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Lightning Network Curriculum

What Is This?

While planning the Chaincode Residency, we put considerable effort into finding the best resources and creating a curriculum around Lightning protocol development. You can find all of our published materials on our resources page.

Lightning is still a nascent technology, and so we expect maintenance of this document to be an ongoing task. We could use your help. Please consider opening a pull-request to keep this document relevant.

There are two portions to this curriculum:

  1. Study Groups designed to provide bite-sized grouped subjects that you can either complete bookclub style or alone.
  2. Lightning Syllabus a collection of resources grouped by subjects.

Lightning Syllabus

Subjects Topics Sub-topics Sources
What is Lightning? The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable Off-Chain Instant Payments, What is the Lightning Network and how can it help Bitcoin scale?, The Lightning Network Evolving Bitcoin into a layered system, Understanding the Lightning Network, Part 1: Building a Bidirectional Bitcoin Payment Channel, Understanding the Lightning Network, Part 2: Creating the Network, Understanding the Lightning Network, Part 3: Completing the Puzzle and Closing the Channel, Reaching The Ground With Lightning, Scaling Bitcoin to Billions of Transactions Per Day, 2015, Lightning Network Deep Dive with Laolu "Roasbeef" Osuntokun, The #Bitcoin #Lightning Spec, Lightning Network Glossary
What is Lightning? Introduction Lightning Layers How the Lightning Layers Fit Together, A Lightning Application Design Perspective
What is Lightning? Introduction History of LN History of the Lightning Network, The Future of Bitcoin: What Lightning Could Look Like, The History of Lightning: From Brainstorm to Beta
What is Lightning? Lightning ≈ Bitcoin Lightning ≈ Bitcoin
What is Lightning? Lightning ≈ Bitcoin Revisting tx malleability SF Bitcoin Devs Seminar: Transaction Malleability: Threats and Solutions
How Layers fit together Overview How the layers of Lightning Fit Together Seminar Video
How Layers fit together Update The Update Layer Seminar Video
How Layers fit together Transfer The Transfer Layer Seminar Video
How Layers fit together Multihop The Multihop Layer Seminar Video
How Layers fit together Others The Base an Transport Layers Seminar Video
Transfer Payment channel General Concept Payment Channel Overview
Transfer Payment channel Public channel Do the channel balances get publicly announced in real-time on Lightning Network?, The open_channel Message
Transfer Payment channel Imbalance measure and proactive channel rebalancing Imbalance measure and proactive channel rebalancing video, Imbalance measure and proactive channel rebalancing algorithm paper
Transfer Payment channel Exhausted channels
Transfer Payment channel Channel reserve open_channel Message Rationale
Transfer Transactions BOLT BOLT #3: Bitcoin Transaction and Script Formats
Transfer Transactions Funding Transaction Funding Transactions as a Generalized Design Pattern for Offchain Protocols, Funding Transaction Output, The funding_created Message
Transfer Transactions Commitment Transaction Commitment transactions - wiki, Commitment Transaction - Bolt#3
Transfer Transactions Closing Transaction Closing a Channel in Lighting Network, Closing Transaction
Transfer Transactions Penalty Transaction Revoked Transaction Close Handling
Transfer Transactions Mutual Close Distinguishing mutual and unilateral channel closing in the Bitcoin blockchain, Mutual Close Handling
Transfer Transactions Unilateral Close Unilateral Close Handling: Local Commitment Transaction
Transfer Transactions Fee negotiation BOLT #2: Peer Protocol for Channel Management
Transfer HTLC Overview What Are Hashed Timelock Contracts (HTLCs)? Application In Lightning Network & Payment Channels, Lightning Networks Part II: Hashed Timelock Contracts (HTLCs)
Transfer HTLC Hashlock HTLC implementation Bitcoin Core
Transfer HTLC Timelocks Bitcoin’s Time Locks, Timelock - wiki, Bitcoin Timelocks in a nutshell
Transfer HTLC Revocation Key Lightning Networks Part I: Revocable Transactions
Transfer HTLC Relative Locktime/CLTV BIP 65
Transfer HTLC Hash Pre-image What is a hash pre-image as it is used for the breach remedy?, Offered HTLC Outputs
Transfer HTLC payment basepoint/revocation basepoint Key Derivation
Transfer HTLC Per-commit secret/Commitment number Key Derivation
Transfer HTLC HTLC fulfillment/failure Removing an HTLC: update_fulfill_htlc, update_fail_htlc, and update_fail_malformed_htlc
Transfer Payment Invoice
Transfer Payment Payment Request
Update Invoices Bolt11 encoding BOLT #11: Invoice Protocol for Lightning Payments
Update Gossip Gossip Protocol BOLT #7: P2P Node and Channel Discovery, Gossip Protocol/Path Finding seminar video
Update Transactions LN-Penalty
Update Transactions Eltoo payment channels eltoo: A Simple Layer2 Protocol for Bitcoin, Eltoo and the far future with Christian Decker
Update Trampoline Payments Overview Trampoline Payments Seminar Video
Multihop Sphinx Overview Using Sphinx to Improve Onion Routing Circuit Construction (short paper)⋆, Sphinx: A Compact and Provably Secure Mix Format, Security Analysis of the Lightning Network
Multihop Onion Routing Overview Onion routing seminar video, Sphinx and Onion routing, Onion Routing with HTLCs on the Lightning Network explained! - Beginner / Experts
Multihop Onion Routing Public vs. Private channel Do the channel balances get publicly announced in real-time on Lightning Network?
Multihop Onion Routing Channel announcements BOLT #2: Peer Protocol for Channel Management
Multihop Onion Routing Routing fees The Lightning Network (Part 2) – Routing Fee Economics
Multihop Onion Routing Expiry delta cltv_expiry_delta Selection
Multihop Onion Routing Route hints Exploring Lightning Network Routing
