The Casa Lightning Node

One of the technical barriers that prevents people from fully participating in the bitcoin network and the lightning network is running their own node. This has many advantages, but also requires some technical knowledge. The Casa Lightning Node can change this.

All-in-1

The Casa Lightning Node is an all-in-1 solution for joining the lightning network. Casa’s device is plug-and-play and comes pre-synchronized with the bitcoin blockchain, so minimal technical knowledge is required to start using the node. This makes it easier for the beginner to join the lightning network and run a node independently.

The Casa node costs about 250. The box consists of a Raspberry Pi 3B+ in combination with a 1TB Seagate HDD and is therefore not exactly cheap in relation to the hardware that is supplied. After connecting the node, users can send and receive lightning payments, and open and close payment channels with other nodes. The first two batches of 100 nodes are already sold out and will ship in October and November. It is currently possible to place a pre-order for the next batch.

Do not cheer to early?

While any hardware device you deploy requires a certain amount of trust in its manufacturer, the amount of trust required can generally be minimized through proper user and manufacturer steps.

Unfortunately, the Casa Lightning Node is not entirely open-source. This is a pity, because it makes it difficult to verify that the box is really reliable. Although the node is not dependent on Casa’s servers, you do rely on the data they have preloaded. You cannot then check for yourself that the box does what it should and will always do.

Such solutions for running a node are desirable; it is simply not (yet) for most people to independently go through the technical steps needed to run their own node. This creates a difficult situation: on the one hand, you want as many people as possible to participate independently, so plug-and-play devices are a great solution. On the other hand, playing with confidence is like playing with fire when it comes to bitcoins; before you know it they are gone. Time will tell whether reliable solutions will become available on the market. For the time being, ready-made solutions such as the Casa Lightning Node are an interesting experiment.

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