Know The Wallet: Interview with Bitcoin Lightning Wallet Developer Anton Kumaigorodskiy

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Know The Coin, or, rather, Know The Wallet, with ChangeNOW! Today’s guest is Bitcoin Lightning Wallet‘s Developer Anton Kumaigorodskiy, who was very nice to sit down with our marketing manager Pauline and talk about his awesome product and the future of Lightning Network!


Hey there, Anton! Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background?

Nothing much to be told here, I got into this space about 4 years ago mainly doing trading at the time. Back then I was also learning computer programming so, when the LN paper came out I decided this is something I’d like to try to apply my skills to.

What do you think about the Lightning Network as it is now and in perspective?

It’s almost ready for widespread use in my opinion. In some sense systems as complex as LN are never “ready” and there is always something to improve on but it has been successfully operated on the mainnet for over a year now by various businesses and individuals, so its advantages, as well as pitfalls, are fairly well-understood. Additionally, a lot of important updates are planned for the coming months which would make runing an LN node less risky and more efficient.

Could you explain BLW to our readers in a couple of sentences?

It’s a non-custodial mobile Lightning wallet which presents underlying LN mechanics directly and clearly instead of trying to hide them behind various abstractions. This app is something to consider if you want to have full control over your funds and gain some understanding about how things work.

Does BLW work only with LN or does it also allow your users to have a SegWit wallet in the app for topping up the LN one?

“LN-only” is something a non-custodial wallet can not afford because Lightning security relies on having a persistent access to blockchain so a SegWit wallet must be in place. BLW has a built-in SegWit wallet which is used to fund LN payment channels. Users are also free to use BLW for on-chain transactions only, without ever touching the Lightning parts.

Is BLW open-source?

Yes, sources can be seen at https://github.com/btcontract/lnwallet.

Is there any chance of releasing BLW on other mobile operating systems, such as iOS, for example?

I’m afraid not as that would require a tremendous amount of work. BLW is a one man shop and I also have other stuff going on in my life, so there is not enough time for this. And frankly, the desire is not there either. I like to ride my own cars and I’m an Android user, so that’s what I’m focused on.

Now, let’s talk about the market for a bit. What do you think is happening right now? Maybe there are any services or projects you have faith in, as in those that will be seen as market growth points?

Lightning economy is still nascent but we can already see a number of businesses and individuals becoming noticeable. This coincides with my vision of LN as primarily a network of hundreds to thousands of large payment hubs. Fundamentally LN is trustless but being recognizable and reputable in a space will definitely play a role so my advice to anyone who want to be a part of this is to act now.

Speaking of the future, will we be able to see any BLW updates any time soon?

Sure, it’s in active development and I often publish details about upcoming updates at https://medium.com/@akumaigorodski.


Thank you so much for reading – stay tuned for more Know The Coin/Wallet episodes soon!