The second wallet that we will be looking at is the Bitcoin Lightning Wallet which is a bit more advanced and requires you to handle your own channels:

  • BLW uses 'Olympus servers' which serve multiple functions, including storing an encrypted backup, functioning as a watchtower, and helps with routing of payments across the Lightning Network.
  • In the previous part of this series, the channel function in Breez was handled for you automatically, in the Bitcoin Lightning Wallet, you have to mange them yourself.

In this part of the series, I will show you a couple different ways that you start using BLW without first sending Bitcoin directly to the wallet first. One of these possible solutions will even allow you to start spending right away without needing to wait for the three confirmations on the base layer Bitcoin network.

Just a bit of a disclaimer, this wallet is ONLY on Android, so if you are iOS, please pardon me as this doesn't apply to you. Come back for Part IV where we will get you Apple owners involved again!

Let's assume you've installed BLW on your Android phone:

Getting started with this wallet involves making sure you do everything that you can to secure your funds. First, let's start a new wallet:

In addition to backing up your channel state to the Olympus server, BLW will prompt you to connect a Google Drive to have a redundant backup. Please connect your Google Drive account. Disclaimer: Please be aware that this has some privacy implications, please do your own research and decide if you wish to upload your information to Google.

Next, you'll want to click on the "View mnemonic phrase" button to backup your onchain funds. Please write down the words and store them someplace safe:

Once these backup steps have been taken, you now need to connect some incoming channels to your wallet. There are two different ways to do that:

  • You can go to LNbig.com and you can create an incoming channel up to 5,000,000 satoshis. Click on the link above, choose the size of the channel you'd like to open, click next, and scan the QR code with BLW:

LNBIG

It will open an incoming channel inside of BLW. It will take three confirmations before you can use the channel. As in previous parts of this series, you can send Bitcoin from Cash App to the Wallet of Satoshi wallet as referenced in Part I of this series. Once you have done that, you can create an invoice inside of BLW by going to the lower right Bitcoin icon and clicking "Receive Funds", then "Lightning Payment" and choosing the amount you'd like to move to your BLW wallet.

  • Another method would be to go to Bitrefill and use their Turbo Lightning Channel service. You can open up an incoming channel with a capacity with up to 10,000,000 satoshis, each channel will come preloaded with half the total capacity already loaded as outgoing capacity. If you open up a channel for 1,000,000 satoshis, you'll have an outgoing capacity of 500,000 satoshis. You can begin making transactions before the channel even finishes confirming:

bitrefill

You can purchase the Turbo Lightning Channel either with an onchain Bitcoin transaction directly from Cash App or you can use any Lightning funds that you might have in your Wallet of Satoshi app. If you are desperate, you can even use altcoins or your Coinbase account.

Once your channel is established, you should be able to receive funds from any other Lighting Network wallet or service. If you opted to use the Turbo Lightning Channel service from Bitrefill, you can now also spend your sats on things you might find useful.

Just as a quick recap, if you want to load Bitcoin into your Bitcoin Lightning Wallet's lightning channel, take the following steps:

  1. Take one of the steps above to open up an incoming channel, either using LNBIG or Bitrefill.
  2. Purchase on-chain Bitcoin on Cash App.
  3. Send it to your Wallet of Satoshi wallet.
  4. Send the sats to your BLW wallet.

A great thing about this wallet vs Breez or Wallet of Satoshi is that you can actually close your Lightning channels and claim your onchain Bitcoin. You can either settle your Bitcoin to BLW itself or to an outside address. Keep in mind that the other side of the channel must be online in order to do a cooperative close.

Both of the options that I offered above are likely to be online all of the time. If for whatever reason, they are not online, you'll have to do a forced close of the channel. You will have to wait the preset amount of blocks that the other side of the channel, typically this defaults to 144 blocks or roughly 24 hours.

Thanks for reading part III of this series! Please let me know if there was anything that was missing or anything that can be improved. The next part in this series will be using a BTCPay server to host your own LND(or C-Lightning) node, the level of complexity will no doubt skyrocket but I'll try my best to hand hold you through the process.

Here are the other parts of the series:


Part I: Getting started with a Custodial Wallet/Usability of LN

Part II: Non-Custodial Wallets

Part IV: Hosting your own LND node using BTCPay Server