Researchers at MIT Test New Capabilities of Bitcoin Lightning Network

Representatives of MIT, one of the most advanced US technological universities, have revealed that their scientists are currently running a pilot project which tests new capabilities of bitcoin’s lightning network. The aim of the project is not only to demonstrate the new scaling properties, but also to display absolutely new functionality.


The project is initiated as a part of Digital Currency Initiative, which was launched in 2015 to conduct further research on cryptocurrencies. The developers devised a system which will conduct automatic transactions only when a specified external event takes place. That “specified external event” might be today’s temperature or the current value of U. S. dollar.

This kind of design is achieved with the help of so-called “oracles,” which are trusted sources of data which feed it to smart contracts. The demo oracle launched by Tadge Dryja and Alin S. Dragos transmits the recent price of U.S. dollars in satoshis. This data is freely available and anybody can include it in their smart contracts.

The concept of oracles was put forward last summer by lightning inventor Dryja , but functional prototype of the idea was demonstrated only recently.

The scientists behind the project commented:

“We built this as a standalone feature of our lightning network software. We chose data what we thought would be cool, U.S. dollars, but it could be any data you want, whether weather or a stock.”

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