The Lightning Network is a payment network that runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It is a layer-two solution, which means that it is built on top of the existing Bitcoin infrastructure and adds additional features and capabilities to the network.
The Lightning Network was designed to address some of the scalability and usability issues with the Bitcoin network. It allows for the creation of payment channels between participating nodes, which can be used to send and receive Bitcoin transactions without broadcasting them to the entire network. This allows for faster and cheaper transactions, as only the opening and closing transactions of a payment channel need to be broadcast to the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Lightning Network also introduces the concept of smart contracts, which allows for the creation of more complex transactions and applications on top of the network. This opens up many possibilities for new types of financial applications and services on the Bitcoin network.