Igor Bubelov About Blog Photos

Thunder

June 24, 2022

Lightning Network is a protocol which allows us to scale Bitcoin without compromising on it’s most cherished properties such as decentralization and transaction finality. Currently, there are a few companies who develop their own implementations of the Lightning Network. Luckily for us, all of those implementations are interoperable since they follow the same protocol, so it’s hard to make a wrong choice here.

Personally, I’ve been running LND for quite some time, but I eventually settled on Core Lightning. Unfortunately, there are no native Android apps which can control a Core Lightning node, and making payments on the go is pretty essential for Lightning Network to take off.

Core Lightning didn’t even have a remote control API till 0.11.0 so it’s still a bleeding edge stuff and there are a few rough corners we should be aware of. That said, the new gRPC plugin is pretty great, and it also brings up mTLS out of the box, so you don’t have to worry about unauthorized clients messing with your node.

I was pretty excited about this new gRPC API and I decided to create my own Android client. Most electricity-themed names were already taken, but Thunder seemed to be vacant, so I took it. This app can connect to your Core Lightning node via Tor, and it lets you see you balance as well as the list of you channels, and you can even make Lightning payments on the go. Some features are still missing though, but I’m planning to improve this app in the coming months.