Send and receive payments

Enabling payments in your software is often a business necessity

Common consumer web application use cases include:

  1. Receiving SaaS revenue
  2. Payments between marketplace participants, including escrow
  3. In-app purchases for premium features

Until now, the only choice for developers has been integrating proprietary, trusted, centralized, third-party digital credit systems like PayPal or Stripe.

Bitcoin’s Lightning network offers developers an open source, trustless, decentralized, self-hosted digital cash system.

What is Bitcoin’s Lightning network?

The Bitcoin digital cash system uses proof-of-work over time to provide transaction finality. This proof-of-work function is currently paid for by new cash emission and transaction fees. Full verification of every transaction is necessary for users to trustlessly determine that the expected cash emission schedule to 21 million bitcoins is correctly being followed. …


Install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015

This is needed to avoid a bug with the Node Launcher’s UI library (Qt / PySide2)

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48145

Install OpenSSL

Python’s package manager (pip) does not work on Windows without OpenSSL installed

Go to https://slproweb.com/products/Win32OpenSSL.html

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Download the latest Win64 EXE, currently Win64 OpenSSL v1.1.1b

Open the .exe and install OpenSSL with all of the default options

Install git

Git is the version control software used by the Node Launcher (and any other software project hosted on GitHub)

Go to https://git-scm.com/download/win

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The download should start automatically

Install git with all the defaults

Install Python

The Node Launcher is written in Python, an easy to read programming language

Go to…


If you’re a command line wizard and love BTC/LN, you’ve probably already used bitcoin-cli and lncli

These two utilities allow you to issue commands to your bitcoin and lightning nodes

The Node Launcher now has direct access to these commands, so you don’t have to open a terminal window and try to remember what to type!

The consoles are located in the Node Launcher’s system tray menu

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When you open the consoles, the help command automatically runs

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When you start to type in a command, auto-complete will suggest options

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The output of commands that are JSON get formatted to help with readability

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You can find documentation for bitcoin-cli here: https://bitcoincore.org/en/doc/0.17.0/rpc/blockchain/getblockchaininfo/

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Documentation for lncli is embedded in these developer docs (the shell tab on the right): https://api.lightning.community/

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These commands give you more flexibility than user interfaces

If you encounter any bugs please report them to https://github.com/lightning-power-users/node-launcher/issues/new

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Go to https://lightningpowerusers.com/home/

Enter your pubkey if we are already connected, or your pubkey@host:port if we are not already connected

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Select how much inbound capacity you would like to request. If you have already opened a channel in our direction, we will reciprocate for free for 3 days.

If you have not opened a channel in our direction, or you would like additional inbound capacity, or you would like the channel to be guaranteed open for longer than 3 days, we charge a capacity fee.

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Free reciprocation

Select the chain fee rate. When blocks are full and the mempool (tx queue for entering blocks) is backed up, you can pay less and wait longer for the channel opening transaction.

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Click on Pay with Joule

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Click Confirm

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Done, your channel is now opening!

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In Joule you will see

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This channel will go from orange to green once it has 3 confirmations

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This starter pack is for Bitcoiners who want to run a reliable Lightning routing node from home. You could set up your routing node on someone else’s cloud server, but that wouldn’t be very self-sovereign!

This starter pack is not for Bitcoiners who just want to send and receive payments with a non-routing Lightning node.

Routing vs non-routing

A routing node is a node with channels that are publicly advertised, broadcasted, as being available to potentially route payments for others on the network.

A non-routing node is a node with only “private” channels, the existence of a private channel is only known to the two nodes it is connecting. …


The Node Launcher can sometimes experience issues which are difficult to diagnose. Here’s how to get more information on macOS.

Open up Applications/Utilities/Terminal

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A command line interface will appear

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Find where you downloaded and unzipped the Node Launcher app

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Click and drag the app into the command line interface

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Hit the Delete key so you remove the whitespace at the end of the path

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Copy /Contents/MacOS/Node.Launcher.app

Paste it into the command line

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Press enter

Copy the output (as long as it does not show your mnemonic seed or other sensitive information, don’t accidentally dox yourself!)

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Open a new issue on GitHub https://github.com/PierreRochard/node-launcher/issues/new

Paste in the output

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Submit the new issue!


My favorite part about writing software is hearing positive feedback from users. The concept of the Node Launcher is uncontroversial: help users run a full Bitcoin node and a Lightning node on their desktop or laptop, without using the command line. All of the constructive criticism has been related to bugs (most of them fixed) or desired improvements (forthcoming!).

I’ve gathered here a list of my favorite tweets so far…

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Every satoshi you save on shaving is another satoshi you can HODL, think about it!

Inspired by Brian Lockhart

$15 Safety Razor Double Edge

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ISBUZYY/

$5 Razor Blades

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G5FOLI/

$10 Proraso Shaving Soap in a Bowl

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JHEY14/

$37 Shaving Brush

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RJC1HC/


If often have questions about port forwarding and what it means, so I thought I would write down my responses.

Why should I care about port forwarding?

Port forwarding is needed when any kind of computer (laptop/desktop/server/mobile) on the internet needs to initiate a connection to you and you are behind a typical home internet router.

This is key: even without port forwarding, you can initiate a connection to others who do have port forwarding enabled (or they don’t need it).

You port forwarding is only needed if others are making a connection to you.

You port forwarding is not needed if you are making a connection to others. …


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Bitcoin Maximalism

Speculating on a Medium of Exchange

Credibility of Monetary Policy

Growth Currency

Gold

About

Pierre Rochard

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