The popular Bitcoin wallet Electrum has been working on integrating the Lightning network for cheap and fast offchain payments for some time. With the release of version 4.0.1 it is now official: Lightning understands the most important bitcoin wallet. If you want to save and transfer bitcoins on a desktop computer, you can hardly avoid the Wallet Electrum. According to most surveys, Electrum is the most popular and most used wallet. Therefore, it should mean a lot if this wallet now officially integrates the Lightning network.
Successful integration into the wallet
To open Lightning channels, you need a SegWit wallet. Old wallets with addresses that start with a “1” are not Lightning-enabled. Instead, you need a new wallet with native SegWit addresses in bech32 format. If you have bitcoins in such a wallet, you can start building channels. Electrum elegent solves one of the fundamental problems of this process: Who should I open a channel with?
One way to find the right partner is to look at 1ml.com to find out which nodes are well equipped. If you then open a channel with them, you can be sure that you are well connected in the network. But for most users, that’s not really an option. Therefore Electrum offers to have a channel proposed.