Latest Strikes 71 - February 5th-18th 2024

Latest Strikes 71 - February 5th-18th 2024

Hey there, Lightninger! Welcome to your (sometimes bi)weekly recap of all the great things in Lightning! With no fake "L2s" and no faketoshi inside, I promise! We got a lot to cover in this issue, as it covers not only one, but two weeks worth of marvelous deeds. Let's dive in!

Ecosystem

New Umbrel Home

Umbrel released a new hardware for their plug-and-play Bitcoin & Lightning node solution. At $400, the new Umbrel Home packs a N100 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD, making it quite future-proof when it comes to storing the full timechain. A decent amount of computing power for the price, but the Lightning aficionado will still regret the absence of a second SSD (even if just a small one) which would be very useful to backup channels state.

Umbrel also announced version 1.0 of Umbrel OS (the operating system already powering all Umbrel installations), which is a full revamp of the software to bring more stability, enhanced security and better UX, and will be rolled out in the coming months (March 18th for Raspberry Pi users, and April for Ubuntu/Debian users). Nice!

Cashu Addresses

Cashu Addresses are becoming a thing! We covered ecash based Lightning Address servers a few weeks ago, and things moved fast since then.

If you have a Nostr profile, you have a Cashu Address: visit npub.cash/, login with your favorite Nostr extension, and people can send you sats to your brand new <npub>@npub.cash Lightning Address. You can also pay 5000 sats to claim a specific username instead of the long and barely readable npub string. Sats received to this address are sent by the Lightning Address server to the ecash mint, which converts them into ecash tokens tied to the user's nostr public key, and sends the tokens back to the Lightning Address server. At this point, the Lightning Address server cannot access the user's funds anymore, and only the user can claim the token by providing a signature with their nostr private key. Once unlocked, the funds can either be swept to new ecash tokens, or withdrew on Lightning.

Cashu wallet Minibits also unveiled a Lightning Address feature, where users can get the @minibits.cash address of their liking. Any sats received to the address are converted into ecash tokens, which are then sent to the final recipient via a Nostr encrypted message, and the tokens are then automatically claimed by the wallet, making it completely transparent for the user.

The Stacker News Connection

Remember the "attach wallet" feature in Stacker News? You can now attach a LND node to automatically receive funds to your own Lightning node. But that's not it! You can also pair an external wallet (either a LNBits wallet, or any wallet that supports Nostr Wallet Connext (NWC)) to StackerNews and be able to directly spend from said wallet on StackerNews (for example when zapping a post). In other words, instead of having to deposit funds into StackerNews, you can come with your own wallet. Pretty sweet!

Wallets & Tools

LNBits v0.12.0

LNBits received a big update 2 weeks ago, with a new powerful login system, as well as improvements on the mobile UI and better tools for querying transactions.

A real login system is something many users were expecting, since until now LNBits mostly relied on users saving the url to their wallet for future access. This new login system supports email/password authentication, as well as Google and GitHub Single Sign-On. No more bookmarking!

Say Hello To Blitz

There's a new self-custodial open source wallet in town! Called Blitz, it's basically a reverse-Aqua: it's a Lightning wallet that also lets you send and receive on-chain (both Bitcoin and Liquid) through Boltz swaps.

On the Lightning front, Blitz leverages the Breez SDK and Blockstream's Greenlight under the hood, and uses LQWD as LSP. The wallet focuses usability, with a simple UI and a BTCMap integration. However, bear in mind that it's still pretty early stage software (for instance, I wasn't able to fund the wallet in the first place).

More Releases

  • Munity added the ability to sweep funds from the the custodial Fedimint balance to self-custodial Lightning ;
  • you can now batch the sweeping of HTLCs from a loop-out in in Lightning Labs' loop, thus significantly reducing block usage and on-chain fee costs.

Spec & Implems

LND v0.17.4-beta

LND v0.17.4-beta was released, consisting mainly of a bunch of hot fixes to address issues such as channel open hanging (the node has to be restarted to begin opening new channels again), a memory leak and pruned nodes getting ouf of sync.

Lightning Hardware Wallet

There was an interesting discussion on Delving Bitcoin around using hardware wallets for Lightning as end users (i.e. not for routing nodes). Currently, even Lightning wallets that support the use of hardware wallets in some way (as Electrum for example) restrict this usage to the on-chain management of Lightning channels (e.g. opening and closing channels), while funds held in Lightning channels are controlled by "hot" private keys that are kept in the computer/phone memory. Pascal Grange's goal would be to use a hardware wallet for Lightning operations as well, such as sending or receiving funds on Lightning.

However, there are good reasons as to why this isn't done yet: users would have to connect their hardware wallet and validate a transaction just to receive funds (which would be on hold in the meantime), and sending would also be pretty cumbersome, as it using multipath payments, or even just trying multiple routes, would require quite an extensive signing session. Definitely an interesting project, but the UX hurdles are seem quite hard to overcome.

Dual-Funding Merged

The dual-funding proposal has officially been merged to the Lightning specification, just a few months after Core Lightning and Eclair converged on their interoperable implementations of dual funding! YaĂŻ! đŸ„ł

Closing Bit

L'air s'est chargé de saveurs:
Sueur, embruns, tabac froid
Le défilé s'ébranle.

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