information because onion routing is used. Also, they can’t censor you, your payment will simply take another route.

Lightning is NOT an altcoin, but it is a perfect substitute for many altcoins. Even coins like Ethereum can eventually be displaced by Lightning because the Dapps will be more reliable.