Is the lightning network still far from life? Lightning Labs launches Alpha version of the desktop app

Lightning Labs has just released an alpha version of the Lightning Network Wallet. Its desktop application is now compatible with Bitcoin's main network, which uses the Neutrino protocol (the protocol name, not the data analysis company acquired by Coinbase) to provide users with a lightweight mode of "controlling personal funds" without having to run a full node or trust. escrow.

Lightning Labs application developer Tankred Hase said in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine:

“This version requires a variety of protocol engineering, product development and design thinking skills. I am very fortunate to be part of a good team like Lightning Labs, where we can combine all the useful ideas. I hope this release The version makes it easier for new users to accept Bitcoin and Lightning Networks."

Hase tells us that Lightning Labs said in a blog post that the version "is still an early version for testers" and can be run immediately on macOS, Windows and Linux operating systems, while Android and iOS smartphone apps will soon be available. .

Hase also said that Android apps are still in-house development, and the iterative version of iOS "can be used for public testing using pre-alpha in TestFlight." He added that their company needs to “improve the stability and performance of LND / Neutrino” before releasing the full version.

For desktop applications, v0.5.0-alpha will be enabled on Bitcoin's main web by default, while previous versions currently allow users to automatically update when accessing the Bitcoin test network (although the test network version is still available, but with this Compared to the secondary network version, it may only be suitable for developers and engineers.)

According to Lightning Labs, this update introduces a series of improvements. It uses a uniform total balance to help users know at a glance how many bitcoins they have in the chain or in the payment channel, and the payment channel is divided by percentage under the total balance. Users can also view how many Cong (bitcoin minimum units) in each payment channel through the application's Lightning Network Channels page.

Autopilot is a feature implemented by LND (Lightning Network Daemon) that makes it easier to connect to nodes to set up payment channels. Recently, a new scoring system has been added to determine which nodes are most effective in routing payments . This autopilot mechanism is now set to the default function, but if the user prefers, the application also allows the user to manually manage their node connections and channels as needed.

The article reads:

"We don't want the product to require the user to select which node to establish the channel every time, which will put a burden on the user… It is important to guide the new user to select a set of initial channels when entering the network of the network, through this new System, we will ensure that the user's initial channel can act as a reliable gateway to the lightning network."

In the future, Lightning Labs will integrate Lightning Loop , allowing users to choose to recharge or withdraw channel balances without having to shut down the channel itself.

These features have been significantly improved in terms of user experience and interface design, but the most notable new feature in this release should be the use of the wallet for Neutrino. As explained in the blog post, Neutrino can be used not only for chain wallets, but also for lightning networks, which is "a lightweight client specification that allows unmanaged Lightning Network Wallets to verify bitcoin transactions . " Basically, it allows software clients (applications) to only receive compressed blockchain data to validate transactions without having to download complete bitcoin blockchain data, and the full blockchain data volume has reached 200 GB. This provides these clients with almost the same level of privacy as a full node without sacrificing the custody of funds to third parties (a typical consideration for using lightweight wallets).

Hase tells us: "If you don't have Neutrino, you need to use the command line interface, set up your own bitcoin + lightning network node, and configure a third-party application to connect to your node remotely. This process is very technical, for ordinary users It's too hard and too much trouble. Neutrino lets us integrate all of these things into one application, and the user can open it by double-clicking it."

So if you're using Lightning Labs's wallet, you can take full control of your money even if you don't have a connection to your own node.

The article also warned users at the end that the Lightning Network "is still a very early technology and there is a risk of losing all funds." They also called on the community to help improve the application by contacting Lightning Labs and creating requests on GitHub.

Since the technology is still at risk and the Neutrino client is still very new, Lightning Labs will not stop there. As Hase told us in our newsletter, there is still a lot of work to be done, and as users start to try it out, they can learn a lot from this release.

"This is just the first version, it's time to do product iterations and start learning how to improve," he said.

(Source: BitcoinMagazine)