Lightning Network: Technical Basics

Following the Milan meeting of key developers working on the Lightning Network, Rusty Russell has written the Lightning Network specification in a series of short blogs. In Milan, many technical details were discussed about the exact implementation of the Lightning Network. This productive meeting contributed to the extensive specification of the Lightning Network, now over 80 pages long.

Rusty’s blogs provide a general overview of the implementation and cover the following topics:

  1. Overview (link)
  2. Basic protocol (link)
  3. Payment channel protocol (link)
  4. Bitcoin transactions and scripts (link)
  5. Onion Routing protocol (link)
  6. Nodes and on-chain transactions (link)
  7. Peer-to-peer communication of channels (link)
  8. Encrypted communication (to come)

We previously wrote about the Lightning Network’s first test transaction, which took place between two of the developers. Lightning is still in development and will take some time to be ready for use, but the extensive specification now largely clears the general basis for the various implementations that will work together in the future.

When Lightning will be finished is not only dependent on the developers, Segregated Witness is also needed for a fully functioning Lightning Network. The vote to adopt Segregated Witness is currently up to the miners.

Besides working out all sorts of complicated technical details, the developers also concentrated on the things that really matter, such as the theme song of the Lightning Network:

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