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Lightning Labs Unveils Upgrade to Boost Bitcoin Accessibility for Billions of People – Here’s How it Works

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / 24K-Production

Bitcoin infrastructure firm Lightning Labs has released an update to Litd, its node management tool, in order to make it easier for people to use the Lightning Network.

The new update adds automated fee management, custodial accounts, finer-grained LNC permissions, and the Pool Order Board to Litd, Lightning Labs head of product growth Michael Levan said in a recent blog post.

“With this latest release, we’re introducing a handful of new features like automatic channel fee management in Terminal, custodial off-chain accounts, more control over connection permissions for LNC, and an Order Board for a simpler way to interact with Pool.”

Lightning Labs is a major developer of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a “layer 2” payment protocol layered on top of Bitcoin intended to enable fast transactions. 

The Lightning Network requires users to run a Lightning “node” to send and receive payments on the network non-custodially. However, this is not a very straightforward process for users who aren’t tech-savvy. 

This is where Litd comes into play. 

The tool aims to abstract certain features of node management to simplify Lightning usage, removing the need for users to manage them directly to make the experience easier. 

Lightspark is a Bitcoin tech infrastructure company led by former Paypal president and entrepreneur David Marcus, who co-created Diem, a cryptocurrency proposed by Meta that failed to take flight after arousing the suspicions of US regulators.

Attempts to Simplify Lightning Network Usage Finds Momentum

The recent update includes a new version of Lightning Terminal, the web-based UI for node and liquidity management, which now supports automated channel fee management. 

This means that the user operating the Lightning node no longer has to manually adjust the fees. Instead, fees will change dynamically based on how many payments each channel is routing each week.

The update also introduces “accounts,” which enables several users to share a single Lightning node, eliminating the need to deal with all the complexity of liquidity or node management.

“Within litd, the user account is a virtual construct that provides restricted access to an existing lnd node,” Levan said. “An account has a virtual (off-chain only) balance in satoshis and an optional expiration.”

He added that the upgrade to Litd was intended to increase node-management automation and provide better developer tooling. 

Levan also noted that the changes would make it easier to onboard new users to the network regardless of their experience level. 

Liquidity is one of the significant UX hurdles that users face. They must first ensure a Lightning channel is open to them to receive funds, which can be complicated. 

“This alpha feature is another step towards automating node and liquidity management in addition to the existing Autoloop feature, an automated option for using Loop to manage liquidity.”

Earlier this month, Lightspark unveiled a platform for the Lightning Network aimed at onboarding businesses to the network.

In an announcement on Twitter, the company called the new Lightspark Platform “the first enterprise-grade entry point to the Lightning Network.”