Blockstream’s Greenlight Officially Launches, Promising Simplified Lightning Operations

Blockstream, a leading player in the blockchain arena, has officially rolled out Greenlight, its innovative Lightning-as-a-Service (LaaS) solution to the global market on October 12, 2023, following an initial reveal in June. This marks a significant stride towards simplifying the operational intricacies associated with Lightning network node management, while not compromising on user security.

The fundamental aspect of Greenlight is its ability to offload the cumbersome task of operating a Lightning node onto Blockstream’s seasoned experts, thereby allowing developers to retain control over the keys for heightened security. This strategic move is aimed at reducing both the risk and liability associated with holding user funds, and liberating essential resources previously dedicated to node operations. As a result, businesses and developers can channel their focus towards their core operations and app development.

The traditional dilemma faced by users and developers in the Lightning ecosystem is the trade-off between convenience and self-custody. While custodial solutions present a smooth onboarding experience, they often fall short on delivering basic security and privacy assurances. Conversely, non-custodial solutions, despite being secure and private, demand a higher degree of technical and operational expertise, coupled with additional costs. Greenlight is engineered to dismantle this entry barrier without sacrificing security, performance, or functionality.

Greenlight’s approach is to fragment the Lightning node into smaller, independent components. The Core Lightning implementation, known for its modularity and leanness, runs on Greenlight, keeping all key-related operations confined to the signer. This setup enables the signer to operate on the user’s device, while the rest of the node, along with its operational requirements, are managed on Blockstream’s infrastructure. This bifurcation resembles the operational model of contemporary hardware wallets, where the user interfaces with a client and signer, while the wallet provider manages the actual Bitcoin node connecting to the network. In this scenario, only user-controlled components are authorized to initiate payments and sign invoices, with Blockstream efficiently managing the resource-intensive node.

Greenlight’s deployment can potentially save substantial operational costs for businesses building on the Lightning network. By transferring laborious node operations to Blockstream, companies can gain valuable time to cater to their users’ needs better. Moreover, going non-custodial exempts developers from the fiduciary responsibility of holding user funds, thereby reducing compliance and regulatory expenses.

The service extends various features including trustless and self-custodial operations, managed nodes available on-demand, flexible liquidity management, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and no restrictive boundaries, ensuring an up-to-date and compliant adherence to Lightning protocol specifications. Real-world implementations of Greenlight can be seen in the newly updated Blockstream Green wallet and the market-ready Breez SDK.

Greenlight is accessible via self-service certificates in the Greenlight Developer Console (GDC), offering a generous free plan to cater to hobbyists, enthusiasts, and small businesses. This free plan supports the deployment of up to 1,000 on-demand nodes, with each node designed to activate and remain operational as long as it’s being utilized by an end-user.

The formal introduction of Greenlight by Blockstream is a notable development in the blockchain space, promising a simplified, secure, and efficient solution for Lightning network operations. It not only aids in overcoming operational hurdles but also paves the way for enhanced focus on business and application development in the rapidly evolving Lightning network ecosystem.

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Swiss non-profit and Blockstream to Broadcast Bitcoin Proof via Satellite

Swiss non-profit ZeroSync Association and Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream are teaming up to enable faster syncing and global access to Bitcoin by broadcasting zero-knowledge proofs (zk-proofs) from Blockstream’s satellite network. This technology, which has become one of the hottest blockchain-tech trends of 2023, can validate the Bitcoin blockchain without requiring nodes to download the chain’s 500GB of data. Instead, nodes can sync in fractions of a second, enabling faster validation and global access to Bitcoin.

The satellite network provides free global access to Bitcoin by broadcasting the blockchain to the entire planet, including areas with unreliable internet coverage. ZeroSync expects to carry out the first experimental broadcast by the end of the year, and the newly-formed association aims to help scale Bitcoin using zk-proofs.

Co-founder Robin Linus said that “applying [zk-proofs] to generate a proof of Bitcoin’s chain state, and broadcasting it via satellite, can bring Bitcoin to almost everyone in the world. Don’t trust, verify.” This partnership between ZeroSync and Blockstream could potentially make Bitcoin more accessible and help to scale the network in a secure manner.

Zero-knowledge proofs have been gaining popularity in the blockchain space due to their ability to prove the validity of information without revealing the information itself. This is particularly useful in the case of Bitcoin, where every participant must verify every transaction, making the process slow and cumbersome. By using zk-proofs, nodes can validate the blockchain without downloading the entire dataset, making the process faster and more efficient.

Blockstream’s satellite network has been providing free global access to Bitcoin since 2017, with the aim of increasing the decentralization and resilience of the network. The network broadcasts the blockchain to nodes all over the world, providing access even in areas with unreliable internet coverage.

The partnership between ZeroSync and Blockstream could potentially bring Bitcoin to even more people around the world, making it more accessible and easier to validate. By using zk-proofs, nodes can sync faster and more efficiently, reducing the load on the network and enabling more people to participate in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Overall, the partnership between ZeroSync and Blockstream is an exciting development in the world of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. By using zk-proofs and satellite technology, the two companies aim to make Bitcoin more accessible and secure, helping to scale the network and bring it to more people around the world.


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Blockstream Partners with Sevenlabs and Poseidon Group to Launch Decentralized Bitcoin Exchange

Cryptocurrency infrastructure service providers Blockstream, Sevenlabs, and Poseidon Group have partnered to launch XDEX, a decentralized exchange for bitcoin and securities assets, in Switzerland, according to Nasdaq.

