I recently heard for the first time about the Lightning Network (LN). Whilst I find the concept very interesting,I still have some concerns. It seems like a massive risk and headache to run my own software and learn how to use Lightning and at the end of the day not a lot of merchants actually accept it anyways. I’m keen to test LN but I’m not a tech-y person and I fail to see how I can use this thing in the real world or do anything useful with it.
As far as my understanding goes, The Lighting Network solves the problem of the Bitcoin network taking too long to process transactions. This might be the technological breakthrough that Bitcoin was waiting for. I find the idea of transacting with Bitcoin immediately, without having to anxiously wait for my transactions to be confirmed on the Bitcoin blockchain thrilling. Maybe we will finally be able to use Bitcoin in our day-to-day lives? I’m sure that Bitcoin will become mainstream when people start using it in the real world and merchants start accepting it.
All that is great, but my main concern is, can we really use Lightning to pay for things in real life? Can I send Bitcoin over Lightning to my friends and family without them needing to understand how to use this thing? How the hell do I get started with Lightning without spending 2 days of technical deep-dive? I’ve heard of a few people trying to use the technology, but haven’t personally heard of anyone actually using it for anything meaningful. At most, I’ve met some people using the technology to make transactions between other lightning “power” users. But that’s all.
I’ve heard of a few solutions that claim to make it “easy” and “useful” such as “[Bluewallet](https://bluewallet.io/)”, “[Lastbit](https://lastbit.io/)”, and “[Fold](https://foldapp.com/)” but I’m unsure if they are worth my time at all. Ultimately I’ve been disappointed so many times by products in this space that claim to be the holy grail and that simply do not deliver…