Lightning Bulb 💡
Experimental Ideas for Building on Bitcoin
The Lightning Network enables new and exciting ways to build on bitcoin, but the endless possibilities can be overwhelming. That’s why we are launching Lightning Bulb to help inspire the community and kick-start new Lightning projects. This is where we'll host open research questions, experimental ideas, and other forms of inspiration for the Lightning developer community.
If you’re just getting started building on Lightning, we have a beginner’s guide that will familiarize you with our lnd Lightning implementation and its APIs.
We will track developer progress and showcase projects here and on our social channels. These questions will be updated with input from the team and community. If you have ideas of your own you would like to propose, send us an email at [email protected] or submit a PR directly to the Github repository.
We are here to help. If you have questions or need to bounce ideas around, feel free to jump in our dev Slack or join our developer office hours on Discord to chat with our team and the rest of the community. Let’s get building!

Lightning Bulb Requests for Development:

A native interface to Lightning on the web
Streaming payments on social platforms
  • Build an easy way for creators on Twitch, YouTube, and other popular platforms to accept streaming payments from their audience.
  • Suggestion: use webhooks to build ways for Lightning payments to interact with existing platform creator tools and enable audience engagement.
Distributed storage and retrieval using Lightning
  • Use LSATs, a means of authentication solely using a Lightning payment, for arbitrary file storage with a periodic challenge and response which results in streaming content in real-time.
  • Suggestion: small overlay layer to let people find other nodes, anything from a simple hosted bulletin board to full-blown decentralized order book.
Distributed compute with Lightning
  • Use LSATs for a decentralized metered container execution service (like Travis CI). Will have with the potential to reach a more global audience without the requirement of credit cards.
  • Suggestion: think serverless microVMs like Firecracker VM as a starting point, will likely need a small overlay layer to let people find other nodes.
Lightning-based metered VPN
  • More granular and privacy preserving payments for access to a VPN as compared to credit cards, ideally integrated with WireGuard.
Lightning Paywall Plugin
  • Combined with the Web LN work mentioned above, implement as a BTCPayServer, Wordpress and/or Ghost plug-in. Long term, the plugin should target WASM so only a Chrome extension install is required.
  • For thought: could potentially serve as a captcha replacement, where popular sites present de minimis paywalls at first, ramping up only with actual abuse.
Pay-per-use Lightning API calls
  • Create APIs where all requests and responses are made with Lightning push payments with Keysend, instead of requiring an invoice
  • Suggestions: a Keysend Services Directory, ability to sell Mission Control data to a peer in need of updated routing data, etc.
Last modified 8mo ago