Crypto Payments, Wallets
Best Lightning Wallets for Bitcoin: The Ultimate Review
Last updated: June 23, 2023 17 min read
Bitcoin continues to stand tall as the most valuable and widely recognized asset, and people like to use it for payments all the time.
However, one significant deterrent for individuals wishing to transact with Bitcoin has always been the high transaction fees and, sometimes, long waits for payment confirmations.
That’s where the Lightning Network comes in.
If you’ve been wanting to use Bitcoin for your shopping endeavors, but have been held back due to the high transaction costs, this article is for you.
We will delve into the benefits of the Lightning Network and review some of the best Lightning Network wallets you can use to simplify your Bitcoin shopping experience on CoinGate-powered e-commerce stores, thousands of branded gift cards, and beyond.
Understanding the Lightning Network
The Lightning Network is a “second layer” payment protocol that operates on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Its primary purpose? To expedite transactions and lower fees. It is the perfect solution for small, everyday transactions, providing instant payments, scalability, low cost, and cross-blockchain functionality.
In essence, it enables Bitcoin enthusiasts to fully harness the power of their digital assets in everyday life, especially when it comes to online shopping. Learn more about Lightning.
The Benefits of Using the Lightning Network
The Lightning Network has several unique benefits that make it desirable for payments:
- An estimated thousand-fold increase in the capacity of the Bitcoin network;
- Transactions that can be settled in a matter of milliseconds, without network confirmations;
- Tiny fees for off-chain transactions – made to LN nodes only; no fees to miners until settling on-chain;
- Possibility to make micro-, nano- and even pico- transactions, as small as 1/1000th of 1 satoshi;
- Trading Bitcoin in real-time directly from a secure wallet, without depositing funds on exchanges;
- Atomic swaps: crypto-to-crypto trading across different blockchains (e.g. LTC to BTC);
- Enhanced privacy with only net transaction amounts visible on the blockchain.
Review of Top 7 Lightning Network Wallets
Now that you’re up to speed with the benefits of the Lightning Network, let’s dive into the best Lightning wallets that can revolutionize your Bitcoin shopping experience:
Zap Wallet: A Cutting-edge Open-source Lightning Network Wallet for User-friendly Bitcoin Management
- Renowned for user-centricity, simplicity, and security; built with contributions from a vibrant community.
- Exceptional user interface for easy setup and seamless transaction management; strives to simplify running a full Bitcoin node.
- Non-custodial with strong security measures and wide node compatibility; allows purchase of Bitcoin over the Lightning Network.
Zap Wallet is a platform that has taken the concept of user-centricity and wrapped it in a package of cutting-edge tech, ease, and security.
It’s an open-source wallet with a vibrant community of over 70 contributors, which not only allows for continuous improvements and innovations but also ensures that the platform is shaped by the needs and experiences of its users.
The design philosophy of Zap Wallet is simple, and this simplicity spills over into its user interface (UI). The UI is clean, intuitive, and easy to navigate even for a beginner. The team has done an exceptional job of understanding the needs of its users and delivering a platform that is user-friendly. It is easy to set up wallets, connect to an existing Lightning node, and manage transactions seamlessly.
In addition to its superb UI, Zap also aims to break down barriers to running a full Bitcoin node. The upcoming feature promises to make it as simple as a click of a button, which will further simplify the user experience. This indicates that Zap is not resting on its laurels but is continuously striving to improve and make the Bitcoin experience easier for its users.
Zap excels in ensuring user security. As a non-custodial wallet, it provides users full control over their keys and coins, ensuring no third party has access to their funds. This is a critical feature in the crypto world, which often grapples with security concerns.
Furthermore, the wallet’s upcoming TOR feature promises to offer unparalleled privacy, providing users the power to conceal their identity and transaction details.
Zap supports a wide array of nodes, including remote nodes, BTCPay Server nodes, Nodl nodes, routing nodes, and neutrino nodes. This compatibility ensures that users have the flexibility to work with their preferred node. The wallet also supports multiple languages, further enhancing its accessibility and usability for global users.
One unique feature of the Zap Wallet is its beta feature that allows users to buy Bitcoin over the Lightning Network, going from fiat to Bitcoin in mere seconds. This is a significant achievement for Bitcoin and its users, making it simpler and more efficient to introduce new users to Bitcoin.
