Today, cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has announced that it has granted an undisclosed sum to Lightning Network developer Antoine Riard.
Riard worked at Bitcoin research and development firm Chaincode Labs in 2019 and 2020 and now focuses on building Rust-Lightning, a library for the Lightning Network meant to enable a full-featured yet flexible implementation, according to an announcement provided to Bitcoin Magazine. OKCoin’s grant is meant to sponsor his work for one year.
“His focus is on Lightning security, namely patching Lightning Network security flaws and onboarding new contributors to the Lightning Network,” per the announcement. “He thinks that creating a larger community and support network for Lightning Network developers, especially Lightning Network mobile app developers, is essential for the next 12 months.”
Specifically, Riard will be working on refactoring the internal structures of Square’s Lightning Development Kit (LDK) and Rust-Lightning to enable better Watchtower support; onboarding new LDK contributors and facilitating team meetings; publishing a research post on payment pools; and much more.
The support is part of an ongoing open-source development grant program from OKCoin. Previously, it has supported Bitcoin Core maintainer Marco Falke, Bitcoin Core developer Amiti Uttarwar and bitcoin payment processor project BTCPay Server.
This most recent grant is the latest signal of support for the Lightning Network from OKCoin, which announced it would be integrating the Layer 2 solution in January.
“While [the Lightning Network] is a technology that has made significant advances in the last year that make it worthwhile to be integrated onto exchanges (like OKCoin) that have a lot of experience handling money transfers, it is also still new,” according to the OKCoin announcement shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “As we enter this next phase of Lightning Network development, as more retail/commerce utilize the Lightning Network, we anticipate that the network will be placed under much more stress, so we want to invest in its development now.”
By supporting Riard, the exchange is specifically looking to contribute to security for Lightning.
“The Lightning Network is geared toward enabling easier and more efficient financial transfers,” per the announcement. “It has a heightened need for security, especially [as a solution] that is supposed to be light enough to be used and deployed a lot. And because it’s a new network, there are still vulnerabilities in it.”