Hey everyone, by way of introduction my name is Andy and I recently created a new lightning explorer available here: https://app.exponentiallayers.com/

I believe wholeheartedly in everything about Bitcoin and Lightning, and I’d love to meet everyone in this community and also hear if there is anything I can help with on Lightning network data.

If you are willing to take a look at my explorer, I would love to hear any feedback. If you run a node, are you able to find it? Do your channel partners and active capacity look correct? Does this data make sense? (The network data is synced every 20 minutes)

I know your time is worth more than a few sats, but I’d be more than happy to complete any lightning invoices in exchange for your thoughts (and it’s always fun to send sats).

In short, I’d love to hear about what would be helpful for you and what challenges do you currently face?

For example, would it be helpful for:

  • Notifications when a channel partner changes fees?
  • Notifications when a new node in the El Salvador region comes online?
  • Monthly reports on network capacity, nodes, and channels?
  • Tools or analytics for finding channel partners?
  • Searching for channel partners and minimum channel requirements?
  • (Programmatic) Access to historical network, node, or channel data?

Thank you for any input or feedback you are willing to offer!

Would it be possible to add things like daily transaction count, daily transaction fees paid, transaction count and BTC volume? Or is data like this totally impossible to view on LN

I would love to do this, but that data is not available on the public network - only on an individual node afaik. ThunderHub is a great product and they have a built in dashboard with Voltage that makes seeing some of this data easy for an individual node.

As the network grows, I can imagine that the larger nodes (like a River Financial or Kraken) will have a competitive advantage in this regard as they can have much more of this granular information. Almost like a Verizon/ATT can see internet network data or Amazon has its pulse on ecommerce.

But we're all pretty early so maybe our small nodes will get to be larger and we can estimate the magnitude of volume, etc!

how long have you been working on this, it looks pretty great and polished! well done

Thank you! I've been working on this for about 6 weeks now, and excited to keep building anything that will help the community

160 sats \ 1 replies \ @zw 1 Jun

6 weeks? That's amazing! What is your stack? What were the technical challenges that came up? Have you considered open sourcing your project? Would be very interesting to see how the whole thing works!

Thank you! I'm an application dev (primarily C#/.NET), so I went with what I know.

I use Voltage for Lightning Node infrastructure, a .NET and Azure hosted webjob for syncing network data, MongoDB for persistence, Azure Blob Storage for graph storage, and Azure webapp (C#/.NET) for hosting the main explorer.

The Lightning Lab team has made some great gRPC APIs available for pulling data from a lightning node.

The biggest challenge for me is understanding all of the network data - what do things like HTLCs or Parts per Million all mean in both a technical and business context. I'm still ramping up here, and posting at a '101' level as I learn more and run examples on my own lightning nodes (which is great with Voltage): https://docs.exponentiallayers.com/lightning-network-concepts/lightning-network-overview

And I'll get some links up soon of various resources and threads that have been helpful.

As for open source, I hope to carve out pieces to make publicly available in the future. In all honesty though, my hope is to start charging for new features shortly so that I can cover all of my hosting costs (Azure, Mongo, Voltage, WebFlow, etc - it adds up fast) and cover some level of my basic living expenses. I left my full time job to explore Bitcoin and the space in general because it is so interesting, so I need some way to cover my expenses to be able to do this indefinitely. So expect to see some paid features soon!

110 sats \ 3 replies \ @harsh 1 Jun

It would be cool with a private channel estimate capacity and if it was possible to see how many of those nodes were mobile nodes and how many channels was hosted channels

How would private channel estimate capacity work? With what data could it be estimated?

I'm not quite sure how to pull this data - from everything I understand, private channels and their details aren't announced to the network by design. I'm curious if you have any more context on how this data could be helpful?

30 sats \ 0 replies \ @k00b 2 Jun

Private channels aren’t announced. However for the time being, their channel ids are deterministically derived from the funding tx. Theoretically, you could scan the blockchain looking for funding tx and probe for private channels.

720 sats \ 1 replies \ @pony 2 Jun

It seems that i can't search for Nodes via Alias'. Please add this.

btw you can just tip any amount of sats here by clicking and holding the Lightning button, no invoice needed :-)

I am loving this 'press and hold' button for sats ⚡

421 sats \ 0 replies \ @siggy47 2 Jun

Ditto the lookup by alias, but otherwise this is great. Thanks for your efforts.

Node alias search is not working

Very nice explorer, looks good and promising! Congrats!

Regarding feedback, a few things:

  • first thing that came to my mind: I'd add a search bar in the home page. It's something we've all gotten used to, and I was kinda wondering where it was
  • already saw it mentioned by @pony, but searching by alias would be great
  • same thing for channels search, would be cool to be able to search by short channel id

Btw, I looked over my node a few tens of minutes after having done a reboot (maintenance), nice to see the explorer gradually become aware that my channels are back online.

This is super helpful - thank you

I don't know if this is a paid feature but would charts on your data be something you're looking at? Perhaps freemium can be a certain date range and you pay sats for an expanded date range

  • Node distribution geographically would be cool
  • Tools to find channel partners based on factors channel opener feels are important
  • Type channels (So lets say stacker news -apps, Amboss - utility, kraken - exchange) and categorise certain categories and their channel sizes of that "market"

Awesome, we also added it to our list of explorer options

Thank you so much - I really appreciate that. And these are all great ideas and feedback, I'll work to get these implemented and post back

I just looked for my own node, it shows up nicely.

Similar to the searching for alias requests by others, it'd be nice to associate all my peers also to their alias.

Suggestions to things to add, based on what I have already been using other explorers for:

  • response time of each node
  • mention if one or both sides of the channel have disabled the peer
  • compare inbound fees for all the channels of a specific peer

This makes a lot of sense - I'll work to add these details. Thank you

450 sats \ 1 replies \ @BTC_LN 2 Jun

Good work. Looks great.

Add node alias search if possible.

Thank you, and absolutely - I'll add that in

Looking great!!!! and as always say, dont be shy about selling stuff like data, accounts.

If something is free, you are the product.

💯 and thank you!