[bitcoin-dev] What Lightning Is

Joseph Poon joseph at lightning.network
Mon Aug 10 04:39:13 UTC 2015


Hi Gavin,

On Sun, Aug 09, 2015 at 06:44:08PM -0400, Gavin Andresen via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> I'd love to see somebody write up a higher-level description of what the
> user experience is like, what communication happens underneath, and what
> new pieces of infrastructure need to get built to make it all work.

I'm writing a (hopefully more accessible) summary on Lightning
currently. It might not go into too much detail with infrastructure, but
is a bit more UX focused.

> A customer starts with eleven on-chain bitcoin. They want to pay for a nice
> cup of tea. Walk me through what happens before/during/after the
> transaction, assuming I have a  lightning-enabled wallet on my iPhone and
> the tea shop has a lightning-enabled cash register.
> 
> Assume neither the customer nor the tea shop are technically sophisticated
> -- assume the customer is using an SPV wallet and the tea shop is using a
> service similar to Bitpay.

It's a bit of a tangent, but I see it as necessary that all Lightning
services/wallets support on-chain payments for a multitude of reasons,
including usability and long-term security/fungibility. For that reason,
the UX flow for payment after channels are established should not be
significantly different than Payment Protocol based payment flows (with
the only exception being a possible additional fee dialog box/alert when
the fees will be higher than expected/on-chain).

-- 
Joseph Poon


More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list