Lightning Labs is bringing a ‘smarter autopilot’ to the Lightning Network

As part of the release of its new desktop app on the mainnet Bitcoin blockchain, Lightning Labs has revealed that it has revamped the Lightning autopilot feature with a "new scoring-based system"

The alpha release of the Lightning Labs app for desktop takes the project’s code off the testnet and over to the Bitcoin mainnet for the first time ever.

As part of the upgrade to LND 0.6, the team has also made some updates to the autopilot feature that is used by many people to manage the opening/closing and rebalancing of Lightning channels to allow a user to earn small fees for BTC ‘staked’ inside the layer-two scaling solution.

The team mentioned in a blog post that the autopilot feature will now use a “scoring-based system” to “combine several heuristics into one unified channel selection model”.

External data to be released

The team also mentioned that “the latest version of autopilot within LND also allows these scores to be provided externally”. When this data is available, I look forward to seeing what data aggregation tools the community come up with to monitor the performance of this feature compared to other similar features in development from other Lightning Network clients.

Lightning Labs said: “The version of autopilot bundled with this application leverages both graph level information from LND and active network level information from our system to suggest well-connected nodes that actively manage the liquidity of their channels.

“This would work by selecting a set of initial channels, which is an important part of bootstrapping new users to the Lightning Network, and with this new system, we’ll ensure that our users’ very first channels act as reliable gateways to the Lightning Network.”

Privacy, security, and self-determination

The team reiterated that the factor “driving this release is a complete commitment to scaling the principles that Bitcoin was built on: privacy, security, and self-determination”.

“For that, we need to go beyond custodial solutions and enthusiast guides and deliver a great user experience for everyone.”

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