Today, we at Lightning Labs are announcing the release of
This release marks the 4th major release of
lnd and the first Lightning
mainnet beta, an important milestone. With this release,
lnd has gained a
considerable feature set, deeper cross-implementation compatibility, a new
specialized wallet seed, comprehensive fault-tolerance logic, a multitude of
bug fixes, and much more! This release is also the first release of
has the option to run on Bitcoin’s mainnet, with the safety, security,
and reliability features necessary for real-world, real money usage.
Note that this release is intended for developers of future Lightning
applications (Lapps) along with technical users and prospective routing node
operators. In this early phase of Lightning, we’re focused on providing the
software infrastructure (such as
lnd!) necessary to bootstrap the network and
serve as a platform for future applications, services, and businesses. As this
is the first mainnet release of
lnd, we recommend that users experiment with
only small amounts (#craefulgang #craefulgang #craefulgang)!
If you’re interested in installing and testing
lnd 0.4-beta, please visit our release page.
The maintainers of
lnd would like to thank all the dedicated testers and
60+ contributors who helped make this release possible! We believe
lnd 0.4-beta is a big step in the development of the Lightning Network and
will help make Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies simpler, faster, safer, and
A few of the highlights (more detail can be found in the release notes):
bitcoind support - previous versions of
lndrequired the use of
btcd. Now, users who prefer to run
bitcoindcan do so using the instructions here.
New seed format, deterministic keys - a new and improved key creation and recovery system makes it much easier to backup
lndnodes and also makes recovery from data loss or corruption simpler and more reliable. These improvements are also necessary for remote backup services, which will provide additional safety for Lightning users.
Vastly improved fault-tolerance - safety and security of user funds is of the utmost importance, and a great deal of effort has gone into making
lndsecure and stable in the event of power failures, network failures, hardware failures, or other unexpected or adversarial conditions. Ensuring that necessary recovery information is stored at all times and can be correctly reloaded upon restart and reconnection to the Lightning Network has been a major undertaking for 0.4-beta.
Smarter Path-Finding -
lnd 0.4-betaintroduces improved management for constructing payment routes. This system, dubbed Mission Control, incorporates feedback from previous payment attempts to update a node’s view of the network in response to temporary bottlenecks or failures.
Automated Contract Resolution - sweeping funds back into a user’s wallet is now handled by a concert of subsystems that together decide how and when to spend all output types generated by an operating channel. Making this process automated, fault-tolerant, and intelligent has demanded an immense amount of effort, but is critical to the safety of funds managed by
lnd. As an aside, you’ll be happy to know that
lndbatches transactions wherever possible ;)
Segwit only -
lndhas removed support for now-obsolete P2PKH addresses, favoring both native Segwit and P2SH. As a result, all transactions, even regular on-chain transactions, will benefit from lower fees and will be healthier for the network.
Routing node metrics -
lndnow provides tools to track fees and payments at high volume, which is of particular interest to those operating transaction routing nodes. Tools such as these can be used to optimize revenue, throughput and reliability. Let the gamification begin!
NOTE: This release of lnd contains several breaking changes. In other
words, any previous
lnd mainnet installations are not compatible with the
beta. As a result, users will need to upgrade using a completely fresh
installation or remove their existing channel.db database file before
upgrading. As a courtesy, we recommend that users close out any existing
channels (cooperatively if the peer is online, or force close otherwise) before
upgrading. A new utility command in the command-line interface,
closeallchannels has been added to streamline this process.
lnd-0.4 beta is a huge accomplishment by many engineers, testers, and users
around the world, but it’s the very beginning for the Lightning Network. As
users begin to experiment with Lightning and as the network begins to grow,
we’ll be working on a number of key infrastructure components that will
contribute to the instant, user-friendly experience Lightning can bring to
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Watchtowers and backups - to provide maximum safety for the funds of Lightning users, “watchtowers” will monitor the blockchain for invalid channel transactions. Typically, Lightning nodes need to be online in order to protect against these events, but watchtowers provide this protection for nodes that have intermittent connectivity, e.g. mobile phones. Even for connected nodes, watchtowers can serve as a secondary line of defense in the face of unplanned service outages.
Atomic Multipath Payments (AMP) - allow large Lightning transactions to be divided into a series of smaller transactions as they’re sent over the Lightning Network, but in such a way that they’re automatically joined back together. The user sees only the total amount of the transaction, without needing to be aware that AMP is being used behind the scenes. AMPs also ease the mental burden of using channels, allowing a user to interpret their balance readily as the sum of balances in channels. This is made possible by the ability to send and receive an AMP-like payment over multiple channels, at both source or sink.
Desktop and mobile apps -
lnd-0.4 betais targeted at technical users, but we believe Lightning Apps that are simple and intuitive for non-technical users will be essential to the growth of the network. To that end, we’ll be updating our alpha Lightning App to be compatible with
lnd-0.4 betaover the coming weeks, and will follow with mobile versions as well.
Routing node tools and guides - more advanced Lightning users may want to support the network while earning fees with their bitcoin by running routing nodes. New tools and additions to lnd will help routing node operators optimize revenue, maximize uptime, and manage capital. A robust routing network is essential to the speed and privacy of Lightning, and we’ll be working with the community to facilitate the growth of the network..
Next-generation Autopilot and Mission Control - currently, lnd uses relatively simple heuristics for Autopilot (peer finding) and Mission Control (routing). These will be further optimized to provide a more reliable, faster user experience.
Cross-chain atomic swaps - cross-chain swaps enable instant, trustless exchange of assets residing on separate blockchains such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, without the systemic risk introduced by custodial exchanges. Lightning will enable more liquid exchanges, and cross-chain swaps will be a key component for decentralized exchange infrastructures.