Latest Strikes 61 - October 30th-November 5th 2023

A rework of Edouard Manet's "Déjeuner sur l'herbe", but under a stormy sky.
"Déjeuner sous l'orage". Generated with DALL·E 3.

Happy Satsturday, Lightninger! Welcome to the 61st issue of Latest Strikes, your weekly recap of what's happening in the tumultuous world of Lightning. Last week got us more Lightning adoption, as well as some interesting discussions on the mailing lists. Let's dive in!

And of course, remember, remember, the 5th of November ...


Turn Every Email Address Into A Lightning Address

Every email address can now (indirectly) receive Bitcoin over Lightning, thanks to a new service called AcceptLN. The idea is pretty simple: when you want to send sats to someone, simply input their email address on the AcceptLN website, fill in an amount and pay the invoice. AcceptLN's node receives your sats and sends an email to your recipient, informing them that they have sats to grab. The website then explains how they can setup their first Lightning wallet if they don't have one yet, and let them claim the funds by pasting an invoice (and I'm hearing LNURL-Withdraw might be on the way).

Of course, the service is custodial: the sender transfers their sats to AcceptLN, hoping that they will indeed notify the recipient and forward them the sats. But AcceptLN makes it clear they don't want to take custody of the funds any longer than the time the recipient needs to setup their first wallet. To that effect, they will start to charge an inactivity fee after 60 days of holding the funds, to encourage users to take custody of their sats.

Interestingly, this new service could be paired with Nostr Wallet Connect to offer a similar experience as Mutiny Gifts from the sender's point of view: the funds would then not enter AcceptLN's custody, but rather be requested from the sender's wallet when the receiver tries to claim them (however, it requires the sender's wallet to be online at the same time, which is not suitable for mobile wallets).

Where I think AcceptLN really shines is that everyone already has an email address. Sending a relatives, colleague or bartender their first sats hence becomes as easy as sending them an email.

Lightning Invites Itself To The Picnic

We got a new interesting Lightning integration last week! Picnic, an app that aims at connecting people with similar interests and help them meet in real life - think Meetup, but to find yoga buddies, hikers, etc. - integrated two in-app payment systems recently: PayPal for fiat, and Lightning for Bitcoin. Payments come in handy, for example to pay the yoga instructor or the local guide, and embedding it straight into the PicNip app helps provide a better experience. it is also very useful for travelers, since they can simply pay with Bitcoin instead of having to get change in the local currency.

What's interesting about this new integration is how Picnic essentially created a new subset of the Lightning Network, with the help of Velas Commerce, Voltage and the Breez SDK. Each use gets their Lightning node thanks to the Breez SDK, and payments between users are routed through Picnic's node running on Voltage's infrastructure. This helps ensure users of the Picnic app can always transact with one another without having to worry about liquidity issues, while also retaining full control over their funds. A pretty interesting use case, and neat way to seed a true Lightning circular economy!

Wallets & Tools

Boltz Improvements

Boltz released version 3.3.0, bringing compatibility with Core Lightning, and enabling Boltz instances to seamlessly balance between LND and Core Lightning nodes. This is especially useful to keep operations running, should one of the two nodes fail or need maintenance, in which cases supporting various implementations helps reduce the exposition to implementation-specific bugs.

Spec & Implems

Update On The Cycling Replacement Attack

Antoine Riard published a short update to the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list regarding the replacement cycling attack (which we covered here). In his email, Riard acknowledges the feedback from the community, while insisting on the fact that this kind of attacks are still not taken as seriously as they should, especially with package relay around the corner.

There was also an interesting discussion, initiated by John Carvalho, on how mempool policies play out when it comes to exposing Bitcoin "layers" (such as Lightning) to pinning and replacement attacks. While developers and experts tend to disagree on the effects of mempool policies or their effectiveness (notably the fact that mempool policies being only policies, they cannot be strictly enforced by nodes in the same way as transaction validity rules are), there seems to be at least some consensus that protocol changes to the base layer would be desirable to address both classes of attacks (pinning and replacement), be it better-designed mempool policies or more stringent rules, such as Peter Todd's OP_EXPIRE proposal.

Trivia Of The Week

When did the first purchase over Lightning occurred?

Alex Bosworth's paying his phone bill on Bitrefill on December, 28th 2017 is regarded as being the first official "real" Lightning transaction on Bitcoin's mainnet.

Closing Bit

Orphelin ! J'existais,
Et voilà que je ne suis plus !
Mon parent envolé
Je suis sans attache
A peine un souvenir
Dans les mémoires
De ceux qui me virent.

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