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How to send a lightning transaction?


Feb 17, 2018 Posted /  6046 Views


How to send a lightning transaction?

One of the issues faced while trading in Bitcoins is that the blockchain creates a copy of every transaction which is further distributed to thousands of people. By doing this a lot of data generation takes place and transactions become slow and expensive as well. Developers found it massive to update underlying Bitcoin technology so they came forward with an addition of another layer – Lightning, which made the transactions cheap and instant, with same security backing of Blockchain.

Companies like Blockstream are encouraging the use of lighting technology and have already initiated lightning-powered stores. To motivate usage of the upgradation, the company is also sending stickers to early technology adopters. The company calls these stickers as a sign of bravery to successfully pass funds using the network.

"Show the world that you were one the first people to use Lightning on mainnet for a legitimate purchase if it works," Blockstream's website

As per experts, the technology should be used on trial basis without using actual funds to avoid losses.The benefit of testnet will be that the user will not be using their real Bitcoins, rather they will use a replica which will be easily available at the online faucet and could be sent to the lightning wallet.

How to use Testnet?

  • The user can download different wallets for their different operating system such as Lightning Labs for desktop, Éclair wallet for android etc. If you choose to download a desktop app then it will require syncing Bitcoin testnet which can be a time-consuming process.

  • After transferring the test Bitcoin to your wallet you need to choose a channel and select store where you would like to make a transaction. Currently, a site named yalls, Starbucks café and an ice cream parlor are involved.

  • Add the store as your ‘peer address’ and seek out for payment.

  • You will need to send a small fee for opening the channel which would be around 0.1 Bitcoin test

  • Add the store payment address in your contacts and enter an amount. By following all these steps you will be able to check operations of your test Bitcoin Successfully.

As per Coindesk, it followed the same steps and successfully made transactions except when a majority of nodes were offline.

How to use Mainnet?

The mainnet lightening transaction is considered risky. Even experts suggest to avoid it in its early stages. By conducting a transaction at this stage you can not only lose your coin rather it can complicate the administration of the updates due to a large number of transactions.

We have provided the basic steps that you need to follow in order to get your transactions started. The steps are a bit complicated than the testnet operations and can be time-consuming as well.

  • The easiest way to access mainnet is via Blockstream’s C-Lightening. You can get a detailed user guide on their website where necessary command lines have been provided.

  • Before initiating your C- Lightening login process you need to download various code toolkits and an Ubuntu operating system. C- lightening will also ask you to sync to your Bitcoin wallet which can take few days and require 170 Gigabytes storage.

  • You can get a list of necessary tools that are needed to be installed from Blockstream Breakdown

  • Next step is to download a bitcoin full node software available at bitcoin.org. it can take really long time in syncing your Bitcoin Blockchain so leave it overnight to complete this procedure.

  • After syncing up with your Bitcoin chain you can get C-lightening code from its Github repository. In order to sync Blockstream and channel graph, you need to use the command line. You will also require sending some funds from your bitcoin wallet to mainnet wallet. To generate your mainnet wallet’s address use internal lightening client.

  • After successful transfer of funds, you need to open a payment channel with Blockchains peer. To open the channel you need to have Blockchain’s public key. As a small fee was paid in testnet, similarly fee of 500 satoshis is paid here. By monitoring the logs you can track the transaction

  • After receiving three confirmations, you can list a new payment channel using lightning-cli and start making payments to the blockstream store.

Further Steps:

If the above-listed steps seem big enough then you are thinking right and developers are working on simplifying them as well. As lightning is still in its Alpha phase so this can be assured that a simpler model will be launched after a point of time.

The Éclair has also introduced its early stage lightening API. Unlike other business channels, Éclair will be handling Back-end operations.

Developers such as  Alex Bosworth are working on simplifying the lightning process by eliminating the step of setting up of the channel.

Till now the Lightning network is complex and dangerous for an average user but developers are working on making it as simple as the existing payment platform.


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Tags: Lightining Transcation blockchain blockchain technology

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