Blockstack + Lightning

When I was in SF I met with Elizabeth, Joseph and Olaoluwa from Lightning. They’re considering using both ICANN names and Blockstack names for Venmo-like payments over Lightning.

Here are a few takeaways from our discussion:

  1. They would like to allow users to register names directly from the lightning command line interface (lnd).
  2. They would prefer to have a single “wrapper” root-TLD for all Blockstack TLDs. This could take the form of something like .stack but then we’d need to ensure that ICANN doesn’t overlap with this TLD. Joseph Poon recommends a one-letter root-TLD, though, because then we can be certain that ICANN won’t create a TLD that collides. Here are some examples: .b or .a or .x or .0. You could then make a payment to Naval Ravikant by either entering his domain name ( or his Blockstack ID (
  3. With lightning, it’s ok from a privacy perspective to publicly tie usernames to public keys. That’s because transactions don’t hit the blockchain, so there is no concern of public transaction correlation. This could enable a real workable “pay to username” system on bitcoin for the first time ever. It’ll be instant and private and convenient, just like Venmo but decentralized.