How LSAT, a Lightning Network Service, Can Transform Payments and Authentication on the Internet

The Lightning network facilitates quick and cheap bitcoin transfers between internet users.

However, according to Michael Levin, Head of Product Growth at Lightning Labs, the system has the potential to create more even impact across the internet.

“HTTP uses status codes to communicate server responses to a client’s requests. This allows for developers to consume APIs. One rare code is: 402 Payment Required, which was marked as reserved for future use. Seemingly, it was waiting for an internet-native global currency.”

– Head of Product Growth, Lightning Labs

But while the Lightning Network fits perfectly as the gateway for applications to make payments to each other, a protocol is required to define how the process would work.


SEE ALSO: The Lightning Network, Bitcoin’s Scaling Solution, Grows by 78% in Less Than 2 Months


As part of a tweet thread, Levin has indicated that the Lightning Service Authentication Tokens (LSATs) can serve that purpose.

The LSAT specification is a standard protocol developed by Lightning Labs which allows authentication and paid APIs that are part of the payment infrastructure that Lightning Labs is creating.

The LSAT specification uses HTTP as well as the Lightning Network to create a seamless end-to-end payment+authentication flow. LSAT allows for a user to pay for a service and get a “ticket” of sorts to be used for future authentication and access.

– Head of Product Growth, Lightning Labs

Levin indicates that LSATs can help to make the internet, more accessible, private, and global. This would be possible by solving the following problem areas:

  • LSATs can do away with authentication via email addresses and passwords or Facebook sign-ins
  • LSATs can make it possible to make subscriptions without credit cards
  • LSATs allows for the easy creation of metered APIs, and so, users can pay for API service when they need to rather than tiered or upfront pay plans
  • LSATs can make it possible to identify and discard bots from social media sites by using LSAT and payments to authenticate unusual activity

To integrate user wallets and websites with the LSAT protocol, Lightning Labs also has a service called Aperture. This is referred to as reverse proxy service that enables websites to recognize the LSAT protocol.


RECOMMENDED READING: 80% of Bitcoin Trade Namibia On/Off-Ramp Volumes Are Now via The Lightning Network as of April 2021


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