Lightning Labs has released its first mobile wallet app based on the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 scaling solution for Bitcoin. The release comes roughly two months after Lightning Labs released a desktop version (in alpha) for the app.
As reported by industry website Coindesk, the app saw about 2,000 downloads across Android and iOS during the first 24 hours after its launch on Wednesday. Lightning Labs developer Valentine Wallace told Coindesk that users had already given “a lot of feedback” on the application.
Lightning Labs’ Bitcoin wallet allows users to send nearly instant payments worth up to about $1,500. The developers have set a transaction size limit of one sixth of a Bitcoin, as the product is still in alpha.
The Lightning mobile app include the same two core technologies featured in the desktop version – Neutrino and Autopilot. In a blog post published on Wednesday, Lightning Labs explained that Neutrino is “a light client specification that allows non-custodial Lightning wallets to verify Bitcoin transactions with improved privacy, minimized trust, and without needing to sync the full Bitcoin blockchain”. With Neutrino, app users only need to download and verify tens of megabytes worth of filter and block headers in a matter of minutes, Lightning Labs developer Tankred Hase wrote. In comparison, the full Bitcoin blockchain is about 225 GB.
Meanwhile, the Autopilot feature is designed to help newcomers select a payment channel by connecting them to a reliable node. More advanced users can choose to disable the feature and manage their channels manually.
While the current release is primarily focused on spending Bitcoin and sending Lightning payments, the start-up is looking to integrate its Lightning Loop feature to make it easier for users to receive payments.
Speaking to Coindesk, Hase revealed that the company will eventually offer a paid service for merchants and other users that frequently receive payments.
“It’s non-custodial, we don’t hold their funds, but it is a paid service because it requires us to use funds for liquidity and to allow that on the backend,” he said, as quoted by Coindesk. “I like the Amazon Web Services analogy because it allows the other startups to focus on their business logic while Amazon takes on the infrastructure.”
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