Recently, the first Alpha release of Lightning App on Bitcoin mainnet for desktop was announced. This version is for testers, but advanced users and developers can also use this for experimenting with a Lightning UX, which is powered by Neutrino light client technology, where users control their own funds.
What Is Neutrino?
Neutrino is a protocol to verify payments, but here the large amount of the work is done on the client side. Rather than the server filtering transactions for the client, here all the transactions owned by a block are compressed and sent to the client.
Now the client has to find out if any of the transactions are done by him. If any of the transactions are relevant to the wallet, then the client requests the full block to verify the transactions.
There is update on new features in the app that are introduced. Like, Neutrino client syncing is very much faster and begins in the background when the user starts to writes down her recovery phrase.
Merged Homescreen Balance
There is an updated home screen with a unified balance that includes both on-chain and Lightning funds. The percentage of funds that are allocated to payment channels are displayed as a ‘percentage’ below.
Now users can go to the “dark mode” channels page for more advanced details by clicking the percentage.
Mainnet By Default
The app will start in mainnet mode by default, starting with v0.5.0-alpha. If you have installed the app before v0.5, then Just open the current testnet version and install the update once it is prompted. By default, Mainnet will get enabled after restarting.
Autopilot is enabled by default when the user starts the application for the first time. But the advanced users can now disable the autopilot feature in the app settings and also can manage their channels manually. To not burden users for selecting nodes, ‘autopilot’ was also introduced for users.
This release was for users who want to test spending and sending Lightning payments. To get inbound capacity automatically for channels, thel UX challenges need to be overcome. Work is going on to integrate Lightning Loop services for users to receive Lightning payments easily.
By the way, users can receive if they have enough inbound capacity like after sending a few payments.
We’d like to remind users that being an early technology, there’s a lot of risks involved in losing all of your funds. While the current alpha version of the software was getting tested, users were advised not to put more money in the app than they are willing to lose.
Still, a lot of good work is left to be done, which adds to the app’s security in the future. They have to undergo a security audit and integrate watchtowers. This mitigates potential attacks if the app stays offline for extended periods of time.