Jameson Lopp wrote:
[Some Satoshi Roundtable participants] noted that while it’s not too difficult to onboard current bitcoin users to Lightning, explaining Bitcoin and Lightning to someone at the same time can be overwhelming. There seems to be general agreement that if Lightning is to gain mainstream adoption, the concept of channels will need to be abstracted away from the user. Rather, the user should only need to know what the max value is that they can send and receive.
If a channel end-point is down, you can't spend your channel funds on the LN (Lightning Network), so what does the LN wallet tell the user?
You have 0.5 LN BTC right now (but you can kinda only can spend 0.3... but that might change any moment. Maybe just try spending all of it and see how it goes.)
If there are no hops between you and the payee that have enough liquidity, what does the LN wallet tell the user?
You have 0.5 LN BTC right now (buuuut you can kinda only can spend 0.3... well. You can spend all 0.5 but only to some people; 0.3 for others. But... that might change at any moment. Oh! I know what! If you try spending 0.5 BTC and it fails, you could fall back on using a credit card!)
If your wallet doesn't have that fancy tech for making a single payment that utilizes funds from all your open channels in a single all-or-nothing transaction, then what does the LN wallet tell the user?
You have 0.5 LN BTC right now (buuuut you can only spend up to 0.2 BTC in a single transaction. Also: if you then make a second transaction, just because of the channel configuration you currently have, you can only spend up to 0.1 BTC. But actually; if you make a transaction for 0.1 BTC first, you can then spend up to 0.2 BTC of your 0.4 BTC balance. Also, there was this one time at bandcamp... nevermind)
This is not to even mention the fact that the user probably also has a non-LN BTC balance on their wallet.
If I could describe the LN UX in one word it would be: