The Lightning Network (LN) is currently the most promising solution for scaling in the Bitcoin network. Proponents of LN say that the bitcoin network speed can grow from the current seven transactions per second (TPS) to several million.
This is astronomical scalability in ourit will take decades, and perhaps the crypto industry, to achieve such bandwidth. However, everyone can create and configure their own node (node) Lightning Network today.
Earlier we presented to your attention a detailedAn explanation of how the Lightning Network works, and in this article you will see a step-by-step guide on installing and deploying your own Lightning Network node.
What is the Lightning Network node for?
Whenever the quantity increasesfor those wishing to complete a transaction in the Bitcoin network, the commission of the network is growing, while the processing speed of payments remains very low. This is exactly what happened in the midst of market activity in December 2017, when a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain could take several days or cost $ 50 if you wanted to send your funds faster. This state of affairs is becoming a serious obstacle to the mass recognition of the main cryptocurrency.
Here's why you should create and configure your own Lightning Network node:
- if you are really interested in the success of bitcoin, then creating a node will contribute to greater decentralization of the bitcoin blockchain and the LN network;
- You can send and receive micropayments (or even large payments) almost instantly and at a very low commission;
- You will be able to receive a small income from transactions that go through your payment channels.
How to install and configure the Lightning Network node?
There are several implementations of the Lightning Network, however, this guide will cover only Eclair as the most user-friendly and understandable.
Download and configure Bitcoin blockchain: First of all, you should download Bitcoin Core (this is the wallet of Bitcoin and its blockchain) and run it.
Bitcoin blockchain takes over 200 GB, and you havethere should be enough space on the hard disk to accommodate it. While the blockchain is loading, you can edit the configuration file, making the required settings in it.
Open the bitcoin.conf file in the application - select Settings → Options → Open Configuration File. (An alternative is to go to your file system along the path C: Users [user] AppData Roaming Bitcoin).
If you cannot find the file in the Bitcoin folder, then you need to create it. To do this, create a .txt file in the Notepad editor and paste the following lines:
testnet = 0
server = 1
rpcuser = username [username]
rpcpassword = password [password]
txindex = 1
rpcport = 8332
zmqpubrawblock = tcp: //127.0.0.1: 29000
zmqpubrawtx = tcp: //127.0.0.1: 29000
addresstype = p2sh-segwit
deprecatedrpc = signrawtransaction
Replace “username” and “password”own data. Close the text file, saving it as bitcoin.conf. Make sure you end up with a .conf file, not a .txt file. Then it remains to wait for the synchronization of the entire blockchain. This may take several hours or days, depending on the speed of your internet connection. Once the synchronization is complete, you should restart the program.
Download and configure Eclair. You must download the LN node implementation undercalled Eclair. Next, open the clair.conf file in the C: Users [user] eclair directory. Be sure to click "View hidden files" in the settings of the "Explorer" of your computer on the tab "View". Enter the following lines in the clair.conf file:
eclair.chain = mainnet
eclair.node-alias = ”node-alias”
eclair.bitcoind.rpcport = 8332
eclair.bitcoind.rpcuser = username [username]
eclair.bitcoind.rpcpassword = password [password]
eclair.bitcoind.zmq = ”tcp: //127.0.0.1: 29000 ″
eclair.server.public-ips = [“xxx.xxx.xx.x”]
eclair.node-color = ”ffffff”
This will connect Eclair to the core Bitcoin Core network. The "username" and "password" must exactly match what was entered in the bitcoin.conf file.
Eclair and Bitcoin Core should workat the same time. If everything works fine, then the Eclair node should open as an interface, not an error message. In the bottom row you will see your private LN public key. In the lower right corner you can confirm your network connection.
Finally, it's time to open the channels and startsending / receiving transactions Lightning Network. You can use a special search engine for LN - the site 1ml.com, which allows you to find the required nodes, study important statistics and even provide a snapshot of the network.
When you find the node you want to be withconnected, click Channels → Open Channel, then copy the node address and paste it into the Target Node URI. Your Capacity (bandwidth) cannot exceed the available balance of your Bitcoin wallet.
Fee rate is the commission of your node, whichyou install it yourself to allow this or that payment through your site. The commission must be fair. Do not put too high a commission, otherwise no one will want to make payments through your site. You can also use the standard bid that Eclair recommends.
If you want other network users to find your site, you need to check the Public Channel line.
Click Connect to create your firstpayment channel. The State section will indicate WAITING_FOR_FUNDING _CONFIRMED - until the transaction is fully confirmed on the blockchain; after that the inscription will switch to NORMAL.
Your site can send and receive paymentsOnly in the Lightning Network. Therefore, you need to send a payment to yourself from another Lightning Network wallet or ask a friend to make a payment from his wallet so that you can open a receive channel. When you do this, you can easily send and receive payments to the Lightning Network.
Although the LN system allows you to receive instantpayments with small fees, it is still in beta testing (the network is not fully developed). Do not store your investment funds in Lightning Network wallets; and most importantly, do not send large payments on this network. There is always a small chance that you can lose your money. In any case, caution should be exercised when handling your money.
If you want to send bitcoins worth more than$ 200, then you better use a regular bitcoin network. The Lightning Network has not yet fully entered our lives, and all of the above can be seen as a call to join in the experiment and gain some experience with payments in this new network.
However, you can probably find hundreds of online stores that accept LN payments, and shopping with them can also bring you practical benefits.
The process of setting up the Lightning Network seems a little difficult, but in the end this business can be very useful for you, given the low fees and instant transactions of this bitcoin network.