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Lightning Labs Has Announced LSAT Authentication Tokens

With its new authentication protocol, the Lightning Network will support Bitcoin-based access tokens, thereby allowing web services to control user access.

Key Takeaways

  • Lightning Labs has introduced Lightning Service Authentication Tokens (LSATs).
  • Web services can issue those tokens to limit access to their sites and APIs.
  • Lightning Labs is also funding development in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

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Lightning Labs has introduced LSAT, an authentication token standard that will allow online services to offer metered access to their APIs and websites.

How It Works

LSAT allows services to issue authentication tokens in return for Lightning-based Bitcoin payments.

This means that those services can replace other access-limiting procedures, such as credit card payments and email registration, with streamlined cryptocurrency transactions.

Olaoluwa Osuntokun, CTO at Lightning Labs, explains:

“With proper integration at end clients, Lightning wallets, mobile applications, browsers (and extensions), [LSAT] has potential to be even more seamless than the credit card flow users are accustomed to today.

It’s also more private as the server doesn’t need to know who paid for the ticket, only that it was successfully paid for.”

LSAT tokens are comparable to browser cookies. However, unlike cookies, they can be circulated freely: users can trade or copy LSAT tokens, while services can control or revoke those tokens.

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Token Use Cases

LSAT can be used by almost any online service based on HTTP/2 or gRPC.

That means most web developers can use the tool.

For example, web services can use LSAT tokens to meter bandwidth within a streaming service or to allocate disk space within an online storage service.

Services can also use LSAT to manage different tiers of service. That means they could provide premium users with special features without having those users navigate to a premium page or request form.

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Aperture, the initial implementation of LSAT, allows online services to realize those possibilities.

Lightning Is Contributing to Bitcoin

Today’s news comes alongside a survey from BitMEX, which indicates that Lightning Labs is one of the most significant contributors to Bitcoin in terms of funding and development.

That survey shows that Lightning Labs is funding eight ecosystem developers.

Other significant companies that have contributed to the Bitcoin ecosystem include Blockstream, Square Crypto, BitPay, and over ten other blockchain companies.

BitMEX concludes that Bitcoin is in “a reasonably strong situation” in terms of developer funding.

Lightning Labs itself has acknowledged its funding and development plans in the recent past.

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