How to choose a lightning bitcoin (BTC) wallet?

How to choose a lightning bitcoin (BTC) wallet?

As you will understand, this is not a matter of explaining to you how the lightning network works, other articles detail how it works. To put it simply, it is an overlay that allows you to use bitcoin at a lower cost. But then what purse to use ? Some are simpler than others, here’s a chance to tour the features. The evolution is quite fast and the list is not exhaustive. I looked for the purse the most downloaded and popular ones, then I tested them. I start from zero level and give you my opinion on ease of use: then it’s up to you to choose (not forgetting security of course).

Tips for beginners

The Lightning Network is a relatively recent innovation: the complexity of opening and closing payment channels. Some purse therefore make it easier for you and you won’t have to worry about payment methods. Companies like bitrefill also offer to open channels for you.

Don’t get the wrong address (address/receive)!

A bitcoin address is different from a lightning address, they are not interchangeable. The Lightning Network (LN) is separate from the Bitcoin network and has its own nodes. Offers centralized exchanges lightning addresses like Kraken, these are the addresses you will use to send your funds to your purse. You can also use a decentralized exchange to transfer your bitcoins from one network on a chain to a lightning network (called a swap): Where boltzexchange. we’ll see, share purse it will handle it all for you.

Contactless cards (NFC) and lightning

For ultimate simplicity, you can also use an NFC card like a wallet (with KYC). It is compatible with Voltpay, BTCpayserver and Breezwallet. Of course, the merchant must have one of these compatible software installed. And why not consider a holiday on the Isle of Man, the hometown of this NFC card? You can bring back tea and other English specialties when you ask for your bolt card. Otherwise, in France, try to convince your favorite merchants to accept bitcoin (BTC) payments, but it will probably be more difficult than installing purse on your phone.

bitcoin lightning network
Lightning Network Explorer: all lightning nodes in the world

Enough chatter, let’s take a look at some purse lightning:

A small reminder: with a custodial wallet you do not control your private keys. If you want your keys to be in charge, you will need to wallet not kept. The IS lightning wallet made for small expenses, it is undesirable to leave a lot of funds there. Also some of them are being developed. You’d better use a smartphone dedicated to your crypto.

A wallet that does not manage your private keys (non-custodial):

Blue Wallet there is a purse very interesting, because it offers 3 types purse : on a chain, lightning and one multisig vault (with 3 private keys to note). When you backup your lightning wallet, take an offline screenshot of the QR-code and secure it (don’t leave it in your photo gallery). You can also write down the entire line under the QR code, but that’s tedious and error-prone. In this way to save the purse It can be a source of piracy, doing it offline. The interface is nice and easy to use. You can create as many purse wish and give them a name.

You can also connect it to your own lightning node. This wallet is available for Apple and Android devices.

Breez: the “Swiss army knife” of wallets

Breez is a non-custodial wallet (in the security and backup tab on the left, you can generate your 12 backup words as well as a pin code). ​​​​​​I found Breez very complete, easy to use and intuitive. Like Phoenix, users do not need to manage their own LN nodes. You can even get BTC on the lightning network through SMS.

Breez works with a selection of apps that allow payment on LN. These include Bitrefill again, which makes it possible to buy gift cards with Lightning. You can listen to crypto-themed podcasts right from your wallet.

You can also deposit and withdraw BTC on-chain to your Breez wallet. They will automatically be moved to your Lightning Network channel. Small fees are then charged with the request in exchange for the service provided: 0.4% for automatic channel creation, with a minimum of 2,000 seats (a few ten cents).

Breez also has point of sale functionality. Merchants can easily accept BTC payments through the Lightning Network. Breez is compatible with the partner’s NFC card.

Breez is available on Android and Apple phones.

electronic wallet

Electrum there is a purse which has been created since 2011 (before the LN). Very versatile and secure, you are in control of your private key. It was not easy for me to use, contrary to what is written in many articles, but maybe I am not good at it.

It is available on Android and Windows.

The wallets that manage your private keys (kept)

Satoshi Wallet there is a purse really very simple and NFC compatible. Three possibilities to receive payments: lightning address, on-chain and lightning email address. The latter is quite confusing since it is created automatically. There is no password to access the app (in any case I have not found, if there is one it should be easier to see). I love the world map with the geolocation of merchants that accept lightning, even if it is not up to date at all.

Satoshi Wallet available on Apple and Android phones.

Wallet keeper with a wallet on a chain and lightning on the same interface. With this ultra-simple wallet, you can’t go wrong between the two networks. There is a 4 digit pin code to access it and then 2 digits backups possible, including a series of letters if you no longer have access to your primary email backup. Muun has a mempool-based fee estimator.

Muun available on Apple and Android phones.

phoenix is a lightning wallet unreserved. As soon as you download it, Phoenix announces that there will be fees for opening the payment channels: 1% for creating a channel (minimum 3,000 sats) and 12 sats +0.50% for receiving BTC on a chain (and switch to LN), which is still very low. As with any shipment on a chaintransaction fees are variable and apply to minors.

Phoenix enables the use of the Tor network to improve user privacy when transferring BTC over the LN. The integrated exchange function allows to receive funds in BTC on the Lightning Network.

The wallet is available on both Apple and Android.


A warning informs us that there will be no further updates purse and the developers invite us to use Phoenix (Afive).

It is probably not the easiest for beginners, especially since everything is in English. Experienced users will have to create their LN channels themselves. Send and receive Bitcoin on chain or lightning. BLW is also fully compatible with Thor Bitrefil Channels.

Zeus is a Lightning wallet for advanced users. It can be connected directly to your own node by VPN or Tor. It has many integrations with node options like BTCPay Server, Nodl, myNode, and RaspiBlitz. You can quickly connect to your node with a QR code from anywhere. Zeus also allows you to make on-chain payments, manage your LN channels, have dynamic fees and support LND and C-Lightning protocols.

Exchanges between cryptocurrencies: Boltz & Fixed Float

BoltZ and Fixed Float act as a bridge that lets you swap your cryptocurrencies with each other. There are many decentralized platforms, these are just two examples among others. There are many lightning extensions, you can also test them.

There are many bitcoin lightning wallets, we can also mention Zap or Strike. It’s up to you to see which one you prefer depending on the interface and your needs.. One thing is certain, to be able to spend your bitcoins (BTC) in France, there would have to be even more merchants to accept it. The road is long in the land of the Minitel. Technophobia, lack of financial and economic education, complex taxation. All you have to do is shop online or travel. Many merchants around the world already use bitcoin, especially (but not only) unbanked citizens.

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Avatar Mary Batshwok
Mary Batshwok

Subprime, financial crises, galloping inflation, tax havens… Bitcoin was designed for more transparency and maybe finally change the game. I try to understand this new environment and I try to explain it to myself. The road is undoubtedly long, but it is worth it.

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