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⚡ Lightning Network Megathread ⚡

Last updated 2018-01-29
This post is a collaboration with the Bitcoin community to create a one-stop source for Lightning Network information.
There are still questions in the FAQ that are unanswered, if you know the answer and can provide a source please do so!

⚡What is the Lightning Network? ⚡


Image Explanations:

Specifications / White Papers


Lightning Network Experts on Reddit

  • starkbot - (Elizabeth Stark - Lightning Labs)
  • roasbeef - (Olaoluwa Osuntokun - Lightning Labs)
  • stile65 - (Alex Akselrod - Lightning Labs)
  • cfromknecht - (Conner Fromknecht - Lightning Labs)
  • RustyReddit - (Rusty Russell - Blockstream)
  • cdecker - (Christian Decker - Blockstream)
  • Dryja - (Tadge Dryja - Digital Currency Initiative)
  • josephpoon - (Joseph Poon)
  • fdrn - (Fabrice Drouin - ACINQ )
  • pmpadiou - (Pierre-Marie Padiou - ACINQ)

Lightning Network Experts on Twitter

  • @starkness - (Elizabeth Stark - Lightning Labs)
  • @roasbeef - (Olaoluwa Osuntokun - Lightning Labs)
  • @stile65 - (Alex Akselrod - Lightning Labs)
  • @bitconner - (Conner Fromknecht - Lightning Labs)
  • @johanth - (Johan Halseth - Lightning Labs)
  • @bvu - (Bryan Vu - Lightning Labs)
  • @rusty_twit - (Rusty Russell - Blockstream)
  • @snyke - (Christian Decker - Blockstream)
  • @JackMallers - (Jack Mallers - Zap)
  • @tdryja - (Tadge Dryja - Digital Currency Initiative)
  • @jcp - (Joseph Poon)
  • @alexbosworth - (Alex Bosworth -

Medium Posts

Learning Resources


Desktop Interfaces

Web Interfaces

Tutorials and resources

Lightning on Testnet

Lightning Wallets

Place a testnet transaction

Altcoin Trading using Lightning

  • ZigZag - Disclaimer You must trust ZigZag to send to Target Address

Lightning on Mainnet

Warning - Testing should be done on Testnet

Atomic Swaps

Developer Documentation and Resources

Lightning implementations

  • LND - Lightning Network Daemon (Golang)
  • eclair - A Scala implementation of the Lightning Network (Scala)
  • c-lightning - A Lightning Network implementation in C
  • lit - Lightning Network node software (Golang)
  • lightning-onion - Onion Routed Micropayments for the Lightning Network (Golang)
  • lightning-integration - Lightning Integration Testing Framework
  • ptarmigan - C++ BOLT-Compliant Lightning Network Implementation [Incomplete]


