Global network or a two way street between two people
In case you have to route your payment to your restaurant next door, which you have never set a payment channel with previously. But your coffee shop owner already does. The lightning network has got you covered.
You don’t need to open a new payment channel with the restaurant rather than, let the lightning network automatically route your btc through your coffee shop to minimise the distance it needs to travel, in the same way the lightning find its path to the ground based on the least resistance on the atmosphere.
If you think that the coffee shop will keep your btc for himself and not forward them to their destination through his payment channel, No worries. Lightning network has again got you covered, because btc payment made by intermediate payment channel is secured by a technology called: hash time locked.
Without getting too technical, this technology consist on an exchange of a secret code with the end recipient first before sending any btc. If anything goes wrong along the way, the btc exchange is canceled and the appropriate parties are punished if it was a malicious act.
The far reaching connectivity of the lightning network, depends on the more payment channel created. This connectivity would allow to the whole planet to conduct payments using btc the way Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned.
Interoperability feature of the lightning network
The lightning network can be used with any cryptocurrency which supports multi signature wallet and hash time locked technology, Which almost all of them.
With all these crazy features, the lightning network has grown exponentially over the last year, at the time of writing this blog, there are 60000 lightning network payment channel around the world, with over $100 million worth of btc locked in multi signature wallets.
Larger player adoption
After lightning lab declares that they increased the amount of btc allowed to transact over the payment channels, This allowed more adoption for the lightning network by larger players and evangelist across the crypto space including crypto exchanges. Kraken, Paxful, Bluesky, Liquid fintech to name a few.
If you think that this network is too good to be true, then you are partially correct. The main reason is that, thousands of code vulnerabilities have been found since the network was launched in 2018. Even though the network is fully operational.