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L402 (Lightning HTTP 402) API Key proxy

Aperture is your portal to the Lightning-Native Web. Aperture is used in production today by Lightning Loop, a non-custodial on/off ramp for the Lightning Network.

Aperture is a HTTP 402 reverse proxy that supports proxying requests for gRPC (HTTP/2) and REST (HTTP/1 and HTTP/2) backends using the L402 Protocol Standard. L402 is short for: the Lightning HTTP 402 protocol. L402 combines HTTP 402, macaroons, and the Lightning Network to create a new standard for authentication and paid services on the web.

L402 is a new standard protocol for authentication and paid APIs developed by Lightning Labs. L402 API keys can serve both as authentication, as well as a payment mechanism (one can view it as a ticket) for paid APIs. In order to obtain a token, we require the user to pay us over Lightning in order to obtain a preimage, which itself is a cryptographic component of the final L402 token

The implementation of the authentication token is chosen to be macaroons, as they allow us to package attributes and capabilities along with the token. This system allows one to automate pricing on the fly and allows for a number of novel constructs such as automated tier upgrades. In another light, this can be viewed as a global HTTP 402 reverse proxy at the load balancing level for web services and APIs.

Installation / Setup


  • Make sure lnd ports are reachable.


  • Compilation requires go 1.19.x or later.
  • To build aperture in the current directory, run make build and then copy the file ./aperture from the local directory to the server.
  • To build and install aperture directly on the machine it will be used, run the make install command which will place the binary into your $GOPATH/bin folder.
  • Make sure port 8081 is reachable from outside (or whatever port we choose, could also be 443 at some point)
  • Make sure there is a valid tls.cert and tls.key file located in the ~/.aperture directory that is valid for the domain that aperture is running on. Aperture doesn't support creating its own certificate through Let's Encrypt yet. If there is no tls.cert and tls.key found, a self-signed pair will be created.
  • Make sure all required configuration items are set in ~/.aperture/aperture.yaml, compare with sample-conf.yaml.
  • Start aperture without any command line parameters (./aperture), all configuration is done in the ~/.aperture/aperture.yaml file.