Lightning Network Visualizers/Explorers



Payment Processors

  • BTCPay - Next stable version will include Lightning Network




Slack Channel

Discord Channel


⚡ Lightning FAQs ⚡

If you can answer please PM me and include source if possible. Feel free to help keep these answers up to date and as brief but correct as possible
Is Lightning Bitcoin?
Yes. You pick a peer and after some setup, create a bitcoin transaction to fund the lightning channel; it’ll then take another transaction to close it and release your funds. You and your peer always hold a bitcoin transaction to get your funds whenever you want: just broadcast to the blockchain like normal. In other words, you and your peer create a shared account, and then use Lightning to securely negotiate who gets how much from that shared account, without waiting for the bitcoin blockchain.
Is the Lightning Network open source?
Yes, Lightning is open source. Anyone can review the code (in the same way as the bitcoin code)
Who owns and controls the Lightning Network?
Similar to the bitcoin network, no one will ever own or control the Lightning Network. The code is open source and free for anyone to download and review. Anyone can run a node and be part of the network.
I’ve heard that Lightning transactions are happening “off-chain”…Does that mean that my bitcoin will be removed from the blockchain?
No, your bitcoin will never leave the blockchain. Instead your bitcoin will be held in a multi-signature address as long as your channel stays open. When the channel is closed; the final transaction will be added to the blockchain. “Off-chain” is not a perfect term, but it is used due to the fact that the transfer of ownership is no longer reflected on the blockchain until the channel is closed.
Do I need a constant connection to run a lightning node?
Not necessarily,
Example: A and B have a channel. 1 BTC each. A sends B 0.5 BTC. B sends back 0.25 BTC. Balance should be A = 0.75, B = 1.25. If A gets disconnected, B can publish the first Tx where the balance was A = 0.5 and B = 1.5. If the node B does in fact attempt to cheat by publishing an old state (such as the A=0.5 and B=1.5 state), this cheat can then be detected on-chain and used to steal the cheaters funds, i.e., A can see the closing transaction, notice it's an old one and grab all funds in the channel (A=2, B=0). The time that A has in order to react to the cheating counterparty is given by the CheckLockTimeVerify (CLTV) in the cheating transaction, which is adjustable. So if A foresees that it'll be able to check in about once every 24 hours it'll require that the CLTV is at least that large, if it's once a week then that's fine too. You definitely do not need to be online and watching the chain 24/7, just make sure to check in once in a while before the CLTV expires. Alternatively you can outsource the watch duties, in order to keep the CLTV timeouts low. This can be achieved both with trusted third parties or untrusted ones (watchtowers). In the case of a unilateral close, e.g., you just go offline and never come back, the other endpoint will have to wait for that timeout to expire to get its funds back. So peers might not accept channels with extremely high CLTV timeouts. -- Source
What Are Lightning’s Advantages?
Tiny payments are possible: since fees are proportional to the payment amount, you can pay a fraction of a cent; accounting is even done in thousandths of a satoshi. Payments are settled instantly: the money is sent in the time it takes to cross the network to your destination and back, typically a fraction of a second.
Does Lightning require Segregated Witness?
Yes, but not in theory. You could make a poorer lightning network without it, which has higher risks when establishing channels (you might have to wait a month if things go wrong!), has limited channel lifetime, longer minimum payment expiry times on each hop, is less efficient and has less robust outsourcing. The entire spec as written today assumes segregated witness, as it solves all these problems.
Can I Send Funds From Lightning to a Normal Bitcoin Address?
No, for now. For the first version of the protocol, if you wanted to send a normal bitcoin transaction using your channel, you have to close it, send the funds, then reopen the channel (3 transactions). In future versions, you and your peer would agree to spend out of your lightning channel funds just like a normal bitcoin payment, allowing you to use your lightning wallet like a normal bitcoin wallet.
Can I Make Money Running a Lightning Node?
Not really. Anyone can set up a node, and so it’s a race to the bottom on fees. In practice, we may see the network use a nominal fee and not change very much, which only provides an incremental incentive to route on a node you’re going to use yourself, and not enough to run one merely for fees. Having clients use criteria other than fees (e.g. randomness, diversity) in route selection will also help this.
What is the release date for Lightning on Mainnet?
Lightning is already being tested on the Mainnet Twitter Link but as for a specific date, Jameson Lopp says it best
Would there be any KYC/AML issues with certain nodes?
Nope, because there is no custody ever involved. It's just like forwarding packets. -- Source
What is the delay time for the recipient of a transaction receiving confirmation?
Furthermore, the Lightning Network scales not with the transaction throughput of the underlying blockchain, but with modern data processing and latency limits - payments can be made nearly as quickly as packets can be sent. -- Source
