The Two Big Things Lightning Network Devs Need to Solve that No One Talks About — 9 Comments

  1. The average person will NEVER install a box in their house to hold their lightning node. To think so is living in fantasy land. Lightning has a fundamental requirement that is antithetical to what is needed for mass adoption. Lightning is awesome, lovely, amazing, wonderful, and lots of other positive adjectives I can’t think of, however lightning necessitates custodial wallets for the average user ala Wallet of Satoshi or Bluewallet. What is needed is the next step in evolution, layer 3: offline coins. This is otherwise known as Chauman Minted E-cash. Then Lightning can be used by full-reserve banks that can by audited by anyone by their phone and that serve the function of a mint. In the system, Bitcoin is like gold in a mine, lightning is like refined bullion, and e-cash is like 100% fine coinage. This fixes the ‘needing a lightning node in order to control your lightning sats’ problem.

    How do you fix irreversible transactions and recurring charges with an offline coin? You don’t, we are solving different problems. Lightning and Bitcoin are moving away from custodial and centralized models that enable guarantees, insurance and protection from bad actors.

    Do you remember the world before credit cards? You would buy store-credit with gift cards, and if you were unhappy and returned something you’d get store credit. Credit cards are like a giant store-credit system but they pay you back in fiat rather than ‘visa credits’.

    Here’s the steel-man argument:

    Jack, you’re heart is in the right place and you’re definitely identifying a major and unresolved problem in the crypto space. Bitcoiners claim they want to ‘replace fiat’ with bitcoin, but then ignore that in order to do so businesses and consumers are giving up many technological advances that have emerged out of this centralized system.

    The Bitcoiner will say “bitcoin fixes this” about everything without even understanding all the problems they’re creating by penciling-in a landscape without any way to introduce ‘common sense’ or justified adjudication to disputes. Lets admit, one way or another, most disputes are over money and to remove any way of forcing a resolution one way or another by a mediator is a major deficiency in this new ‘trustless’ system.

    Lightning is a system that solves the speed and volume problem created by the blockchain, but it doesn’t *yet* replace the adjudication and insurance provided by the credit card and the credit system. Lets be honest, the credit system isn’t exactly creating the same problem the federal reserve and fiat money does. Just because they’re run by banks doesn’t necessarily mean they’re creating a problem for the world.

    Credit cards are a reputation-backed reverse-escrow account. Rather than loading up an escrow with funds for the month, they extend you credit based on your reputation. The way lightning is structured, and because its based on custody of actual virtually-physical bitcoin possession, to build a system of credit on lightning is either a novel idea or is impossible.

    At this time, there are some lightning services out there that are built on the escrow concept, namely Robosats for peer-to-peer trading, and for everything else.

    I can envision a system, based on both lightning and e-cash (lightning/online would probably be cheaper for most transactions) where you establish a credit line with a payment processor (like Block or Strike) and as an end-user at the store you have the choice of paying direct with lightning to the store (like paying cash) and taking your chances the store will guarantee their product, or use your credit line with the payment processor and get the extra assurances you presently get with Visa or MC.

    • Not sure you even understand the points I made or lightning in general when you lead off with….

      “The average person will NEVER install a box in their house to hold their lightning node. To think so is living in fantasy land”.

      I did not say one thing that inferred this or required this, not one. That said, first people have all kinds of boxes in their homes right now and they will install anything that is easy and benefits them. Who know what nodes will be combined with in the future.

      I am old enough that I recall people saying no one would want to install a cable box, no one would want a computer, etc. in their home. Ease of use and benefits changed it all.

      That said you know who will install a “box”, point of sale vendors as they already do so. They pay a lot for the privilege of doing it too.

      It may be that mostly rebates are handled by companies like MC/Visa or the new blood, Strike/Cashapp filling that role. However to think we can’t use lightning directly is well, dumb, sorry but true.

      We already have wallets that use lightning where you maintain total control of your funds with no need to run a node. Some where you don’t have total control without a node of your own but your risk is so minimal as to not matter to the average person, etc.

      You are gaslighting, no one here is claiming the things you say they are, at least not here, certainly not in this article. This isn’t even about replacing fiat, fiat is killing itself. It may or may not be rectified. Bitcoin works while fiat is here, it will work if it isn’t here honestly bitcoin doesn’t care.

      The real power of lightning is it can effectively use bitcoin to send dollars. Give it time though and perhaps people will prefer to spend dollars but receive btc.

      Again where you started your critique makes it almost pointless for me to really consider the rest of it. The entire foundation you are building on here is flawed and based on nothing I said or even inferred.

      • I will likewise only read the beginning and end of your response and walk away with the impression you aren’t willing to consider anything I have to say because you’re assuming I have malignant intent based on your initial misconception. Apparently my hours investment in my initial response falls on deaf ears.

