The developers behind Raiden Network have launched an early version of the scaling solution on the ethereum test network.
Designed to power projects aiming to replace the likes of Google and Facebook, one problem facing ethereum is that growing to such scale would require putting an unimaginable amount of data on the blockchain, a shared ledger every node must download. Further, ethereum is already having enough trouble supporting the relatively small number of users it has today.
As such, Raiden Network has emerged as one piece of the scaling puzzle, aspiring to allow more and potentially cheaper ethereum transactions. Though Raiden Network has released a flurry of updates recently, the project is still a work in progress.
In the meantime, the developers have launched a testnet version of a new product, µRaiden (pronounced "micro Raiden") – a simpler version with fewer features that is almost complete.
In short, rather than route payments through a network of nodes, µRaiden allows users to make micropayments directly between each other. Further, the payments work in just one direction.
The project's introductory blog post argues that, while simpler, µRaiden offers a form of payment channels requested by some decentralized apps (dapps), such as for news and storage.
The post states:
"Talking to dapp developers, we noticed that many of them just want to use the Raiden Network as a robust many-to-one payment channel system; one service provider offering services to many recurring customers. Such systems do not require a full-blown network but instead already benefit greatly from direct payment channels."