Mobile Bitcoin Payments Now Possible as Lightning App is Launched

The Lightning Network has been seen by many as the messiah that will save bitcoin from its scalability problems. Bitcoin is still a little lacking in this regard and if the Lightning Network is properly developed, it could very easily allow bitcoin to scale up significantly. While there’s still a lot of work going on with developing the network, the Lightning Labs is doing everything it can to improve the network’s general acceptability, usage and adoption.

Lightning Labs has now successfully launched the mobile version of the Lightning App on Android and iOS platforms. Before now, the Lightning App was launched on desktop and with the recent mobile launch, the app is now being supported by five different operating systems.

The Lightning Network is a layer 2 payment protocol that seeks to speed up transactions between nodes. Generally, the network is aimed at making sure transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain are immediate and cost next to nothing.

The Mobile Solutions

Since inception, the Lightning Network has enjoyed a lot of great press and 2019 hasn’t been any different. It has garnered a lot of admiration and support from the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem especially because of Lightning Torch exercise which had quite a few heavy names in participation including Fidelity Digital Assets and also Jack Dorsey, the founder and CEO of Twitter.

Now that the Lightning App has been launched on the Bitcoin main net for the two major mobile operating systems, it is officially the first main net app to be supported by Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS and Android.

The official announcement mentions the app’s user experience. It states:

“We’ve designed the mobile app to be approachable for a wide range of users. That’s why we began with a clean user interface and a goal to hide complexity and make the app more accessible to new users.”

The announcement shows that the Lightning Labs team is very concerned about customers’ individual user experiences and has, therefore, made the app very easy to use without a lot of technicalities so that usage can be as smooth as possible.

Lightning App Security

There’s also something to be said about the security of the new app. The announcement on the official blog states that the mobile platforms are even a lot more secure than the desktop versions earlier released. This was done through sandboxing and also taking advantage of new and improved hardware features running with the app.

“One important feature is that the wallet’s private key never leaves the user’s device and is encrypted by a random wallet password that is stored in the iOS Keychain and is secured via TouchID / FaceID and the iPhone’s Secure Enclave. On Android, the KeyStore is used to store encrypted secrets on disk.”

Admitting that the Android solution is a bit less secure than iOS, the announcement explains that there’s a plan to add support for

“advanced hardware features in the future, e.g. the Pixel 3’s Titan M security module.”

The announcement also includes a strong warning for prospective users. While it is normal that everyone is excited about the use of the mobile version of the service, users are warned that a lot of caution is to be exercised because the network and by extension any applications powered by it are still in their early stages.

“We’d like to remind users that this is still very early technology and there’s a risk of losing all of your funds. While testing the current alpha version of the software, we advise users to not put more money in the app than they are willing to lose.”