Blockstream has introduced the ‘Splicing’ feature in its Core Lightning implementation, enabling liquidity changes to Lightning channels, according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine. This comes on the heels of ACINQ’s implementation of Splicing last month, where users of ‘Eclair’ experienced a 60% decrease in Lightning transaction fees.
Splicing is expected to tackle a persistent challenge within the Lightning network—liquidity constraints. These constraints have long been cited as a barrier to widespread adoption, impeding the seamless flow of transactions. With Splicing, Blockstream aims to alleviate these liquidity challenges, ultimately leading to more affordable and reliable transactions for Lightning users.
Lisa Neigut, developer at Blockstream, emphasized the significance of this feature, stating, “One of the biggest pain points for Lightning users is unreliable transaction throughput—channel liquidity constraints are a big part of the equation there. Splicing is an incredible new tool for alleviating liquidity constraints, which should result in making transactions significantly cheaper and more reliable for users.”
Splicing also has a notable impact on the concept of “unified wallets.” Traditionally, users have had to manage separate Bitcoin and Lightning balances, creating unnecessary complexity. With the introduction of Splicing, these balances can be merged seamlessly, rendering the distinction between Bitcoin and Lightning balances largely inconsequential for everyday users.
Dusty Daemon, lead Splicing contributor, highlighted the user-centric approach behind this feature: “The goal is to make wallets ‘just work’ instead of users having to bear the brunt of managing different account balances for different protocols. In the future, everyday users won’t need to understand the difference between Lightning and Bitcoin—these protocols will simply be ‘spliced’ together on the backend.”
Dusty Daemon developed Splicing, collaborating closely with Blockstream’s Lisa Neigut and Rusty Russell, as well as ACINQ’s CTO Bastien Teinturier. Daemon’s work on this feature has been funded through private grants, including a recent contribution from OpenSats, a Bitcoin non-profit organization partially backed by Jack Dorsey.
As Blockstream’s Core Lightning implementation introduces Splicing, the Lightning network stands at the threshold of a new era of enhanced efficiency, reduced fees, and simplified user experiences. With this upgrade, the gap between Lightning and Bitcoin protocols is poised to narrow, driving the Bitcoin ecosystem closer to its vision of seamless, user-friendly transactions.