Multihop Onion Routing Keysend (formally known as spontaneous payments) Keysend seminar video
Base Framing and feature negotiation
Transport Noise Protocol Framework Overview The Noise Protocol Framework, The Noise Protocol Framework (video)
Transport Noise Protocol Framework Noise XK Handshake patterns, Noise Explorer
Atomic Swaps Introduction Overview What are Atomic Swaps? A Beginner’s Guide, Atomic Swaps: How the Lightning Network Extends to Altcoins, Atomic Swaps - Jimmy Song, Atomic Swaps on the Lightning Network - video
Atomic Swaps Submarine swaps vs. reverse swaps Overview Submarine swaps seminar video (first 25:30), Onboarding the Masses: Submarine Swaps, Submarine Swaps on the Lightning Network
Atomic Swaps Loops Overview Loops seminar video (starting at 25:52), Announcing Lightning Loop Alpha: An Easier Way to Receive on Lightning, Loop Out In-depth
Limitations Overview Lightning Network 2.0, Major Limitations of the Lightning Network
Limitations Update layer Incentive problems in the network Incentive problems in the network seminar video
Limitations Update layer Fee management Fee management seminar video
Limitations Onion Routing Routing failures Routing failures seminar video
Limitations Payment UX Payment UX seminar video
Limitations Lightweight clients Limitations of lightweight clients seminar video
Limitations Running Lightning in Production Running Lightning in Production seminar video
Limitations Failure modes in action Failure modes in action repo
BOLTs 1.1 and the future Proposal States Lightning Specification 1.1 Proposal States, Lightning User Experience: A Day in the Life of Carol
BOLTs 1.1 and the future Liquidity Splicing Splicing seminar video, Channel top-up, Splicing Proposal
BOLTs 1.1 and the future Liquidity Dual Funded channels Dual funded channels seminar video, Proposal for Advertising Channel Liquidity
BOLTs 1.1 and the future Payments Atomic Multi-Path Payments over Lightning AMP: Atomic Multi-Path Payments mailing list post, Atomic Multi-Path Payments seminar video, Base AMP, Specific fee routing for multi-path payments
BOLTs 1.1 and the future Routing Rendezvous routing Rendezvous mechanism on top of Sphinx, Rendezvous Routing seminar video
The Far Future Routing Just in time routing Just in Time Routing (JIT-Routing) and a channel rebalancing heuristic as an add on for improved routing success in BOLT 1.0
The Far Future Onboarding Multiparty channels / channel factories What are Channel Factories and how do they work?, Multi-party channels/Channel factories seminar video, Onboarding the Masses: Channel Factories
The Far Future Payments Decorelation Payment Decorrelation
The Far Future Payments Streaming Payments BOLT 11, real time micro payments, and route redundancy
The Far Future Payments Refunds
The Far Future Payments Fast Failure
The Far Future Scripts Scriptless Scripts with ECDSA Scriptless Scripts with ECDSA
Privacy considerations How the Lightning Network Layers Privacy on Top of Bitcoin
Privacy considerations Watchtowers Incentivizing payment channel watchtower, Trustless Watchtowers, Architecture of LND Watchtowers Incentivizing Payment Channel Watchtowers
Privacy considerations Channel probing attack for channel balance On the Difficulty of Hiding the Balance of Lightning Network Channels
Privacy considerations Channel probing attack for channel balance code exercise Code exercise seminar introduction, Channel probing attack code exercise repo
Privacy considerations Payment decorrelation Decorrelation of Lightning Payments
Privacy considerations SNARKs Better privacy with SNARKs
Privacy considerations Open ended questions Discussion questions
Security/Attack vectors Attack vector intro Attack vector intro seminar video
Security/Attack Vectors Denial of Service attacks Payment channel congestion via spam-attack
Considerations Desired topology of a high functional network Overview Network Topology creation/maintenance seminar video
Considerations Desired topology of a high functional network Autopilot Improving the autopilot of bitcoin’s lightning network, Autopilot PR in c-lightning
Considerations Desired topology of a high functional network Channel management Lightning network topology Considerations, Rebalancing in the lightning network: Analysis and implications
Considerations Desired topology of a high functional network Cyclic Superhubs Cyclic Superhubs as Solution Towards Reasonable Lightning Network Topology
Considerations Neutrino Neutrino: The Lighter Side of Lightning
Considerations Pitfalls of concurrent requests
Considerations Broadcasting channel updates What is the status of the Lightning Network?
Implementations LND Lightning Network Daemon
Implementations ptarmigan Ptarmigan
Implementations electrum Electrum Implementation in Python, see electrum/ln*.py
Implementations rust-lightning Incomplete implementation Rust-Lightning
Implementations c-lightning c-lightning — a Lightning Network implementation in C
Implementations Eclair Eclair - A scala implementation of the Lightning Network
Implementations DotNetLightning Incomplete implementation Lightning network daemon with F#
Implementations geelightning Incomplete implementation geelightning in Rust
Setting up a node Bitcoin Lightning Network #1: Can I compile and run a node?, Beginner’s Guide to Lightning️ on a Raspberry Pi, My Lightning Node setup with c-lightning, Fastest and cheapest way to get your own Lightning Node running - on a RaspberryPi with a nice LCD


Identifiers Type Sources
CVE-2019-12998 / CVE-2019-12999 / CVE-2019-13000 CVE Disclosure Full Disclosure, Video Explanation


Special thanks to Carla Kirk-Cohen, Giancarlo Giuffra, Fabian Jahr, Christian Decker, Fabrice Drouin, René Pickhardt, and Alex Bosworth for their help in putting together the above resources.


Lightning Network Protocol Development Curriculum







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