Yes, we allow users to create a testnet Lightning node for free to try out the platform. These trial testnet nodes will expire after 7 days and will be automatically deleted.
At this time we only offer very basic management functionality. We support initializing or unlocking your node via our dashboard. After your node is unlocked you can connect with any of the applications that offers full functionality.
Nate's edit: The primary management dashboard that we offer is currently Thunderhub which is a very robust tool for node management for most use cases. With your node's macaroons and TLS certificate (which is provided on your Voltage dashboard) you are able to remotely connect and manage your node externally as well.
There are many applications that allow you to control and gather data from your LND node. The type of software depends on what you are attempting to achieve, but here are the most common applications:
Zeus : Great for on-the-go access to your node on your mobile device.
Zap : Light weight mobile client that allows remote access to basic functionality of your node.
Ride the Lightning : A web-based dashboard for node management.
ThunderHub : A web-based dashboard for node management.
Joule : A browser extension that allows you to send/receive with your node in your browser.
Juggernaut : An open source web app that allows you to send private messages with the Lightning Network to other Lightning users.
lncli : Advanced command line tool used to interact with your node. Built into LND.
Faraday : A command line tool that allows you to view and pull node related historical data.
Loop : A service provided by lightning labs that allows you to use on-chain transactions to manipulate your channel balances. Example: If you have a 5,000,000 sat channel with all on local side and want it to be 2,500,000 on both sides, you can use LOOP to receive the 2,500,000 back on chain so you now have inbound liquidity.
balance of satoshis : An advanced command line tool that can be used to run channel rebalances and see other data.
BTCPay Server : The premier open source point of sale system for bitcoin.
Voltage is different than a mobile or desktop wallet software because our nodes are remote and always-on nodes. We're backed by a full Bitcoin node and you can connect to our nodes from anywhere. This means you can have all your channels in one place, but utilize them from any application. Since our nodes are always on, you can receive payments without having to open an app. The node is decoupled from the application so you can use any combination of apps to control your node.
Nate's edit: What differentiates Voltage from other mobile/desktop software is that Voltage nodes are remote and always on. The user does not have to worry about hardware maintenance or up-time. You can connect to your Voltage node from anywhere, any time. Voltage is backed by a Bitcoin full node. Since your Voltage node is always on, you can receive payments without having to open an app and do so in confidence that your node is on reliable infrastructure. Your node is decoupled from the applications so you can use as many apps or combinations of apps as you like simultaneously depending on your personal preference.
No, we do not offer services for you to buy or sell Bitcoin on our site. To fund your wallet you must purchase Bitcoin from somewhere else (like an exchange) and fund your node from there. You can use the send/receive option in your Thunderhub dashboard to send funds from an exchange.
Our Standard node type is connected to a Bitcoin full node. Our Lite node type is connected to Neutrino.
We follow the LND project closely and try to surface all settings users would want. If there's a setting you would like to alter that's not currently in our platform email us at [email protected].
We do not save any of your wallet passwords, seeds, or macaroons in a format we're able to view. We do backup your macaroons and seed, however they are encrypted with your wallet's password client-side before upload. Therefore we are never able to see the contents. Backing up macaroons can help in the event of losing a macaroon, but it also makes certain parts of our dashboard (like generating a 'lndconnect' code) much easier to use.
When initializing or unlocking your node the request goes straight from your device to your node's API. We aren't able to decrypt or view traffic to your node. You can validate this yourself by viewing our dashboard code that is open source.
No, we do not keep a copy of your node's password and seed backups are encrypted with that password. If you lose your seed or password we do not have the ability to recover it.
At this time it's required that you initialize your node from our dashboard. This is because we rely on a feature that is not yet merged into LND to protect macaroons. Therefore, if you initialized your node from other software your macaroon would be lost. Once stateless initialization is merged, more wallets will support it.
We force the stateless initialization feature to be on all the time in our nodes. This allows you to do a regular unlock from any software.
Once your node is in the 'running' state, you should see a 'Connect' button on your node's dashboard. Once you click it, you will be prompted for your node's password. This is to decrypt your macaroon's backup file. After you have entered your password, you are displayed several connection methods. The method of connecting to your node changes drastically between applications. We've provided instructions for some of the most popular applications. Find the application you're using and follow the instructions.
If you want to request an application that isn't in our list or help connecting, please email us at [email protected].
Please note that we provision TLS certificates that are trusted by browsers. This means that most applications don't require a copy of the TLS certificate when connecting.
If you are having troubles connecting to your node please check your IP Whitelist to ensure you aren't being blocked.
All nodes have the ability to export their files. These files include channel.backup, tls.cert, lnd.log, and full (meaning all files). You can export these files by going to your node in our dashboard and clicking the 'Export Data' button. You will be prompted to select which type of export you want to create. Select the type and click 'Start Export'. If you are requesting a 'full' export your node must be in a 'stopped' state. An export will be generated and ready to download. Please be aware that the download links for your exports are only valid for 1 hour. You must create a new export if the link expires.
We support Tor for peer to peer traffic. All Voltage nodes have Tor enabled from the start and you can't turn this off. We don't currently support Tor for API traffic, but this is on our roadmap.
No, it's possible you'll encounter problems. This can be things like architecture differences or running the same node in two places.
The IP addresses that you supply in your whitelist are the IPs that are allowed to talk to your node. All other traffic is denied. If you do not specify a whitelist then your node's API is open to the entire internet. This whitelist is applied to both the gRPC and REST APIs.
When you first create your node the whitelist is autofilled with your current IP address.
Node names are globally unique for the network. If Alice created a node called 'foo' on testnet then Bob could not create a node with the same name on testnet. However, Bob could create a node called 'foo' on mainnet, assuming it's not taken by someone else. Node names also must be made up of only numbers, lowercase letters, and dashes.
When your node needs an update you will receive an email and a blue 'Update' button will appear under your node in our dashboard. This means that there's an update available for your node. This could be an update to LND or the Voltage system. When you're ready to update, simply click the Update button. This will stop, update, and restart your node.
No, all Voltage nodes receive a valid TLS certificate that's signed by a trusted Certificate Authority. This means you don't have to supply a copy of the TLS certificate when connecting to your node (assuming your application supports it).
If you are using a Standard node, a restart of your node fixes this issue almost every time. If this is a persistent issue please email us at [email protected].
If you are using a Lite node, it can take a while for Neutrino to sync to the chain. If your node has been running for a long time without progress a restart of your node could fix it.
If you receive an email stating your node is waiting to be unlocked but you didn't update or restart the node then it's likely something went wrong in our system. Rest assured, we get alerts every time this happens and we will work to prevent it from happening again. We don't know your password, therefore we can't do an automatic unlocking for you. Thus we notify you so you can unlock your node because it's required for your node to be unlocked to function.
We monitor every piece of infrastructure that we can. We get alerted whenever there's a problem and we have 24/7 support for our infrastructure. However, because we don't have your macaroons, that means we can't actually see what's going on inside of your node. It's important for you to also monitor your node to track what's going on inside of LND.
We run a fork of LND that contains a few patches we require to run our nodes the way we want. Our fork is also open sourced and you can find it in our GitHub. We do not remove any features, only add them. Whenever possible, we submit our patches back to the upstream LND project. However, some patches are fairly specific to our product and don't make a lot of sense being in the upstream project.
Here is the comphensive list of patches we apply to LND: