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The magic of being your own bank!
This week, in Episode 13, we talk with Madelyn Ash about the role of Lightning communities such as Plebnet and Connect the World. They discuss increasing adoption by average users around the world! These social networks enable connecting some of the brightest minds to pass around ideas and develop new tools!
Madelyn also elaborates on running your own Lightning Node. And she speaks about the magic to be your own bank and to have non-custodial access to your own sats.
Since may 2021 you are busy in the plebnet community. What’s your role in it and how do you manage it ?
I enjoy taking on the role of helping those coming to lightning in a similar manner as myself, and helping to make it less intimidating. I try and help when I can, but I am also still a student of plebnet!
What’s the story behind your admin title VP of Crime?
Not offended by admin names – all of them are in good fun – VP of Crime was given to me after a miscommunication with your previous guest (Smallworlnd) where he banned and reported me as a bot and I was unable to post in public groups for 24 hours.
What is your goal with the plebnet community?
I hope to help plebnet be a place where people foreign to computer/tech/finance can join and learn how to run lightning nodes. I also enjoy helping to connect plebs together when I think they may be helpful to each other!
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What was your first experience with the lightning network and do you still know what you did/saw at that moment?
I heard about lightning network for the first time on clubhouse and my first interaction was probably connecting with lntxbot on telegram and sending/receiving sats through the bot.
Do you have any idea how many bitcoiners are women? And how many of the more than 20.000 Lightning Node operators are women?
No idea for either, but I do know several women in lightning and a few of us did an all women lightning pentagram ring together once! (D++ & Lisa/niftynei were some of the others)
We saw you run a RaspiBlitz Lightning node. Are you still running RaspiBlitz? And have you tried other Lightning distributions?
Yes, I love it! I have not tried the other distros yet, but I want to – I just can’t decide which one!
Why should you run a lightning node? What’s your goal with running your node?
I think people should run lightning nodes if they want to be their own bank and have non-custodial access to their sats. My original goal was to just figure out what lightning was, but now I enjoy supporting the network, making sure my channels are ready to route and taking in all of the information!
What is your favorite Lightning Node management tool and why?
RTL because of how I can cleanly see my channel balances in a visual way, and bos for the bos telegram bot because of the auto SCB’s and routing alerts.
What lightning implementation do you work with ? Lnd , c lightning , acinq
LND, I hope to test out another, maybe c lightning soon
What do you think is the most promising implementation on Layer 2 on Bitcoin? (Acinq, Lnd , c-lightning or anotha one.)
Well I think LND has a ‘leg up’ due to having so many users from umbrel and other plug-n-play setups that were built to work with lnd, but I hear good things about c-lightning and other implementations as well.
What do you miss to make maintaining your Lightning Node much easier?
I wish there were a search bar or something to find different libraries and such on my node, as well as an easy way to see that everything is running without any problems.
Can you describe your node? Do you use a case? What does your setup look like? Did you paint your node or how does your setup looks like ?
Yes I have a fab pink/red case from cryptocloaks and I love it!
What are important steps the lightning network needs to take before it can be a state of the art international payment network?
I’m not totally sure, I know there is a gossip scaling issue, and I think some of the security risks need to be minimized so that more non-technical background users can safely run a node without having to place so much trust in other tools/services, etc.
How much time do you think the lightning network need to have, to reach that goal?
I don’t actually know how tech timelines usually work… so I have no idea, but I hope we are not far away from that!
How do you see the role of social Lightning communities like Plebnet, Connect the World and many others for the adoption of Bitcoin in Lightning?
I think they are huge at aiding in adoption to average users around the world, as well as connecting some of the brightest minds together to pass around ideas and spawn new tools, etc.
Cash App recently integrated the Lightning LDK project of Spiral to allow users to connect to the Lightning Network. What do you think about developments like this and do you use Cash App yourself?
I think it is awesome! I use cashapp and have already tested out lightning payments to my node from the app!
What is your favorite lightning wallet and why?
Probably blue wallet because it is simple and easy, but also I enjoy cashapp now with the lightning payments enabled!
What do you see as the most important aspect of lightning?
The abilities it has to enable transactions through a global network, literally anywhere in the world, in almost an instant.
Do you think hyperbitcoinization is a realistic scenario for the upcoming 4 years? what could be/and what is the share of lightning in it?
It is kind of hard to nail down the definition of hyperbitcoinization, but I actually think that bitcoin will continue to gradually chug along instead of going to the moon overnight. I absolutely see lightning being something that a huge portion of the world could be using and interacting with daily going forward, but to what extent people interact with it (cash app vs running a node), I’m not sure.
How important is the Lightning Network for the existence of Bitcoin in the future?
I see it as extremely important, I think it will be the every day payment rails for users of bitcoin.
How do you try to find the traffic flow on the LN ?
I look for merchants or wallets, and also follow along with the routing of my own node to identify where liquidity should be. I have also used lnnodeinsight and lnrouter.app as tools to help with centrality and finding good routing peers.
Do you like to try/ test new projects out on your node ?
Yes! I love learning by testing out new things! Thats how I got to running a node in the first place!
What kind of services do you use to stack sats ? (lolly, games,…)
Fold – I try to use my Fold card for most of my spending to get sats back, and also use lolli occasionally as well as occasionally play games and get sats to my zebedee wallet.
Can you pay with lightning in your daily life (NOT ONLINE) Stores, restaurants, pubs, shops,….
Not yet, sadly there are not any places I regularly go to that accept lighting or bitcoin… I have used it in shopping online though.
What security concerns of the lightning network do you think are undervalued nowadays?
I think the biggest privacy issues lie in making privacy tools realistic for the average user to implement.
If you could build in the future a layer 3 solution? What could that be?
I don’t have any ideas on this one, I don’t know that anything layer 3 is really necessary right now.
What do you see as the biggest barrier for women to enter the Bitcoin space? Is there a barrier for women to enter the bitcoin space ?
I don’t see a huge barrier for women in the bitcoin space – nothing more than barriers that exist for anyone who is not from a technical background. I think women in bitcoin currently have an advantage because they can stand out in a space that is oversaturated with men, but this may be an unpopular opinion…
What country, next to El Salvador and Tonga(NOT YET) will adopt Bitcoin as legal tender next?
I have no idea… maybe Panama or Columbia? Whatever country is next will be a very smart country!
Is it more important for you to hodl sats or to spend sats at local merchants, or are you doing both?
Hodling is most important, but I am doing a little of both if I ever come across merchants that accept bitcoin.
How do you see the bitcoin debit card movement? Is this where it should be going or is it just temporary? Do you own/use one yourself? (Lastbit or Kasta)
Not exactly sure there is anything in the US like this, but I do use Fold and love using that card to earn sats back on purchases!
You want to work in the bitcoin space, what exactly would you like to do/find. Have you already got some nice job opportunities?
No Job opportunities… yet! I am a little unsure of where I would fit in the bitcoin world with my background in fashion design and art. I am involved in connecting a Christian non-profit with bitcoin education and possibly mining, so we will see how that goes!
What are your three favorite open source projects?
bitcoin, raspiblitz, bitcoin design guide! do those count?
Can you explain to us what sub groups exist within Plebnet and what they are for? And what’s the function of the Matrix Telegram Bridge?
Matrix telegram bridge is an option requested and implemented by plebs to allow the privacy option of matrix and not having a phone number tied to their plebnet username. We have a discord, which is not used too much, but was requested by some users. The list of all groups: Plebnet 101 (intro group to lightning, Plebnet, Plebnet node runners (for those with a node setup and a few channels opened), Plebnet advanced (dev talk), Plebnet Playground – a plebnet run signet for testing tools and other things with lightning network, Plebnet for Business, Plebnet en espanol, Plebnet library (pre wiki resources), plebnet poker – lightning poker group with a dedicated plebnet table on the lightning poker site.