The Zap Wallet is a groundbreaking platform that combines simplicity, security, and speed in a user-friendly package. It provides an excellent platform for both new and experienced Bitcoin users and sets a high standard for what cryptocurrency wallets can achieve. It has certainly earned its place as a trusted wallet in the Bitcoin community.
Muun Wallet: Combining Bitcoin and Lightning Network for a Secure and User-friendly Experience
- Simplistic, user-friendly wallet catering to Bitcoin and the Lightning Network with excellent recovery options.
- Robust security with 2-of-2 multi-signature feature and provides unified transaction experience for both on-chain and off-chain payments.
- Offers low transaction fees and comprehensive recovery options, compatible with both Android and iOS.
Muun Wallet is a self-custodial wallet designed for both Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, providing a simple yet powerful interface for users.
The wallet’s user-friendly design facilitates ease of use, making it an excellent tool for introducing non-tech savvy individuals to Bitcoin. It is noted for its ease in transacting with both Bitcoin and Lightning, and praised for its excellent recovery options.
Despite its many positives, some users may find it limiting, as the wallet does not allow users to define which Bitcoin and/or Lightning nodes to use.
In terms of security features, Muun takes a robust approach. The wallet is a 2-of-2 multi-signature wallet, which means that two keys are required to spend Bitcoin, providing an additional layer of security. While both keys are available in the user’s Emergency Kit, only one key is stored on the user’s phone.
This design ensures that even if a user’s phone is hacked or stolen, the funds remain safe as both keys are required to access them. Additionally, users can lock their wallet in case of phone theft until they can recover their funds on a new phone.
Muun’s unique features include the provision for both on-chain and off-chain payments with Bitcoin from a single balance, offering users a unified transaction experience. It also provides low transaction fees, claiming to prevent overpayment with its mempool-based fee estimator that works to get transactions confirmed quickly without overpayment.
Muun offers various recovery options to ensure secure access to the wallet. Users can export an Emergency Kit with private keys and output descriptors designed to fit complex scripts such as multisig, lightning, and taproot.
They can also choose the right recovery method suitable for their needs, including a Cold Recovery Code that uses a randomly-generated code written on paper, and a Multi-factor Authentication method using an email, password, and recovery code.
The wallet is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, making it accessible to a wide range of smartphone users.
Electrum Wallet: Providing Robust Security and Flexibility in a Bitcoin Lightning Wallet
- Established, feature-rich wallet emphasizing on security; keys encrypted and kept on the user’s computer.
- Provides “cold storage” for offline private keys, multisignature wallets and a recovery system with a secret phrase.
- Customizable, supporting third-party plugins for integration with hardware wallets and multisig services; strong reliability due to decentralized, redundant servers.
The Electrum Bitcoin Wallet is a well-established and feature-rich wallet with a strong emphasis on security. Private keys are encrypted and never leave the user’s computer, offering robust protection against unauthorized access.
Electrum also provides a “cold storage” option for keeping private keys offline, and it supports multisignature wallets, which allow users to distribute spending permissions across multiple wallets.
In case of loss, Electrum features a recovery system that enables users to retrieve their funds using a secret phrase. Speed is another notable aspect of Electrum, as it uses servers that index the Bitcoin blockchain for quick transaction processing and synchronization.
Electrum also offers flexibility to its users by allowing them to export their private keys and use them in other Bitcoin clients. This flexibility extends to the wallet’s reliability, as Electrum servers are decentralized and redundant, ensuring constant uptime.
All transactions in the user’s history are verified using Simplified Payment Verification (SPV), enhancing security and transparency. Lastly, Electrum is customizable, supporting third-party plugins for integration with hardware wallets and multisig services.
Electrum is generally known as a solid, secure choice for a Bitcoin wallet, especially for those prioritizing security, flexibility, and customization options.
Breez: Revolutionizing Lightning Wallets with Instant Channel Activation and Seamless Transactions
- Innovative, non-custodial Lightning client offering speed, security, and simplicity; provides instant channel creation and activation.
- Automates complex channel operations, provides single balance for on-chain transactions, and has a Point-of-Sale mode for merchants.
- Despite being in beta, it has already established itself as a top-tier Lightning client.
Breez, a dynamic non-custodial Lightning client, is an exciting addition to the Bitcoin transaction ecosystem. Offering a seamless experience that brings together speed, security, and simplicity, Breez is a standout, not just as a digital wallet, but as an innovative platform that harnesses the power of the Lightning network.