How does the lightning network prevent centralization?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
What are Channel Factories and how do they work?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How does the Lightning network work in simple terms?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How are paths found in Lightning Network?
Bitcoin Stack Exchange Answer
How would the lightning network work between exchanges?
Each exchange will get to decide and need to implement the software into their system, but some ideas have been outlined here: Google Doc - Lightning Exchanges
Note that by virtue of the usual benefits of cost-less, instantaneous transactions, lightning will make arbitrage between exchanges much more efficient and thus lead to consistent pricing across exchange that adopt it. -- Source
How do lightning nodes find other lightning nodes?
Stack Exchange Answer
Does every user need to store the state of the complete Lightning Network?
According to Rusty's calculations we should be able to store 1 million nodes in about 100 MB, so that should work even for mobile phones. Beyond that we have some proposals ready to lighten the load on endpoints, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. -- Source
Would I need to download the complete state every time I open the App and make a payment?
No you'd remember the information from the last time you started the app and only sync the differences. This is not yet implemented, but it shouldn't be too hard to get a preliminary protocol working if that turns out to be a problem. -- Source
What needs to happen for the Lightning Network to be deployed and what can I do as a user to help?
Lightning is based on participants in the network running lightning node software that enables them to interact with other nodes. This does not require being a full bitcoin node, but you will have to run "lnd", "eclair", or one of the other node softwares listed above.
All lightning wallets have node software integrated into them, because that is necessary to create payment channels and conduct payments on the network, but you can also intentionally run lnd or similar for public benefit - e.g. you can hold open payment channels or channels with higher volume, than you need for your own transactions. You would be compensated in modest fees by those who transact across your node with multi-hop payments. -- Source
Is there anyway for someone who isn't a developer to meaningfully contribute?
Sure, you can help write up educational material. You can learn and read more about the tech at You can test the various desktop and mobile apps out there (Lightning Desktop, Zap, Eclair apps). -- Source
Do I need to be a miner to be a Lightning Network node?
No -- Source
Do I need to run a full Bitcoin node to run a lightning node?
lit doesn't depend on having your own full node -- it automatically connects to full nodes on the network. -- Source
LND uses a light client mode, so it doesn't require a full node. The name of the light client it uses is called neutrino
How does the lightning network stop "Cheating" (Someone broadcasting an old transaction)?
Upon opening a channel, the two endpoints first agree on a reserve value, below which the channel balance may not drop. This is to make sure that both endpoints always have some skin in the game as rustyreddit puts it :-)
For a cheat to become worth it, the opponent has to be absolutely sure that you cannot retaliate against him during the timeout. So he has to make sure you never ever get network connectivity during that time. Having someone else also watching for channel closures and notifying you, or releasing a canned retaliation, makes this even harder for the attacker. This is because if he misjudged you being truly offline you can retaliate by grabbing all of its funds. Spotty connections, DDoS, and similar will not provide the attacker the necessary guarantees to make cheating worthwhile. Any form of uncertainty about your online status acts as a deterrent to the other endpoint. -- Source
How many times would someone need to open and close their lightning channels?
You typically want to have more than one channel open at any given time for redundancy's sake. And we imagine open and close will probably be automated for the most part. In fact we already have a feature in LND called autopilot that can automatically open channels for a user.
Frequency will depend whether the funds are needed on-chain or more useful on LN. -- Source
Will the lightning network reduce BTC Liquidity due to "locking-up" funds in channels?
Stack Exchange Answer
Can the Lightning Network work on any other cryptocurrency? How?
Stack Exchange Answer
When setting up a Lightning Network Node are fees set for the entire node, or each channel when opened?
You don't really set up a "node" in the sense that anyone with more than one channel can automatically be a node and route payments. Fees on LN can be set by the node, and can change dynamically on the network. -- Source
Can Lightning routing fees be changed dynamically, without closing channels?
Yes but it has to be implemented in the Lightning software being used. -- Source
How can you make sure that there will be routes with large enough balances to handle transactions?
You won't have to do anything. With autopilot enabled, it'll automatically open and close channels based on the availability of the network. -- Source
How does the Lightning Network stop flooding nodes (DDoS) with micro transactions? Is this even an issue?
Stack Exchange Answer

Unanswered Questions

How do on-chain fees work when opening and closing channels? Who pays the fee?
How does the Lightning Network work for mobile users?
What are the best practices for securing a lightning node?
What is a lightning "hub"?
How does lightning handle cross chain (Atomic) swaps?

Special Thanks and Notes

  • Many links found from awesome-lightning-network github
  • Everyone who submitted a question or concern!
  • I'm continuing to format for an easier Mobile experience!
submitted by codedaway to Bitcoin [link] [comments]


Lightning Network
Today I am going to talk about the “Lightning Network” which is a proposed solution to the issue of scaling Bitcoin faces. Lightning Network (I will use the acronym “LN” to refer to the Lightning network from this point forth) LN has its fair share of criticism in the crypto space. Some claim its brilliant, while others claim it is the antithesis of what Bitcoin was supposed to be. I am going to try my best to touch on the reasoning both crowds use to come to these conclusions. First things first, lets discuss how the whole thing got started.
The LN was first proposed in 2015 by Thaddeus Dryja and Joseph Poon in a white paper they wrote (White paper for LN can be viewed at the following link ) They decided that Bitcoin has a scalability issue and were looking for the best way to solve that issue without ultimately sacrificing the fundamentals that make BTC such a great currency. They decided that building a 2nd layer on top of Bitcoin was the best solution (rather than another useless hard fork to add to the 103 or so other Bitcoin forks out there) Many claim that coins like Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash are the solution to scaling issues, but they are forks and centralized when compared to Bitcoin which sacrifices decentralization for scalability. Lightning is different than a fork as it is basically a payment channel that connects 2 or more parties directly. This makes payments almost instant, which is something people using Bitcoin core have desired since its creation. How does it work? Lets discuss that!
How does the Lightning Network work?
Okay so you have been hearing your friend Phil go on and on about how great the LN is, but why is he so excited? Lets figure it out! The LN is a payment channel that is set up between 2 or more parties. They start by creating the payment channel which is a multisig wallet (a multisig wallet is a BTC wallet that cannot be accessed by just one party as it takes “multiple signatures” to access the funds. Now that Phil and I have set up the payment channel we can now transact with each other as much as we like with no transaction fees (until we close the channel). The payment channel gets updated every time a payment is made. So if Phil and I have 2 Bitcoin on the channel, lets say I have 1 BTC and Phil has 1 Bitcoin in the multisig wallet me and him created for the Lightning channel. I could send Phil ½ of a BTC and the ledger would show that Phil now has 1.5 Bitcoin while I only hold .5 Bitcoin. This transaction occurred off the Bitcoin blockchain so it avoided the hefty transaction fees that accompany Bitcoin core transactions at times. The channel can be left open and the ledger will update every time me and Phil transact with each other (until we decide to close the channel) This layer makes micro transactions more feasible as people are not paying a 3 $ transaction fee for a 1$ transaction.
People that would like to use the LN can get a node (Casanode, Raspberry Pi 3 etc.) which will also act as a BTC core node along with a lightning node. This is a popular way to be a part of Lightning payments. It is not the only way though. There are wallets that can be used to access the LN without having to own a casanode or raspberry pi. You can still use the LN without owning a casanode by downloading an app like “Blue Wallet” which will allow you to access LN without necessarily owning a node. Apps like this make LN more available to the general public that may not quite grasp the reason people own casanodes. Either way removing barriers that could potentially hinder people from using LN is a big part of wide spread adoption. Lightning is still in its infancy really so more and more apps should pop up similar to Blue Wallet in the near future. (This is not an endorsement of Blue Wallet, I simply used it as an example) If you would like to order a casanode it can easily be found with a simple google search. I personally know a few people that paid for the node and most of them did it just to help the LN network grow and to actually be able to use it! They typically run for around $300 USD. (I see the price going down in the future as LN becomes more used and the casanodes become more in demand)
Now just because you aren’t connected to someone directly through a payment channel you can still send payments to someone in many cases. So, Lets say Phil and I want to transact with each other but we don’t have a channel connecting us. We could utilize a 3rd party to connect the payment channels. For example, I am trying to send Phil 1 BTC, but we don’t have a channel set up, but we want to transact with each other. The node will find the fastest path it can to Phil so I do not necessarily need to create a channel with him. We could use anyone to bridge the gap and transact with each other in this way. This is referred to as a “Hop”. Some people may worry that the link between me and Phil may act maliciously and attempt to take the payment, but that’s the beauty of LN. It can’t be taken in this way. So I send Phil .1 BTC. A 3rd party would first receive the .1 BTC and would send it to Phil automatically. The 3rd party cannot stop the transaction in the middle if he were to try and steal the funds. LN doesn’t allow that.
LN offers almost instant payments with Bitcoin (and soon many altcoins will also utilize LN) with minimal fees. Some think the LN is absolutely a terrible idea. They believe transaction fees will be severely diminished in the wake of LN due to the fact payments made on LN do not post to the BTC chain until the channel has been closed charging a one-time fee for multiple transactions. I would say that with LN we will see a surge of new adoption that will increase the use of BTC and in the long run should increase the amount of transaction fees collected by miners for the work the perform. People like to claim LN is centralized and the antithesis of what Satoshi was thinking when he created BTC. I have to say I disagree. LN is a layer on top of BTC. It doesn’t effect the fundamentals of BTC core and that is important to me and many others. Bitcoin is a work of art because of decentralization. LN doesn’t hinder this. It is simply an option for people that want BTC payments faster to have a means to do so. In the future people will most likely do plenty of transactions on LN (I think most dealings will be done via LN) But the big transfers will still likely be done on BTC core itself. Bitcoin is a work in progress and LN is a step towards adoption.
Right now, LN is very new and still untested in many ways. It is an experiment in my eyes that is likely to succeed. Even if LN went belly up tomorrow BTC will still be here. I have a lot of faith in LN and I think it will be a huge part of mass adoption in the future. Nobody can see the future… But we can speculate! I enjoyed writing this and I hope you learned something. I sure did.
Written by: Tim Pace 2/13/2019
submitted by HeisenbergBTC to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Will the Bitcoin Lightning Network Really End the Crypto Coffee Crisis?

Imagine going to a coffee shop to buy a coffee with Bitcoin. If you create a transaction on the blockchain to pay for the coffee…you’ll probably end up paying much more on the handling fee than the actual price of the coffee, not to mention the transaction takes forever to complete.
This is essentially how the Bitcoin network looks right now.
As the world’s first and most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is struggling to keep up with the demand today. Users have to go through cumbersome procedures and pay quite a transaction fee before they can transfer BTC through the congested network.
In comparison to Visa, which reportedly handles around 25,000 transactions per second (with a peak capacity at 50,000 tps), Bitcoin is only capable of handling approximately seven transactions per second.
Is Lightning Network the Ultimate Solution to Bitcoin’s Scalability?
First described in 2015 by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja, Lightning Network is one of the various community proposals to address Bitcoin’s scalability. It creates a second layer on Bitcoin’s main blockchain for users to open multiple payment channels, deposit funds and then perform unlimited transactions between themselves inside the multi-signature wallet.
Transactions conducted on Lighting Network are instant and much more efficient, because it’s more like a balance sheet of BTC distribution without the actual transfer. When the payment channel is closed, only the most recently signed balance sheet will be broadcasted to the main blockchain, hence significantly reducing the block size.
Once Lightning Network is widely adopted for everyday use, whenever you want to buy a coffee from the coffee shop, as long as you’ve opened a payment channel with the network, you can perform endless transactions in the shared wallet. All you have to do is sign the updated balance sheet with your private key to confirm the transaction.
Although not fully operational yet, the power of Lightning has already been embraced by some crypto community members. A profound movement called Bitcoin Lightning Torch (#LNTrustChain) started on Twitter on January 19, 2019, where people transfer Bitcoin via the Lighting Network to community members they think are trustworthy.
submitted by KorvoAtano to u/KorvoAtano [link] [comments]

[Index] Scaling Conference Overview: Day 1

Conference Topic \ Speaker \ Time Link
Privacy \ Fungibility
Smart Contracts
Proof of Work
submitted by KarmaNote to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Thaddeus Dryja showing the Lightning Network on Segnet Bitcoin Beginners Fair: Bitcoin Regulation & Taxation with Thaddeus Dryja Dev++ 01-09-EN  Lightning Network and Discreet Log Contracts - Thaddeus Dryja Coinbase Speaker Series: Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja of Lightning Network What Can I Use Bitcoin For?

by Thaddeus Dryja (MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative) Abstract: In the Bitcoin consensus network, all nodes come to agreement on the set of Unspent Transaction Outputs (The “UTXO” set).The size of this shared state is a scalability constraint for the network, as the size of the set expands as more users join the system, increasing resource requirements of all nodes. Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Breaks Above $0.20 Joining The Altcoin Party. 2 days ago. EOS Price Analysis: Indicators Suggest Fresh Rally To $3. 2 days ago. Tether Displaces XRP as Number Three Cryptocurrency with $10 Billion Market Cap. 3 days ago. Crypto Price Analysis July 22: BTC, ETH, LTC, BSV, EOS. 3 days ago. Bitcoin (BTC) Bitcoin (BTC) ... Thaddeus Dryja works on the Lightening Network. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Virginia studying cryptographic primitives and network security. Researching on game-theoretic implications of the Bitcoin protocol. Nun wird er gemeinsam mit Thaddeus Dryja und anderen Forschern am Digital Currency Insitute des MIT Utreexo weiter ausbauen. Im nächsten Schritt soll Utreexo in BTCD erprobt werden, einem Bitcoin Client für Entwickler. Auf Medium erklärt Erfinder Dryjam, warum: Auf diese Weise können wir den größten Teil der bereits geschriebenen Software behalten und sehen, wie wir sie in eine Full Node ... January — Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja release “ The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable On-Chain Instant Payments ” January — Zcash announced February — HyperLedger project announced by Linux Foundation with thirty founding members March — Blockchain and cryptocurrency feature heavily in the Chinese government’s 5-year plan. March — Second Ethereum mainnet release, Homestead ...

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Thaddeus Dryja showing the Lightning Network on Segnet

Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja from the Lightning Network. Joseph Poon co-authored the paper on the Lightning Network, a system to allow for decentralized high-volume payments using Bitcoin. Full blog post: In this talk from SF Bitcoin Devs, Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja discus... Watch a recap of the Q&A from our recent Bitcoin Beginner's Fairs at 20Mission in San Francisco, where Reb... Thaddeus Dryja answers How Many Total Bitcoin Users Are There? Questo video riguarda Il mio filmato. This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue