September 20, 2017

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A Look at the Bitcoin Apps Being Built Using the Lightning Network




Lightning Network

On June 5 the Lightning Network Community published a blog post about the emerging developer ecosystem being built around the Lnd Lightning Network infrastructure and the many applications being constructed using the codebase. The post revealed some tipping bots, a Mac GUI wallet, and other types of platforms modeled with the alpha release of Lnd.

Also read: Diane Reynolds: `Lightning Network Will Maintain Decentralization´


New Bitcoin Applications Built Using the Lightning Network Alpha Codebase

This past January Bitcoin.com reported on the Lightning Network alpha release which is a full implementation of Lightning called Lnd. Since then a lot has been going on with the Lightning project as developers are testing the code and building applications. This past April the team used the Lnd framework and bitcoin testnet coins to purchase beer at the popular Room 77 bar in Berlin. Although the project is still in it’s alpha phase, Lightning Network programmers say that developers are using Lnd to build “application-level projects (Lapps)” and new utilities that could benefit the bitcoin ecosystem.  

“Lnd is still in alpha, but we’re already seeing a handful of developers building on top of it,” explains the Lightning Network developers. “Starting first with application-level projects, a few user interfaces, and concluding with repositories and utilities that developers on Lightning will find helpful.”

Tipbots & User Interfaces

The first application mentioned, a Slack Tipbot, was created by software developer François Masurel. The tipbot was built for the Slack community, and the team calls it “the Lnd-based successor to Changetip.” Users just type “/lntip @” to send a tip using Masurel’s micropayment enabled Lightning tipbot. The software is in its alpha form and is not yet intended for production details the tipbot’s warning.

A Look at the Bitcoin Apps Being Built Using the Lightning Network
Masurel’s micropayment-enabled Lightning tipbot.

Other projects built using the Lnd framework that offer a “user interface” theme include the Mac OS graphical user interface (GUI) wallet designed by Alex Bosworth. The wallet is the first user interface for Macintosh computers that utilizes the Lightning protocol. Another platform is the lightweight Lnd Dashboard created by François Masurel that offers a web client and dashboard for Lnd that’s written in the NodeJS codebase. Additionally, there is a mobile and desktop Lightning platform produced by Jack Mallers. The application aims to support bitcoin, litecoin and has already been tested to purchase coffee.

A Look at the Bitcoin Apps Being Built Using the Lightning Network
The Lightning Network enabled Mac OS GUI wallet.

Monetizing Full Nodes With the Lightning Network and Bcoin

Back in April Bitcoin.com reported on the “Bcoin Hackathon” at the San Francisco-based Hackreactor HQ that featured over fifty developers messing around with the Bcoin protocol. The co-founder of Lightning, Olaoluwa Osuntokun (Roasbeef), was also in attendance, and the crowd witnessed a project called the “Monetizing Full Node Project.” The Lightning team details that the platform’s creators Michael Folkson, Alex Bosworth, and Nathan Basanese are continuing to work on this project utilizing Lnd for the payment network, Bcoin for full nodes, and Risk Bazaar for “risk contract” purposes.

A Look at the Bitcoin Apps Being Built Using the Lightning Network
Michael Folkson, Alex Bosworth, and Nathan Basanese creators of the Monetizing Full Node Project.

Bitcoin Micropayments Applied to the Energy Sector

Another project designed with Lnd infrastructure is called “Voltachain — a pay-as-you-go solution for electric vehicle energy purchases.” Voltachain uses Lnd for micropayments, and the team just recently showcased their project at the Merkleweek Hackathon in Paris. Additionally, the platform is an open peer-to-peer application that developers can use for any vending service they’d like to create. The project is one of the first to apply bitcoin micropayments to the energy industry, and the team took first place at the Merkleweek Hackathon.

The Lightning Network team also reveals a bunch more developing tools and resources throughout the blog post and explain a full site dedicated to these Lnd-based tools is currently being built. The team says there is plenty of resources and guides available now for individuals and organizations to start creating with the Lnd framework.

What do you think about the applications built using the Lightning Network and Lnd? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, the Lightning Network team blog, and the Bcoin Hackathon.


Bitcoin is cool, and you know everyone wants in – even the ones who say they don’t. Show the world how cutting-edge you are with a bitcoin T-shirt, hoodie, bag, key-ring, even a Trezor hardware wallet. Shipping all over the world, quality merchandise and, of course, a payment system that makes people say “wow!”



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