Raiden, a second layer protocol in development for some two years which bundles many transactions into one on-chain transaction, has today deployed on ethereum’s Ropsten testnet. They say:
“There are still some minor issues left for the mainnet Red Eyes release. Once these are completed and all issues discovered through testing on the testnet are addressed, we will proceed with taking the Red Eyes release to the Ethereum mainnet.”
The project is hoping to have the mainnet out by summer as previously promised, with Lefteris Karapetsas, formerly from Slockit DAO now a dev at Raiden, stating “until the end of August it’s still summer.”
That suggests the Lightning Network like protocol is now in its final stages, with the initial mainnet release having artificial caps per token imposed on a channel basis to limit any potential damage from bugs, they say.
Raiden surprised most ethereans last year by announcing an ICO for RND tokens, which currently have a market cap of $45 million. At the time they said:
“Peripheral services will be paid for in RDN tokens, a virtual currency dedicated to pay for services within the Raiden Network.
Note that this token is not at the core of the protocol and only used by participants who opt to pay for the convenience of not having to run a full node.”
That may mean for some aspects you might need both an RDN token and eth, potentially adding complexity to the protocol.
It is open source, however, so it could arguably be forked to remove the token component if that is desirable to make it more of an additional ethereum protocol layer.
With Raiden being just one of a number of second layer projects that are in development in light of current capacity constrains.
Plasma and its many implementations is one, but it looks like in addition dapps are starting to utilize state channels or are starting to develop their own second layer implementation to suite their own needs.