Lightning Network developers released a testnet desktop application today for Lnd. According to the blog post, this will unleash a blitz of testing on the network. The developers actively want technical users to immediately begin experimenting with the application. They provided an official download link from their Github site.
The blog post said, “Today, we’re thrilled to be releasing a new cross-platform demo Desktop App for Lnd. The release of this new demo wallet kicks-off a two-week “testing blitz” during which we hope Lightning users with a technical inclination can start testing the wallet, giving feedback, filing bugs, etc.”
The blog post said the Lightning Protocol specifications are nearly complete, but that things could change before the final release date for the app. The blog clarified:
As a result, we’ll only be maintaining compatibility with the desktop application for approximately the next two weeks before switching to a regular release cycle once the specifications have been frozen and we’ve achieved cross-implementation compatibility.
Technical Details: Neutrino and Segwit Enabled
The client application is driven by neutrino, which is an open source protocol for bitcoin. This type of client offers more benefits than other clients. It allows for “increased privacy, less active load on full nodes, and a more flexible application model which is particularly useful for lightweight Lightning nodes.” The website provides instructions on unzipping and using the client for technical operators.
Furthermore, the testnet lightning application is fully Segwit enabled. This means users can open payment channels and send and receive funds from Segwit addresses. The blog post said Segwit addresses look like this:
Some types of transactions, however, will not use Segwit functionality, such as when non-segwit senders like faucets send bitcoin to a lightning address.
Other Technical Information: Self-Driving Lightning
The client is very user friendly, according to the post.
At a glance, the wallet may look very simple, but the bulk of the complexity has been pushed into the backend in order to ensure a seamless user experience when interacting with Lightning.
Not only is it user friendly, but once connected, the lightning network will automatically begin establishing a connection with peers on network. This will help it sync up with current “channel graph states.”
The lightning network will also allow for auto connection with current channels. Users will not have to manually set up connections to trade bitcoin. The author said, “We call this new operating node ‘autopilot’ as it will automatically manage the opening of channels within the network.”
Once the channels are available, they are shown in two statuses: “Pending-Open” and “Active.” Pending-open means the transaction has been broadcast, but still waiting confirmation. Active means the channel is open and ready to receive and send payments.
On-Chain Transactions and Testing the Wallet
One of the good things about the wallet is that users can also perform on-chain transactions. They do not necessarily have to use bitcoin as a settlement layer and activate lightning network channels. They can choose whichever they desire.
As this is a fully fledged wallet, it’s also possible to make regular on-chain payments using the same page. The wallet will automatically detect if it is presented with an on-chain Bitcoin address or a Lightning payment request
No matter what users choose, developers want everyone to begin testing the application immediately. Most noteworthy, developers made sure the code is open source. They want to get the application beyond testnet phase and bring this technology to the general public.
What do you think about this Testnet active Lightning desktop application? Will you try it out? Is Bitcoin as a settlement layer a good thing? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock and Lightning Network Engineering Blog
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