This is definitely one of the more exciting use of the Lightning Network that we have seen. Fully decentralized exchanges are slow, orders do not always go through as expected, and the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies create uncertainties in the final purchase price. Atomic swaps take too long to trade with “GDAX” like speeds, which is crucial for day traders and market makers. Sparkswap, on the other hand, is revolutionary in that the exchange speeds can rival that of actual centralized exchanges — without having to give up custody of your private keys. There’s no slow withdrawal times to worry about, making arbitrage opportunities very attractive on Sparkswap. Exchange hackings, surprisingly, are still a common occurrence, which is very concerning as many exchanges are more focused on profits than the security of its users’ funds. The UI is very straightforward, elegant and, dare I say, beautiful — which is almost an oxymoron for most CLI-based programs.
However, all this is not to say that there are no drawbacks. First of all, not all blockchains have Lightning Network implemented, nor do they plan to. That eliminates the vast majority of assets tradeable on Sparkswap. Secondly, the vast majority of retail traders are not familiar with any CLI-based tech, whether on Linux or Windows. nvm, npm, NodeJS, Docker can be very difficult for these traders without a technical background. Thirdly, the need to download entire blockchain nodes for each asset can be very off-putting for those with limited disk space, slow or throttled internet, or very expensive storage prices for those that like to use cloud-based services.
Innovators Welcome & Appreciated
I applaud the Sparkswap team for the incredible work that they have achieved so far. We don’t feature projects often, but when we do, it’s with strong conviction. #TeamLunar welcomes innovation and risk-takers, and we wish the Sparkswap team the best of luck. We especially respect projects that open source their code, as it is in my opinion that without the open source community, the internet would be radically different from what it is today, and Bitcoin would not exist. And come on, let’s admit it — what they’re doing is freakin’ cool. We encourage everyone to check the project out and show support; without innovators, the world would be a dull place.