A new feature has been recently implemented for the Lightning Network, in which it allows users to instantly send funds without the need to create an invoice.
It’s most recent upgrade known as the Sphinx, which developers have stated to still be a work in progress, has become available for anyone to use.
Olaoluwa Osuntokeun, the author behind Sphinx, wrote in a Github repository, “The coolest part about this new feature is that it can be used today in the wild as long as both nodes are updated to this branch!”
New "Sphinx" send mode in @lightning LND (work in progress) enables spontaneous payments without invoice. It can include user or API data, simplifying monetized interfaces & enabling new use cases. https://t.co/BbWuw9spk1— Stadicus (@Stadicus3000) January 12, 2019
The Lightning Network currently only allows for Bitcoin and Litecoin to be sent through its system instantly and for only a minimal fee of 1 US cent. Currently, sending or receiving transaction still requires people to have some technical understanding of the system, which has made most people hesitant to join Lightning Network, despite its cheap cost.
Sphinx was developed in order to solve this main predicament.
The implementation of Sphinx has removed the need to create a payment invoice for a transaction, allowing a more instantaneous action and sidelining a major technical element off-putting for beginners.
“This is only a draft implementation and while it works today on mainnet out of the box (if both sides are upgraded) much this will likely change,” Osuntokeun added.