Sparkswap Desktop: the only way to buy Bitcoin on the Lightning Network

Trey Griffith
Sep 16, 2019 · 4 min read

After months of hard work, we’re proud to announce Sparkswap Desktop, our new product for buying Bitcoin from your bank account directly to your Lightning Wallet.

At Sparkswap, we’ve been pioneers of Lightning Network atomic swaps for trading, and now we’re using that same technology with the trading pair we use the most: Bitcoin and USD. Not only that, we’ve packaged¹ it up for use on Windows, macOS, or Linux.

We’ve taken our core belief that trading shouldn’t require you to give up custody of your assets, and combined it with the best of traditional fiat on-ramps: clear pricing, instant purchases, and USD bank integration.

The result is a product that is as easy to use as the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, but keeps you in control of your assets.

Your keys, your Bitcoin

You can transfer USD² directly from your bank account via ACH with no fees. For qualified customers, these transfers are instantly available for purchasing Bitcoin, otherwise transfers are cleared in a few days.

Bitcoin purchases through Sparkswap Desktop are transferred instantly to your Lightning wallet without Sparkswap ever taking custody of your Bitcoin. Every Bitcoin purchase from Sparkswap is executed as a Lightning Network Atomic Swap — you only have to trust the open source software, not Sparkswap the company.

That makes Sparkswap the only way to buy Bitcoin for which you hold the keys, instantly.

Since every satoshi you buy is instantly available in a Lightning channel, Sparkswap is also the easiest way to get started with the Lightning Network. Just connect your bank account, make a deposit, and you’ll be able to use all that the Lightning Network has to offer.

With Sparkswap Desktop, you’ll be #StackingSats the only way that makes sense — with full custody of your private keys.

Sparkswap Desktop is the first step toward a non-custodial financial system. In this release, we only support purchasing Bitcoin with USD (friends don’t let friends sell Bitcoin). However, in upcoming releases we expect to support mobile platforms and Bitcoin sales. If there are other features that you want prioritized, let us know.

Getting started with Sparkswap Desktop

The first version of Sparkswap Desktop is designed for users that run LND (a popular Lightning node) already. If you don’t, we recommend the Lightning App, Zap, or the Node Launcher — Sparkswap is optimized for use with all of them. We have plans to support other Lightning implementations and clients, so stay tuned for updates.

To get started, download Sparkswap Desktop for Mac, Linux, Windows, or build it from source yourself.

Setting up Sparkswap Desktop is as easy as connecting to your existing LND node. If you’re using a popular implementation on the same machine, we can scan locally to find it.

Once you’re connected to LND, you’ll see a live Bitcoin/USD price feed displaying the price at which you’ll be able to buy Bitcoin.

You can transfer USD via ACH from your bank account with no fees and, for qualified customers, your USD will be available instantly.

Once you’ve deposited, you can buy Bitcoin and it will be instantly transferred to your Lightning wallet.

That’s it! Sparkswap Desktop keeps you in control of your assets, without sacrificing the speed or convenience of a traditional fiat on-ramp. If you have any trouble getting started, please ask for help!

¹ Of course, like our other core technology, Sparkswap Desktop remains open source, and you should feel free to build it yourself.

² All USD is held in a US-domiciled escrow account with regular third-party audits and contractual controls that limit funds being used for anything other than USD redemptions — your USD transfers are not subject to bankruptcy proceedings of Sparkswap or any of our affiliates.


Trey Griffith

Written by



The Lightning Exchange

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