The #Bitcoin #Lightning Spec Part 1/8

Rusty Russell
Dec 4, 2016 · 1 min read

Welcome, friend!

After Scaling Bitcoin Milan we invited all the people implementing Lightning variants to a 2-day meeting to thrash out a common protocol; Joseph Poon has organized most of us into a series of two-weekly warmup calls to set the scene, and despite the unfortunate absence of Mats Jerratsch we made excellent progress.

The next step was a giant Google Doc for massive collaborative editing, which was then split into the github repository with separate “BOLT” RFC-style documents and continues to be refined. There is more to do, but I think it’s time to cover the (80+ page!) spec from a high level: that’s the purpose of these posts, which mirror the structure of the draft specification itself (skipping the interim BOLT #6 covering the IRC bootstrap protocol).

No specification can ever really be marked “complete” until we have two inter-operating implementations, and that work is ongoing as I write this (which includes clarifying the spec and creating test vectors).

  1. BOLT #0: Introduction and Index (you are here!)
  2. BOLT #1: Base Protocol (blog post)
  3. BOLT #2: Peer Protocol for Channel Management (blog post)
  4. BOLT #3: Bitcoin Transaction and Script Formats (blog post)
  5. BOLT #4: Onion Routing Protocol (blog post)
  6. BOLT #5: Recommendations for On-chain Transaction Handling (blog post)
  7. BOLT #7: P2P Node and Channel Discovery (blog post)
  8. BOLT #8: Encrypted and Authenticated Transport

Rusty Russell

Written by

Rusty is a Linux kernel dev who wandered into Blockstream, and is currently trying to produce a prototype and spec for bitcoin lightning. Hodls bitcoin (only).

Rusty Russell

Written by

Rusty is a Linux kernel dev who wandered into Blockstream, and is currently trying to produce a prototype and spec for bitcoin lightning. Hodls bitcoin (only).

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store