Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream is launching an on-demand Lightning node service to support users looking to set up a node with little effort.
The company announced the new all-in-one service on Wednesday via a press release shared with the BTC Times. Called Greenlight, the service is built on top of c-lightning, Blockstream's Lightning implementation, and allows bitcoiners to set up their Lightning node via Blockstream's cloud infrastructure. In doing so, users will be in control of their funds, with their private keys never leaving their own device, according to Blockstream.
The idea behind Greenlight: provide a simple way to launch a Lightning node that minimizes friction and eases the onboarding process. Running a Lightning node can be a daunting task even for long-time bitcoiners. Users therefore often turn to custodial services, which are often more convenient to use, but require access to their users' private keys.
"At Blockstream, we think there's a better way with Greenlight, which lets users operate a node while also having control over their private keys and bitcoin, leaving the intricacies of node operation up to the professionals," Blockstream's Core Tech Engineer Christian Decker explained the motivation behind Greenlight.
The service is initially rolled out through Lightning-based chat application Sphinx and Lightning payment platform Lastbit, both of which allow their users to spin up a c-lightning node on demand with little overhead using Greenlight. Blockstream doesn't plan on stopping at the launch of its new service however: In the future, the firm plans to add new features to Greenlight, including swap services and liquidity rebalancing. During the testing phase, users will be able to access Greenlight free of charge.
The Lightning Network is Bitcoin's most popular second layer that enables near-instant peer-to-peer payments at negligible fees. Lightning has seen a surge in adoption recently, jumping from a network capacity of around 980 to over 1,880 bitcoin since July last year. The ongoing development of Lightning applications (sometimes called LApps) and growing confidence in the network's stability are widely credited for the accelerated usage Lightning is seeing. Lightning payment apps such as Jack Mallers' Strike, which was instrumental in the Bitcoin Beach movement that eventually led to Bitcoin becoming legal tender in El Salvador, have helped shine a spotlight on the layer-two solution and make it more widely accessible.