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Author Topic: Agora: Sell files on the web for Lightning Network payments  (Read 113 times)
rodarmor
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August 15, 2021, 11:42:50 PM
Merited by hugeblack (7), o_e_l_e_o (4), LoyceV (2), TryNinja (1), dkbit98 (1)
 #1

I've been working on a project called Agora with a friend for a few months, and it's getting to be reasonably usable, so I wanted to announce it here.

Agora is a simple web file server that can be configured to charge for downloads with Lightning Network payments. It is open source and self-hosted.

I can be used to host and sell any kind of content, and integrates with LND to process payments. I can imagine a lot of different kinds of data shops that you could start with Agora. Media, research paper PDFs, standards documents, and more.

It's a pre-MVP at the moment, but is still usable. We're busy adding new features, and hope to have an MVP release out soon. In the future, we hope to add support to make the browsing experience richer, for example with file previews and the ability to play movies and view PDFs directly in the browser.

I you try it out, let us know how it works, and if there are any features you need!

Some links:

- Announcement Blog Post (Hosted by Agora!)
- GitHub Repository
- Twitter Announcement Thread

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DBProductions
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August 17, 2021, 05:34:14 PM
 #2

This sounds interesting. Do you need any help with this project?
Thanks
dkbit98
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August 26, 2021, 01:42:02 PM
 #3

Cool idea of using Lightning Network for payments and downloading files, but I think you need to work more on graphical elements, maybe hire some designers or make some demo version with instructions.
I would also like to have the option to choose if I want to pay directly with Bitcoin or using Lightning Network.

n0nce
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September 03, 2021, 10:50:42 AM
 #4

I love the idea, thought of something similar myself a few times in the past but never got around to building it!
I have to check the code, but can it run on c-lightning as well? As far as I know, when building something locally on top of a LN node on the same machine, the two implementations don't differ much, since both use RPC. Or am I wrong?



Just a PSA and a recommendation to change on mvp.html: Muun is not a Lightning wallet. Any more significant amount of funds is stored on-chain, there is no way to manage channels on your own if there's an issue and transaction fees are much higher on even small transactions than on real non-custodial LN wallets.

I can recommend: https://phoenix.acinq.co/ and https://breez.technology/.



Another recommendation, since it's still not an MVP, according to your words: maybe switch it back to testnet, I mean 1,000 sats is not much in $ or € but still Wink I prefer to switch to mainnet only when everything's ironed out and all..

dkbit98
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September 03, 2021, 11:29:04 AM
 #5

Muun is not a Lightning wallet. Any more significant amount of funds is stored on-chain, there is no way to manage channels on your own if there's an issue and transaction fees are much higher on even small transactions than on real non-custodial LN wallets.
Wrong.
Muun is open source self-custodial wallet for bitcoin and lightning network, but I agree there are other wallets that are better for LN.
Here is one good list of most known LN wallets, and running your own node with non-custodial wallet would be the best option:
https://lightningnetworkstores.com/wallets

n0nce
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September 03, 2021, 11:50:18 AM
Merited by dkbit98 (2)
 #6

Muun is not a Lightning wallet. Any more significant amount of funds is stored on-chain, there is no way to manage channels on your own if there's an issue and transaction fees are much higher on even small transactions than on real non-custodial LN wallets.
Wrong.
Muun is open source self-custodial wallet for bitcoin and lightning network, but I agree there are other wallets that are better for LN.
Here is one good list of most known LN wallets, and running your own node with non-custodial wallet would be the best option:
https://lightningnetworkstores.com/wallets
Did you try it yet?

Because I did. Put like 100 bucks on it, and everything above ~2€ needed an on-chain transaction. Muun folks told me part of funds isn't in the LN part of the wallet to facilitate larger transactions (so no swap is needed).
For me this is not a Lightning wallet. I couldn't even send 5 bucks to a friend with low fees (I'm talking <10sat, what I normally pay) and that's bullshit for a wallet that calls itself "Lightning wallet". It was orders of magnitudes higher in fees, hundreds of sats for anything above like 2€ equivalent.

Also it's bullshit that it's non-custodial but you have 0 access to the low-level commands like there is in Breez, where I can at any time manually create a new channel, close one, etc. in case of an issue (like the big issues I actually had in Muun). You literally have no power, which makes it kind of pointless for it to be non-custodial when you can't access your funds except through their (bad) UX.

dkbit98
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September 03, 2021, 11:58:27 AM
 #7

Did you try it yet?
I downloaded and tested it but I never used it for receiving or sending any funds because I didn't like it and I think there are no options for running your own node.

Because I did. Put like 100 bucks on it, and everything above ~2€ needed an on-chain transaction. Muun folks told me part of funds isn't in the LN part of the wallet to facilitate larger transactions (so no swap is needed).
I don't understand how this is possible when there are two different type of addresses, one for Lightning and other for Bitcoin (segwit and legacy)

n0nce
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September 03, 2021, 12:32:45 PM
Merited by hugeblack (4), dkbit98 (1)
 #8

Did you try it yet?
I downloaded and tested it but I never used it for receiving or sending any funds because I didn't like it and I think there are no options for running your own node.
Yeah that's also a turn-off for sure.

Because I did. Put like 100 bucks on it, and everything above ~2€ needed an on-chain transaction. Muun folks told me part of funds isn't in the LN part of the wallet to facilitate larger transactions (so no swap is needed).
I don't understand how this is possible when there are two different type of addresses, one for Lightning and other for Bitcoin (segwit and legacy)
I'm not entirely sure how their software works; it's more custom and complicated compared to a simple in-app Lightning instance like Breez and Phoenix. This goes against my principle of 'keep it simple, stupid' and I don't really see the benefit of that overcomplication.

I think this is the only architectural explanation and it leaves open many questions (of course anyone can read the code but that's more involved than reading a thorough specification):
https://blog.muun.com/muuns-multisig-model/

They claim self-custody a lot, but that all revolves around giving you access to your seed words and private keys. A private key which was used to create and fund a LN channel, doesn't immediately give you back your (LN) funds, if the channel is still open. This means if you delete the app and want to recover funds via seed words, it's not as trivial as when recovering a pure on-chain wallet. You'll need to wait for the channels to force-close due to your client being inactive for too long or so, which also costs more in fees and takes time.

They built a tool (https://github.com/muun/recovery) that I think uses your private key to close all channels and transfer all funds to an on-chain address, and I think this recovery is aided by the fact that - as I mentioned - the majority of your funds are on-chain anyway when using Muun. Hence my recommendation, not to call it a Lightning wallet.

So yeah, it's self-custodial, I never said it wasn't, but the control is way more limited than what I'm used to from Breez, which is a complete full-fledged and fully-functional lightning instance in an app. This gives users more 'custodiality' in a way, that they have more control, right from the app itself, without having to go through a wallet restore process in case of a problem.



The biggest issue for me though, is that not all funds are on LN and that really sucks Cheesy
Receiving from Bitcoin addresses and sending to them, works perfectly fine on the other 2 mentioned and recommended 'pure-LN' wallets, through the use of submarine swap providers like boltz.exchange.

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