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Bitcoin is a great tool for saving. But its use is not limited to just that. To make Bitcoin a convenient medium of exchange, there needs to be a way to spend it fast and cheap.

At BitBox, we want to enable the simplest Bitcoin experience for our users, at every step of their journey – from buying the first sats, to holding funds long term, and also using bitcoin for day-to-day spending. We believe that a non-custodial Lightning wallet within the BitBoxApp would achieve the latter: a seamless experience between cold storage and easy-accessible sats, all under your control and managed in one place, the BitBoxApp.

This is why we are partnering with Breez, to explore the addition of a non-custodial Lightning wallet to our app via their Breez SDK.

Why add Lightning support?

Through countless conversations with our users, we’ve found that interest in the Lightning network has continuously increased in the last few years. Adoption has also grown to the point where Lightning is the de-facto standard for Bitcoin payments, not only online but also in-person.

We want to enable BitBox users to use their bitcoin for more than just cold storage. By adding a non-custodial Lightning wallet to the already familiar BitBoxApp, we can create a secure and seamless experience to spend your bitcoin wherever you go. All this without a custodian having control over your funds.

Our vision for the BitBox experience is to give our users everything they need for their bitcoin journey: from wallet creation and buying their first satoshis, to having the option of hodling or spending those sats. All from within the comfort of their familiar app.

How would this be implemented?

There are several reasons why implementing Lightning within the BitBoxApp makes for the most convenient Lightning experience for BitBox users. Here’s what our current concept includes:

Unified backup

There would be no need to create a separate backup, as the Lightning wallet would be part of your existing seed backup. To create your Lightning wallet on the host device, deterministic entropy is used that does not reveal any sensitive data about your seed phrase backup. This works similarly to signing an arbitrary message with a private key on your BitBox02.

Since the lighting wallet is derived from your BitBox02 wallet, restoring your lightning wallet on an existing or new device is easy, just plug in your BitBox02. In case of loss of your BitBox02, you can restore your wallet on a new BitBox02 using your backup like usual. As a last resort, a provided recovery tool can be used to derive your Lightning private keys without a BitBox02.

Spend on the go

The Lightning wallet in your BitBoxApp will also work just as any other Bitcoin account in the app, with the only difference that you won’t need your BitBox02 to send and receive payments. You can spend bitcoin anywhere, without bringing your cold storage with you.

Hot vs cold wallet

When starting our work on Lighting, we took into consideration integrating Lightning natively into the BitBox02. We could have done so by making use of the great work of the Verifying Lightning Signer team, for example. Ultimately we came to the conclusion that having to use your BitBox02 each time you send (or receive) a Lightning payment would be quite cumbersome. It wouldn't achieve our goal of seamless, on-the-go bitcoin spending.

We opted for a solution where the Lightning private keys are stored on the host device, which trades security for convenience. But as your Lightning wallet is not meant for large amounts, this is a preferable trade-off.

Easy top-up

To make moving funds between your cold storage and your Lightning wallet as smooth as possible, you could easily top up your Lightning balance from within the BitBoxApp. Breez is also looking into adding splicing support, which would make moving between on-chain and Lightning even more seamless.

Everywhere, where your BitBoxApp is

No matter if you want to send a Lightning payment from your Android phone or from the comfort of your desktop computer. You will be able to choose to use your Lightning wallet on any device that you use your BitBoxApp with.

Working with Breez

All the features we are working on are enabled by the Breez SDK, which makes use of the Blockstream Greenlight infrastructure. With Greenlight, your Lightning node runs in “the cloud” with your private keys safe on your own device.

This means that only you have control over the money in your Lightning wallet. The Breez node supplies users with inbound liquidity, so you can immediately receive Lightning payments. There is no need to manage channels manually and wait for channels to confirm on the main chain duringsetup.

Breez’s values of transparency, self custody and a focus on user experience closely matches our values, which is why we chose to partner with them on this unique integration.

When Lightning?

Lightning is something that we want to bring to the BitBoxApp, and we are currently in the early stages of building an MVP. We are working closely with our partners at Breez to write code that fulfils our high standards for security and transparency. Features, such as the Lightning wallet derivation scheme, have not been finalised at this point.

There is currently no expected launch date for Lightning support in the BitBoxApp and unforeseen road blocks could set back the development.

If everything goes according to plan however, we will launch the Lightning wallet as a beta feature first.

We have plenty of interesting ideas for this integration that we haven’t covered in this blog post. For now, we just couldn’t wait to share with you the exciting journey of bringing Lighting to the BitBoxApp. We’ll write more as development progresses. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter or follow us online to keep up-to-date!

Don’t own a BitBox yet?

Keeping your crypto secure doesn't have to be hard. The BitBox02 hardware wallet stores the private keys for your cryptocurrencies offline. So you can manage your coins safely.

The BitBox02 also comes in Bitcoin-only version, featuring a radically focused firmware: less code means less attack surface, which further improves your security when only storing Bitcoin.

Grab one in our shop!