Launching a Lightning Network node can be rather challenging, and many potential node owners give up due to the tricky networking processes that are involved. However, according to Casa CTO Jameson Lopp using Tor makes it far easier to quickly set up a Lightning Network node and keep it as secure as possible. The Tor network helps to mask the IP address of the node, keeping it safer from attacks.
Big Words from Casa
Casa manufactures Lightning Network nodes that are touted as simple plug and play devices – meaning you simply plug it in and you’re up and running. However, some users like to add an extra layer of security to their nodes to prevent giving away their location. To mask their IP, users run their nodes via Tor – a privacy-focused web browser. By doing this, users manage to bypass a number of headaches associated with running a Lightning Network node. Certain routers will require users to open a specific port, but opening the incorrect port could lead to your home network becoming insecure. Tor manages to give users a workaround that requires very little skill or technical knowledge.
Nodes Getting Bigger
As the Lightning Network takes off and becomes more popular, more and more people are funding their nodes with larger amounts of Bitcoin. The more Bitcoin staked in a node, the higher the chance that node has of being used for a transaction. Back in July 2018, the largest Lightning Network node was created, and it swelled to a whopping 34 BTC. This huge node size was simply a test, but it highlights the lengths developers are willing to go to in order to test the network completely. In November 2018, the Lightning Network passed the 4,000 active node mark – a huge milestone for the scaling solution.
Lightning Network Adoption is Growing
As more companies look to start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, people are quickly discovering that the Lightning Network might hold the key to its on-going success. By taking transactions off-chain, merchants can save on fees – meaning small transactions become possible. US retailer Smiths is already considering using the Lightning Network and dropping Visa after it threatened to ramp up its fees. As Visa and MasterCard continue to ramp up fees, more companies will begin looking at the Lightning Network to handle crypto payments.
Launching a Lightning Network node can be a really simple task if you’re using a Casa node, but more advanced users can create their own nodes using a Raspberry Pi. As the Lightning Network grows, plenty of people will launch their own nodes. Using Tor will simply make the task easier and safer for all involved.