Mastering the Lightning Network: A Second Layer Blockchain Protocol for Instant Bitcoin Payments
Antonopoulos, Andreas M., Osuntokun, Olaoluwa, Pickhardt, René
Launched in early 2018, the Lightning Network (LN) is rapidly growing in users and capacity. This second-layer payment protocol works on top of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to provide near-instantaneous transactions between two parties. With this practical guide, authors Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Olaoluwa Osuntokun, and Rene Pickhardt explain how this advancement will enable the next level of scale for Bitcoin, increasing speed and privacy while reducing fees.
Ideal for developers, systems architects, investors, and entrepreneurs looking to gain a better understanding of LN, this book demonstrates why experts consider LN a critical solution to Bitcoin's scalability problem. You'll learn how LN has the potential to support far more transactions than today's financial networks, ushering in an era of global micro-transactions at sub-second resolution.
In several parts, this book examines:
- The challenges of scaling blockchain technology and why the Lightning Network was invented
- LN basics including wallets, nodes, and lightning payments
- Lightning payment channels and how they work
- Routing payments by constructing paths of payment channels from sender to recipient, including onion routing, and atomic multi-path payments
- Lightning developments such as eltoo, Schnorr signatures, HODL invoices, JIT routing, channel splicing, and channel factories
- Building applications on Lightning (Lapps)
Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a best-selling author, speaker, educator, and highly sought after expert in Bitcoin and open blockchain technologies. He is known for making complex subjects easy to understand and highlighting both the positive and negative impacts these technologies can have on our global societies.
Andreas has written two more best-selling technical books for programmers with O'Reilly Media, Mastering Bitcoin and Mastering Ethereum. He has also published The Internet of Money series of books, which focus on the social, political, and economic importance and implications of these technologies. Andreas produces free educational content on his YouTube channel weekly, and teaches virtual workshops on his website. Learn more at aantonop.com
Olaoluwa Osuntokun is the co-founder and CTO of Lightning Labs, and also the lead developer of lnd, one of the main implementations of Lightning. He received his B.S and M.S in Computer Science from UCSB and was a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2019. During his graduate studies he focused on the field of applied cryptography, specifically encrypted search. He has been an active Bitcoin developer for over 5 years, and is an author of several Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIP 157+158). These days, his primary focus lies in building, designing, and evolving private, scalable off-chain blockchain protocols, such as Lightning.
René Pickhardt is a trained mathematician and data science consultant who uses his statistical knowledge to do research with NTNU about pathfinding, privacy, reliability of payments and service level agreements of the Lightning Network. René maintains a technical and developer-oriented Youtube channel about the Lightning Network and has answered roughly half of the questions about the Lightning Network on Bitcoin Stackexchange making him the go-to point for almost all new developers who want to join the space. René has held numerous workshops about the Lightning network in public and private, including teaching students of the 2019 Chaincode Labs residency together with other core Lightning Developers.