The exchange will support peer-to-peer trading within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, including bitcoin, stablecoins, and other bitcoin-related assets such as Liquid, a second-tier application that extends bitcoin.

Users can access assets on the Liquid Network to trade bitcoin, euro, and Swiss franc stablecoins, as well as other liquidity-based assets.

XDEX is built on the open-source protocol TDEX and provides 24/7 services.

Blockstream is a blockchain technology company led by co-founder Adam Back, headquartered in Victoria, Canada, with offices and staff worldwide.[1] The company develops a range of products and services for the storage and transfer of Bitcoin and other digital assets.

Blockstream CEO Adam Back said that

“By leveraging the Blockstream Asset Management Platform AMP, TDEX’s decentralized protocol, and Liquid’s Confidential Transactions and speed, XDEX form a full stack of Bitcoin technology that is a blueprint for future securities exchanges and leads to the further reformation of the traditional capital markets and disintermediation .”

Seven Labs is a specialist electronics distributor and systems integrator for the South African and Sub-Saharan markets.

The app is expected to launch on iOS and Android in the fourth quarter of 2022.

It is reported that the team will also develop a Web3.0 platform in the future to support more digital assets.

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Elon Musk Abandons to Join Twitter Board, while Tesla Join Hands with Tech Firms for Mining Bitcoin Green

In efforts to make Bitcoin (BTC) mining more environmentally friendly, Tesla, Blockstream, and Jack Dorsey-owned Block, formerly Square, have teamed up to power a mining facility with solar energy, according to CNBC. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, the biggest shareholder of Twitter decides not to join the board of Twitter, says CEO Parag Agrawal. - 2022-04-11T152557.604.jpg

Musk-led Telsa utilizes a 3.8 megawatts (MW) solar PV array and a 12 megawatt-hour (MWh) Megapack, the Bitcoin mining facility in Texas, which is expected to be completed construction later this year, will be propelled by 30 Petahashes per second of mining hardware using 100% solar energy.

Megapack is a robust lithium-ion battery developed by Tesla that offers energy support and storage. 

Adam Back, a British cryptographer and the co-founder and CEO of Blockstream, noted:

“This is a step to proving our thesis that Bitcoin mining can fund zero-emission power infrastructure and build economic growth for the future.”

Tracking the project using an open dashboard

Back said:

“People like to debate about the different factors to do with bitcoin mining. We figured, let’s just prove it. Have an open dashboard so people can play along, maybe it can inform other players to participate.”

The dashboard will be open to the public, showing the real-time performance of the project, including total Bitcoin mined and power output. 

Meanwhile, Blockstream will be responsible for the mining infrastructure and oversee the project.

As Texas State enjoys sufficient solar and wind energy, it is emerging as an ideal location for Bitcoin miners. 

Back confirmed that wind power will be added to the expand the scale of Bitcoin mining if the project is profitable. He stated:

“You’re making a sort of calculation of the optimal economic mix between solar and battery. There’s 3.8 megawatts of solar and one megawatt of mining, so you can see you have to overprovision, because the peak solar input varies during the day and, of course, it’s not there at night.”

Incorporating wind energy would minimize overall costs by balancing solar’s downtime.

Neil Jorgensen, Block’s global ESG lead, noted the project would be a stepping stone toward using renewable energy in BTC mining. He noted:

“By collaborating on this full-stack, 100% solar-powered bitcoin mining project with Blockstream, using solar and storage technology from Tesla, we aim to further accelerate bitcoin’s synergy with renewables.”

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil, an oil and energy giant, recently announced the launch of a pilot program to convert excess natural gas into energy that powered mobile generators to mine Bitcoin.

Elon Musk gives up to join Twitter’s board

On the other hand, days after Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, attained a 9.2% ownership stake of Twitter and was appointed a member of the board of directors, he decided to abandon plans to be part of the board in Twitter. Nevertheless, Musk remains the largest shareholder of the social media giant. 

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Blockstream raises $16M for its Bitcoin mining STO in a matter of hours

Major blockchain technology company Blockstream has completed six tranches of its Bitcoin (BTC) mining security token offering (STO), securing a total of 30.9 million euros ($36 million).

Blockstream officially announced Thursday that the company raised 13.9 million euros ($16.1 million) in the sixth tranche of its Bitcoin mining-focused security token known as Blockstream Mining Note (BMN).

According to the announcement, the latest raise was the largest tranche that Blockstream has ever issued, marking increasing interest from individual and institutional investors. The raise brings the total BMN supply to more than 122, with the total number of investors amounting to 70.

Blockstream officially introduced its BMN security token in March, offering qualified non-United States investors an alternative to mining Bitcoin or investing in Bitcoin mining stocks by mining BTC using the associated hash rate of BMN. Issued on the Liquid sidechain of Bitcoin, each BMN Series 1 entitles investors to up to 2,000 terahashes per second of Bitcoin mined at Blockstream’s enterprise-grade mining facilities.

The BMN token can be traded with other qualified investors, delivering associated BTC to the BMN holder upon maturity of a three-year term from July 2021 to July 2024.

Related: Bitcoin-based security token offering approved in Germany

The news comes amid Blockstream preparing to list its BMN security token on Bitfinex Securities, a  that is regulated in Kazakhstan’s national financial hub, the Astana International Financial Center. As Bitfinex Securities progresses with its launch, BMN is set to become one of the first assets listed on the new platform.