Chaincode Lightning Residency
October 22nd - October 26th 2018

Applications close on Sunday!

NOTICE: The application period closes at 11:59pm EST on Sunday 23rd September

Please apply before Sunday if you wish to be considered for the residency


Chaincode Labs is hosting a residency program focusing on Lightning application development during October 22nd - 26th, 2018 in New York City.

We will invite 12 application developers to spend a week learning from experts about building production Bitcoin applications using the Lightning Network. Participants will build their own Lightning application throughout the course of the week while having access to experienced mentors and the camaraderie of other residents.

Applications like Satoshi's Place and demonstrate some of the possibilities, but we believe we're still in the early days. Join us for a week of learning and coding to explore this exciting new technology.


The residency will last for one week (October 22nd - 26th) and will be held in the Flatiron neighborhood of New York City, near to the Chaincode Labs office. Attendees will be expected to commit to being in New York for the duration of the week. Travel and lodging stipends are available to make this opportunity more accessible to a wide range of people.

Time will be split evenly between talks from Lightning application experts and building Lightning apps. On Friday, a "demo day"-style presentation will be held to cap off the week.

Protocol details of Lightning will be briefly covered, but the focus of this event is application development. Attendees need not have in-depth familiarity with Bitcoin or Lightning, but should be ready to build full-stack, working application prototypes. Experience with smart contract platforms such as Ethereum will also serve as good preparation.

Who we're looking for

Ideal applicants will have a strong interest in building the next generation of (micro)payment-enabled applications and games.

Applicants should be invested in developing or furthering their fluency with Lightning, and should arrive to the residency with an idea for the application they want to build. Applicants should have good fluency with some or most aspects of web application development so that they can build a basic working version of their idea.

Candidates should:

  • have working familiarity with both backend and frontend web technologies, or strong skills with one of the two.
  • have a basic understanding of cryptocurrency fundamentals.
  • have an idea for an app they want to build.

If you're worried about whether or not you're qualified, just apply.

Residency speakers

Alex Bosworth

Alex is the Lightning Infrastructure Lead at Lightning Labs. He is the creator of submarine swaps, Y'alls and

Chris Stewart

Chris is the founder of SuredBits, a real-time micropayment-powered data service, built on top of the Lightning network. He is also the maintainer of bitcoin-s and a former Chaincode resident.

Christian Decker

Christian is an engineer at Blockstream and is a maintainer of the c-lightning Lightning implementation. He is also co-author of the 2015 Duplex Micropayment Channels paper and the 2018 eltoo paper.

Elaine Ou

Elaine is an engineer at Global Financial Access. She has implemented the LightningBuddy and Jellybean applications on top of Lightning.

Jack Mallers

Jack is the lead developer of zap, a desktop and iOS wallet for Lightning payments.

Justin Camarena

Justin is an engineer at bitrefill, the first payment processor to accept mainnet Lightning payments. He was the lead engineer for integrating Lightning into bitrefill’s payment system.


lightningk0ala is the creator of the wildly popular Lightning app. He’s an expert on Lightning-powered games.


Monday to Thursday will be split between talks from our experts and project time.The talks will cover all aspects of building and running Lightning Applications:

Lightning Network Fundamentals

History of the lightning network - Christian Decker

  • Payment channels
  • Decker-Wattenhofer duplex payment channels
  • Poon-Dryja lightning channels
  • Implementations of lightning
  • eltoo

Bootstrapping and Maintaining a Lightning Node - Elaine Ou

  • How route discovery and gossiping works
  • Common failure modes when bootstrapping a node and maintaining channel liquidity
  • Node and channel use experience issues

Lightning ≈ Bitcoin - Christian Decker

  • Key differences between Lightning and Bitcoin
  • Invoices (BOLT 11) vs. Addresses
  • Receiving while offline
  • Spontaneous payments
  • Recurring payments

Basic Lightning Applications

Lightning Protocol From An Application Design Perspective - Alex Bosworth

  • The moving parts of Lightning -an application developer's perspective

Building Applications on LND - Alex Bosworth

  • Using the features of LND to make effective applications

Building 1 - lightningk0ala

  • The origins of "Let it rain"
  • Building a proof of concept
  • Setup and preparation
  • UX and UI for Lightning powered games

Building with Eclair, websockets and lapps - Chris Stewart

  • Basics of eclair
  • Installation
  • Syncing with bitcoind
  • Invoice generation
  • Monetization models

Lightning applications on light clients - Elaine Ou

  • Building on Raspberry Pi
  • Neutrino
  • Lightning network powered IoT

c-lightning API - Christian Decker

  • Building with the c-lightning API
  • Differences between the implementations
  • Shims for interop

Advanced Lightning Applications

Building Lightning into Bitrefill - Justin Camarena

  • Building with LND's api
  • Early challenges implementing lightning
  • Differences from how our on-chain cryptocurrency integrations differ from our lightning integration
  • Ease of integration today vs alpha stage of implementations a year ago

Effective Node Management - Alex Bosworth

  • Managing nodes and channels efficiently for 100% successful routing

Building Zap - A look under the hood - Jack Mallers

  • Overall architecture and how it has evolved over time
  • Using gRPC with LND. Tradeoffs vs using REST
  • Packaging LND within our applications
  • Driving remote nodes with Zap (remote LND instance or BTCPay)

Building 2 - lightningk0ala

  • Optimizations and production architecture
  • Launch, feedback and response

Lightning Application UX

Lightning UX - Building Lightning into Bitrefill - Justin Camarena

  • How Bitrefill presents Lightning payments
  • UX issues of failed routing payments for customers
  • Improvements we've helped build with others to help lightning UX
  • What can be expected for lighnting payments today, current usability
  • Lightning usage stats on Bitrefill
  • Future integration work

Lightning Network powered games - lightningk0ala

  • Game design for Lightning
  • Micropayments and mental transaction costs
  • In-game currencies and monetization strategies
  • Build your audience
  • Challenges of using Lightning

Building Zap - UX, design and product appraoch - Jack Mallers

  • Zap's appraoch to product
  • The road to our current design and what we've learned about users
  • Challenges we face today. What to look forward to
  • What the future may look like with Zap


Applications can be submitted here.

The application window closes at 11:59pm EST on Sunday 23rd September.