What makes Breez shine is its ingenious handling of channels, through a feature known as zero-conf channels. Instead of having to wait for block confirmations on the blockchain, Breez creates channels that are instantly active. This means users can start spending their funds right after they receive them. This instant channel creation and activation process shows Breez’s dedication to bringing the lightning-fast benefits of the Lightning network to its users.
Breez also automates complex channel operations such as channel creation, inbound liquidity, and routing, all taking place behind the scenes. It is a testament to the app’s intelligent design, providing users with a full-service experience that streamlines interaction with the Lightning network.
Another significant Lightning network feature that Breez utilizes to its advantage is the ability to perform on-chain transactions through Submarine Swaps. Breez maintains a single balance, enabling on-chain transactions while keeping user experience uncomplicated and efficient.
Breez also extends the benefits of the Lightning network to merchants with its Point-of-Sale mode. This innovative feature transforms the app into a Lightning cash register, allowing merchants to accept Bitcoin payments via Lightning transactions. It highlights Breez’s commitment to making Bitcoin a versatile and broadly accepted payment medium.
In addition, Breez takes the Lightning network’s capabilities beyond mere transactions by integrating a next-generation podcast player. This feature allows users to stream sats to content creators, creating a unique interaction that marries entertainment with Bitcoin transactions.
Despite still being in beta, Breez has made a strong case for itself as a top-tier Lightning client. It’s important, however, for potential users to keep in mind the inherent risks that come with using beta versions, including the possibility of losing funds.
Still, Breez Wallet stands out as a beacon of innovation in the Bitcoin transaction landscape, harnessing the power of the Lightning network to provide users with a fast, secure, and easy-to-use platform.
Its unique features, like instant channel creation and Point-of-Sale mode, make it an attractive choice for both individual users and merchants. With its commitment to the Lightning network and a host of promising features, Breez is certainly one to watch.
Phoenix Wallet: Simplifying the Lightning Network with a User-centric Approach
- Focuses on user ease and security with an intuitive user interface; non-custodial with full control of funds.
- Handles unexpected channel creation for a smoother UX; supports iOS and Android but lacks cross-platform compatibility currently.
- Provides on-the-fly channel creation for increased liquidity, offers detailed overview of each channel and supports swaps for seamless transactions.
Phoenix Wallet is a lightning-based application designed with user ease and security in mind.
It provides an impressive and intuitive user interface, making it a breeze for users to navigate their way around the wallet. The straightforward setup and transparent operation make the wallet user-friendly for both crypto newbies and seasoned enthusiasts.
Moreover, Phoenix addresses a critical pain point in the crypto world: receiving balances. The wallet has been engineered to handle unexpected channel creation, which usually contributes to a bad UX. However, until Bitcoin supports package relay, users will have to bear with the occasional unpredictability of the receiving balance.
In terms of security, Phoenix excels with its non-custodial feature, which guarantees that you have full control of your funds at all times. The wallet uses a BIP39 seed and follows the BIP84 derivation path, which allows users to recover their funds using any compliant wallet in case of channel force-closure or if they lose access to their phone. This, in conjunction with its self-contained Lightning node feature, emphasizes Phoenix’s commitment to ensuring user security.
Phoenix supports both iOS (version 14.0 and later) and Android (version 7.0 and higher), which should cover the majority of mobile devices. Although currently, you cannot restore an Android wallet on an iOS device and vice versa, this compatibility is set to arrive as soon as the new Android app, built on the Kotlin MultiPlatform, is ready.
Phoenix Wallet offers a unique set of features aimed at simplifying the Lightning Network for users. It is a pure Lightning Network (LN) wallet, and all funds are always in channels. You can still send and receive on-chain payments with swaps, and they are entirely transparent. Just scan a QR code, and it will work.
One distinct feature of Phoenix is the on-the-fly channel creation, which allows users to increase their liquidity without navigating complex settings or procedures. The wallet also provides a detailed overview of the balance and capacity of each channel, a feature often lacking in other wallets.
Phoenix also supports swaps, tightly integrated into the system that it appears as if you’re spending from your own wallet. This allows you to send funds to Bitcoin addresses or deposit funds into the wallet using a Bitcoin address. However, these features are dependent on the current status of the Bitcoin network and may be affected during high mempool size.
Phoenix Wallet is a significant stride in the crypto wallet scene. It’s built with a user-centric focus without compromising on the security and efficiency of transactions. While there’s room for improvement, especially regarding cross-platform compatibility and enhanced privacy features, Phoenix presents a promising future for lightning-based wallets.
It’s indeed a wallet designed for the less technical user wanting to enjoy the benefits of the Lightning Network.
BlueWallet: Versatile Bitcoin Lightning Wallet Supporting a Wide Range of Wallet Implementations
- User-friendly wallet compatible with various wallet types, has a watch-only feature for balance monitoring.
- Provides Multisig Vaults for enhanced security and an easy-to-use Lightning wallet for quick transactions.
- Supports a wide range of Bitcoin wallets, providing broad compatibility across many use cases and devices.
BlueWallet is a versatile Bitcoin wallet application available for iOS, Android, and desktop devices. The user interface is designed with simplicity and user-friendliness in mind, is easy to navigate, and setting up different types of wallets is straightforward.
BlueWallet supports various Bitcoin wallet implementations, which allows users to import any wallet using the wallet recovery and import feature.
The types of wallets supported include Native Segwit, Watch-only, Multisig Vaults, Lightning, Wrapped Segwit, Single Address, Legacy, Electrum, and BRD/Bread wallets. The ability to support such a wide range of wallets ensures broad compatibility across many use cases and devices.
The Watch-only wallet allows users to monitor their balance and receive transactions without exposing their private key. This feature supports the use of xpub/ypub/zpub addresses, individual public addresses, and the generation of receiving addresses and QR codes. It also offers offline signing and animated QR codes for larger transactions.
This wallet type is particularly useful for monitoring cold storage or paper wallets, offering additional peace of mind for users who store their Bitcoin in a secure offline environment.
For enhanced security, BlueWallet offers Multisig Vaults, often recommended for cold storage and large Bitcoin amounts. This wallet type functions like a vault, requiring multiple keys to spend Bitcoin, adding an extra layer of security. It offers features like easy creation, powerful import, backup keys, air-gapped transactions, and the ability to edit setup for key rotation or emergency fast signing.
The Lightning wallet is designed for ease of use with zero configuration. Users can use hosted Lightning wallets or connect to their own node.
The features include the ability to refill the Lightning wallet with Bitcoin, send and receive payments, support for LNurl, and direct access to Lightning-ready apps via an in-built browser.
This wallet is perfect for users looking to explore and use the Bitcoin Lightning Network for fast, low-fee transactions.
Wallet of Satoshi: A Minimalistic, User-friendly Bitcoin Lightning Wallet for Seamless Payments
- Renowned for its user-friendly interface and simplicity, making it ideal for beginners.
- Operates as a zero-configuration mobile custodial wallet, which simplifies the process but might deter users wanting full control.
- Compatible with both iOS and Android, does not require KYC, offers top-up option and scan-to-pay feature.
Wallet of Satoshi has maintained a reputation for its user-friendly interface and ease of use, making it accessible for beginners and experienced users alike. The design is clean, minimalistic, and intuitive, ensuring smooth navigation through the app. The setup process is straightforward, enabling the creation of a new wallet in minutes.
The service provider stores the Bitcoin and takes care of opening payment channels, which is a feature of Wallet of Satoshi being a zero-configuration mobile custodial wallet. This could be a downside for those who prefer full control over their Bitcoin, but it simplifies the process for those who prefer convenience and ease of use.
Wallet of Satoshi is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms, ensuring accessibility for users regardless of their device type. There are no Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, and no account creation is needed. Your device serves as your “username,” and you can use the app as long as you have your device.
Unique features of Wallet of Satoshi include a top-up option, enabling users to send Bitcoin from an exchange or purchase it directly within the app. Additionally, the app can locate merchants in your area that accept Lightning Network payments and offers a scan-to-pay option.
Wallet of Satoshi’s user-friendly interface, high security, compatibility across devices, and unique features make it an excellent choice for those interested in using the Lightning Network.
But, as with all custodial services, users should consider the trade-offs between convenience and control.
Start Using Lightning Wallets Now!
With the Lightning Network and the right Lightning wallet, you can turn Bitcoin into a convenient and practical currency for everyday purchases. It’s time to empower yourself!
Choose the best Lightning wallet for your needs, and start enjoying the speed, convenience, and affordability that these tools can offer for your shopping experience on numerous online stores or when buying gift cards from CoinGate’s Gift Card Store.