The Profiles of the blockchain industry series examines pioneers and leaders of the blockchain industry, with the hope of inspiring you to find your place in this nascent realm. It’s a world that is full of potential and is leaping forward through the innovations of key figures. What is your role in this new frontier? The possibilities are infinite.
Interested in learning about Bitcoin’s Lightning network? Then you should learn about Elizabeth Stark, the founder and CEO of Lightning Labs.
Elizabeth Stark is another key figure in the cryptocurrency industry, blazing the trail of scalability for Bitcoin with the Lightning Network implementation – a sidechain solution that will tremendously increase the transaction speed of Bitcoin transactions whilst reducing transaction costs to fractions of a penny. The dream of easily and instantly buying a coffee with Bitcoin could materialize with the technology that Elizabeth Stark is involved in building.
Stark also plays a significant role in leadership when it comes to government policy regarding cryptocurrencies as a fellow at the Coin Center, a non-profit research center. Her work with the Coin Center advocates for decentralized technologies and promotes their adoption.
Stark has also taught at Stanford and Yale about the future of the Internet, peer-to-peer technology, open-source software, and concepts surrounding decentralization. She has provided leadership in blockchain entrepreneurialism and has provided guidance for students who wish to delve further into the industry.
Of course, the major claim to fame for Elizabeth Stark is her team’s work at Lightning Labs, developing the Lightning Network. This is a second layer solution to Bitcoin’s scalability limitations that frees up the blockchain by allowing for payment channels that can be instantly transacted between users alongside the Bitcoin blockchain. Because the transactions are performed in an “off-chain” channel instead of directly on the Bitcoin blockchain, they can be transacted virtually instantly peer-to-peer, whilst still being secured by the blockchain when the channel is closed. This maintains the ability to have peer-to-peer trustless transactions, with the security of the Bitcoin blockchain, but removes the limitations of its slower block confirmations and higher mining costs.
Under the guidance of Elizabeth Stark, Lightning Lab’s innovative work with the Lightning Network solution could prove to enable a fundamental step forward in the capacity and speed of the Bitcoin network. As this blockchain technology continues to evolve rapidly, Stark’s leadership in this development will be worth watching carefully.