A new open-source project was revealed at the LNConf event named Lightning Rod. The project, which has an open repository on Github, allows users to send payments to each other even if one user is offline. Previously both users had to be online at the same time which can cause problems, especially for mobile users.
Lightning rod makes bitcoin significantly more user-friendly. It works as a go-between the sender and receiver nodes that is always online. Once payment is made, the lightning rod relays the transaction information between the two parties, meaning that neither the sender or receiver needs to be online to finalize transactions.
The new feature helps to facilitate transactions on the Bitcoin Lightning network without adding custodial risk. It’s unsurprising then that developers are interested in integrating the technology into their existing wallets and applications.
During the talks at LNConF, Roy Sheinfeld, a developer from the Breez mobile app said that Lightning Rod will be included in future versions of their wallet application available for Android and iOS devices.
The new feature already has some people brainstorming ideas on how to put the feature to good use. User nowitsallgone on Reddit stated that Lightning Rod could be used by individuals or businesses for sending and receiving payments via invoices.
Some users, however, were not so positive about the feature. The use of a third party to facilitate transactions is not offline receiving in the strictest use of the term, and some users even called the feature “backwards,” and “impractical.”