        • Don’t have a clue about your “intentions”, not really important to me as I do not know you. Again you began with something so not connected to the point, I can’t take your objections seriously.

          You did make some good points, points largely included in the article honestly which it sounds like you never really read only skimmed.

          Help me out here, tell me one thing I said that would require an average person to “put a box in their home with their person node in it”?

          What? What requires that?

          You seem to be inferring that one needs a node of their own to use lightning. They don’t and a lot of people seem to think you do. I do have a node but I use lightning all the time without it because I am just learning to use it.

          There is a rough POS application already built into the Breez wallet, did you even know that?

          Again I actually brought up your one primary legitimate objection, conflict resolution, it is my exact point.

          It is like I said, this towel does not work and you came back with, “it never will because the color red is a bad color for a towel”.

          Worse over, the towel is actually green and the color has nothing to do with the function thereof.

          Again what did I say that inferred that a person needed to self host a node in their home?

          And really it took you “hours” to write that? Really?

  2. Jack,

    How many sats have you earned since you value enabled your podcast?

    Have you messed with any of the value enabled podcast players?

    Onboarding non-technical people has been one of our hurdles with getting people to adopt using lightning to support podcasters, so this article is pretty spot on with the issues developers have with creating apps for users. One thing a user can do that provides a ton of value is to make suggestions to the app developers. We want to hear what we can do to make things more intuitive, because we don’t think quite like a normal person does. I have found many features I implement that I think are super obvious are hardly noticed by someone when I’m able to observe them using the app, so feedback is very useful for helping build an app you’ll enjoy.

    • Few hundred thousand not a lot but it keeps growing a bit each day. I think most comes from Breez which I have played with. I honestly get more direct tips since I set up I think as people start using it they send me a few bucks to try it and say hey thanks.

      Your stuff was easy enough to do that I set it up myself it was not hard but did take some work. I use Satoshi Stream Bot on TG to receive the sats and just move it over to a wallet from there. At times Breez, at times Exodus, sometimes Wallet of Satoshi.

      I honestly move it in really small amounts just to play with it and see it work, because it is so cool to be able to do. I sucked out 3200ish sats last night the balance in TG is already back over 4000, I should likely let it get to like 100K before withdrawing but again it is just fun to do. So empowering.


      Response send an invoice for up to xxxxsats

      Open wallet, create invoice copy and paste into TG

      Bam money in wallet.

      Your guy at Alby reached out to me, but I have not had time to read all their stuff.

      He sent an bunch of links to a bunch of stuff with a bunch of words.

      You want my advice


      Or something like it, stop with the 900000000009999989900000 words of stuff. Make videos, SHORT videos, step one is this….

      Next video, step two is this

      Next video now you can do this

      Don’t spend 5 minutes explaining stuff, just do these things and these results occur. If someone has a heavy accent or something no offense intended but they are NOT the person to do such videos.

      Bluntly I had to do screen shots to show people how to withdraw from paypal. Think about that, really think about it.

      Anyway I want to have you guys on and the Breez guys on when we start the Bitcoin Breakout in July.

      • The videos are something you all need to do in this space. I told Matt at Start9 this too. I got a node on Volatage and logged in, no idea what to do. My guy Tom is gonna walk me through but the voltage people should have a how to section. Everyone should. These don’t need to be and should not be big productions. I mean super cheap and fast to make.

        I don’t think you guys all realize how many people want in on this. Again your shit is pretty easy, so not as essential but honest to God it would still help.

        You have two sides, podcasters and listeners. Something as simple for listeners as, see, Breez here it is, how you find a podcast on it, how you deposit to it, how you set your rate or boost, etc.

        Ohhh ahhh see how easy. Do it that way and yes they will.

  3. Good points on both sides.

    As an early adopter I would not mind paying a restaurant on the lightning network, as in most cases I have already become a satisfied customer before I get the bill. Even IF I got a bill, such as take-out/delivery, BEFORE the fact I was satisfied, it is a very limited risk and liability on my part. If dissatisfied, I would likely not lose my house over the “lost money”, I would just not recommend them in my circle of influence.
    As use of the lightning network in smaller transactions with limited liability gains traction, it will eventually grow to larger transactions in other fields.
    Incentives on the part of a business to customers who pay in crypto may help jumpstart the adoption.
    I see a bright future and less government control.

    • I may be over concerned about the rebate issue. I mean the more I think about it, people pay in cash all the time right? Not online but in person where 70-80% of all payments are made. Also even a lot of payments made by mail are made by check not card.

      The POS issues do need solving but I am beginning to feel that my comments on Devs making us able to use stuff without learning to code are the bigger issue. Strike is now integrated with Shopify. Mallers says of this, you pay in Bitcoin if your merchant wants bitcoin let them buy it.

      I think he is on to it. At lease as long as we have the entire capital gains issue to deal with. Did you see his full presentation at Bitcoin 2022? I really need to redo this article after watching it.