Pre Meetup interview on Lightning Network WITH Alan Carbery


Earlier this week we I had the chance to interview Alan Carbery, our new Speaker at December meetup, about the Lightning Network and what to expect at the event.

How are you feeling about speaking at the next BAI meetup?
I’m very excited about speaking.  I’ve been on a full time technical deep dive in bitcoin and lightning network over the past few months and it’s a fascinating area I’ve ever worked in, fascinating at so many levels.

Have you been to one before?
I’ve been to a number of different blockchain meetups and conferences but this is my first time attending a BAI event.

For those who don't know about you, can you give us a quick brief on who is "Alan Carbery"?
I was the head architect in Openet, Ireland’s largest indigenous software company, for over a decade.  I recently joined two former colleagues from Washington state to start a business in crypto-currency technology with a focus on scaling bitcoin using the Lightning Network protocol.  In Openet, I designed software systems that delivered 10s of billions of revenue-critical transactions per day.  His team sat on global standards bodies to produce protocol specifications for 4G and 5G networks.  My plans to leverage this experience to help standardise Lightning as a protocol and to build global scale financial services for bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.

What are you going to be talking about?
Lightning Network is a new protocol that operates outside the blockchain and allows unlimited transaction volumes across payment channels which are secured on the blockchain.  The talk will describe the protocol, how it solves the scalability issues of bitcoin and the limitations that it has.  It will present the current state of the development and potential use cases.

What are you hoping the audience get out of the talk?
An understanding of Lightning as a solution to scaling bitcoin and how the same type of solution can be used for other blockchains.  An understanding of the potential disruptions that Lightning can bring to bitcoin and the current crypto-currency eco-systems.

In case the audience is not familiar with your topic, any preparations you suggest for them to have before attending?
I think they need to have a high-level understanding of the bitcoin blockchain and the scalability issues that facing the industry.  The more they understand how bitcoin works the more they will get out of the presentation, however, someone with only a superficial understanding of the blockchain should be able to follow.

How would you like to audience to connect with you after the event?
I’m happy to take questions and join a discussion.  I’ll hang around after for any follow-on conversations.  My email is for those who want to contact me after the event.

For anyone who wants to start a Blockchain ecosystem, what is the key advice would you would like to give them?
Blockchain is a sexy technology on it’s way up the Gartner hype curve.  It is being applied to situations where it doesn’t add great value and where a regular centralised software system would do just fine.  However, in situations where there is no central authority but you need participants to co-operate in a trustless environment then blockchain is a potential solution.  It works in these situations if you can design an incentive scheme that encourages participants to support and maintain the network.