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Here are the best and most decentralized self-custody Bitcoin Lightning Network mobile applications.

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Written by   291
6 months ago

I am the kind of person who likes to experiment and find out things on my own, either because I can read through them or because I found out how they work using the available tools. Lightning Network is the second layer protocol to make Bitcoin a peer-to-peer currency without increasing the block size so that every computer, no matter how old, can run and download the blockchain.

You can use many applications to use Lightning Network, and depending on your hardware, you could run full and light nodes. Full nodes run the whole blockchain and route payments on the open internet or Tor. This kind of wallet will require that users have enough funds, enough hardware to run a full Bitcoin Core and its data chain, and an internet connection that can change the port forwarding configuration. All of those software applications will most likely be command-line base, so you would need to know some basic computer skills. I don't run a full node because I don't broadcast my real IP to the world and don't feel comfortable with that idea, and running a full node over Tor, is not something easier either. I tried it myself and hit a roadblock when creating a Hidden Service to broadcast my Tor IP address to the network. In short, full nodes are out of the question for me.

Mobile applications are the best next solution because they are a GUI interface, and you don't need to input any command-line codes to run a private LN node. Mind you, with mobile nodes, you will not be able to route payments, and as such, you will always pay for routing fees. It is good, too, because it will mean the channel liquidity will be constantly available for your use.

Lightning Network has many applications, and many others are being created yearly. Still, the most crucial part is that now it is possible to run a remote node where the users can control their private keys and the operation of their node, meaning you can choose what node to connect. There are applications like Muun and Phoenix and multisign wallets because you connect to LN through a single node. Authentic decentralized wallets should be those where you control your keys and channels. I will call those applications real Lightning Network applications.

Those real Lightning Network applications are Nayuta Core, Simple Bitcoin Wallet, and BLW. And out of the three, I recommend Nayuta Core, and you could run Zap Wallet on top of Nayuta Core if you need to redeem an LNURL invoice. You can't use zero satoshi invoices on either of the three wallets, so it will mean you would still need to use a custodian wallet when it comes to using zero satoshis invoices. You need zero satoshis invoices when using exchanges like coinplaza and FixedfFloat, but once you receive your sats, you can send them immediately to your channel.

If you are a Bitcoiner, you can run full nodes if you have the hardware, enough funding, and the knowledge. For everyone else, private mobile node applications run remote nodes where users control their keys and manage their channels. You only need custodians to claim or create zero lightning network invoices. But I am pretty sure someone is working on the way to do just that on mobile applications.


Aside from running a complete node, the best Lightning Network applications are Nayuta Core together with Zap wallet. And one runs the node the other connects to, so you can utilize LNURL invoices. Zero value invoices are not possible yet, so for those, you will still need to rely on custodians like the Wallet of Satoshi. And to get your fiat into Bitcoin, the Chivo wallet will do wonders if you are from El Salvador. Everyone else will have to utilize exchanges.

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Written by   291
6 months ago
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