Announcing Zap: A Lightning Network Wallet

Jack Mallers
2 min readAug 11, 2017

Today, I would like to introduce the crypto community to Zap, a Lightning Network UI I have been working on recently. Below, I demo connecting to a peer, opening a channel, making a payment request, and making a payment over LN on bitcoin’s testnet. The video may come off as a bit technical, but have no fear, this is just a quick MVP (minimum viable product).

For the community, by the community

Lightning Network has become quite the buzzword recently, especially with the lock-in of the highly anticipated upgrade segwit. With the hype, I have received some attention from investors and potential business partners interested in Zap. I have respectfully declined all offers.

Why? Throughout bitcoin’s evolution, we have seen many companies create and follow incentives that misalign with the broader community and its users because they are beholden to their initial business model and/or their outside investors. This creates an unhealthy relationship between their financial incentives and the users actually using their product(s) — more often than not resulting in decisions made against the best interest of users and their experience.

I do not want this for Zap. I am most interested in helping people and companies use the Lightning Network to solve their problems while pushing bitcoin’s overall success in the right direction. I think it would be great if the community had an open source LN UI that has no other incentive than simply benefiting the users. Dedicated to delivering beautiful interfaces along with a great experience as bitcoin enters a more consumer-facing era. So, Zap will be fully open source with a completely open development policy. With the lock-in of segwit it seemed like good timing to post this, but Zap’s code won’t be posted for about another week or so. There is still some detail work to be done such as many more tests, contribution rules, a detailed README, initial code cleanup (I was in full-on hackathon mode :p), etc. When the code is public (homepage, desktop application and mobile application), it will be here. For the community, by the community ✊

Let’s do this

With that being said, let’s scale this beast!

If you would like to reach out and chat you can contact me on twitter or shoot me an email at jimmymowschess at gmail

If you would like to join Zap’s email list, for the time being you can do so here

I would also like to quickly thank the folks over at Lightning Labs for being amazing. Their availability over Slack and patience with all developers looking to build is how you encourage innovation.️