Running a full cryptocurrency node is often considered to be a complicated process. With the introduction of the Lightning Network for Bitcoin and Litecoin, things haven’t necessarily become easier. However, there is one solution which allows anyone to build their own node at a very low cost. Known as Raspiblitz, the open source project has a ton of potential to strengthen two of the major cryptocurrency ecosystems in existence today.
What is RaspiBlitz About?
Plenty of cryptocurrency enthusiasts want to help advance the ecosystem as people know it today. This is often done by building new projects or offering solutions which can be embraced by other enthusiasts alike. RaspiBlitz is just one example of how interesting things can get when people put their mind to it. The project’s primary objective is to get more people to run a Lightning Network full node for either Bitcoin or Litecoin. Since no expensive hardware is required, there may be a lot of people willing to check out this particular option.
The Tools Required
As the name suggests, RaspiBlitz is all about getting the most benefit out of relatively cheap hardware. A Raspberry Pi can be used for many different purposes, and the RaspiBlitz developer decided to turn a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ into a full lightning Network Node. He even wrote the necessary software to set everything up, which can be found on GitHub. It also features enough documentation to get people’s nodes up and running as quickly as possible.
Other tools needed include a 1TB hard drive – although the size requirement may shift in the future -, a Micro SD Card, a Power supply, and a case with a heatsink. Users can also opt to add an LCD display to display all of the relevant information on the node itself, or simply run it in headless mode like most advanced users would like to explore. By default, the software is designed to accommodate the LCD display. This extra hardware is the most expensive part, as it costs $70 when purchasing it from Amazon. Cheaper versions can be found on Asian shopping sites, however.
For those users who do not own a Raspberry Pi 3B + or simply want a prebuilt unit, that option exists as well. Users can pay with either Bitcoin or Litecoin, albeit more traditional payment options are available as well. All things considered, the hardware required for this project is fairly easy and cheap to obtain. One has to keep in mind users are currently not rewarded for running a Lightning Network full node, thus recovering the initial investment may pose some big challenges. It is a small price to pay for further decentralizing either Bitcoin, Litecoin, or both.
Support for Both Bitcoin and Litecoin
One of the major selling points of the RaspiBlitz initiative is how users are not just tied to Bitcoin. Although the world’s leading cryptocurrency will always be the more important one for most people, Litecoin should never be overlooked either. Since this software supports both options at this time, there could be a lot of potential full nodes being added to either network in the future.
The RTL Web Interface
While running a full node is usually a very technical undertaking, RaspiBlitz offers something a lot of people will enjoy. It comes with its own RTL Web Interface, which acts as an actual LND Control Dashboard. This interface can be accessed through one’s web browser to control the node, tinker with settings, check on the blockchain sync status, and so forth. While it is not necessary to use it, it will make this entire process a lot more appealing to novice enthusiasts.
It is also worth mentioning this interface is not designed by the RaspiBlitz project “creator”. Instead, he merely implemented it, as the official documentation for RTL can be found in this GitHub repository. It is important to highlight such developers which can effectively get more people excited about the Lightning Network. Although an interface might not seem like much at first, it can have major consequences in terms of boosting overall adoption of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and their respective Lightning Networks.
Mobile Wallet Support
Perhaps the most intriguing feature of RaspiBlitz is how it is capable of connecting to mobile wallets on both iOS and Android. One has to keep in mind there are very few Lightning Network-capable mobile wallets at this time, thus it will be interesting to see if this feature will be expanded upon in the future. For now, Zap, Shango, and Zeus are all supported. There is still a lot of work to be done to build proper mobile LN wallets for the masses, but the early progress made seems rather promising.
Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency.