What is the Lightning Network, and what does it have to do with Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that allows participants in the network to send and receive payments without relying on a third party (i.e. a bank). First introduced in 2008, the Bitcoin protocol’s scalability is hampered by its relative latency and high transaction fees. The Lightning Network was proposed as a solution to Bitcoin’s scalability issue by enabling a high volume of participants to transact micropayments instantly. The Lightning Network is a “Layer 2” solution, which means that users can exchange funds internally and only pay settlement costs when they want to withdraw the money.
Why is Zion built on Lightning, instead of another blockchain? The innovation of the Lightning Network is the use of time-locked transactions and cryptographic nonces to allow many two party payment channels to form a connected network where payments can be sent over many channels without trusting the intermediate nodes. The topology is similar to IP networks (the internet): packets of information are routed over many physical links, and the communicating end nodes don't worry about the route as long as data gets to the destination. This works via a decrementing time lock that permits every intermediate node along the routing path to accept funds only if they forward it along to the next participant, using disclosure of pre images of cryptographic hashes. In the Lightning Network, nodes are not able to seize funds traveling through their channels even if they fail to forward payments or refuse to perform any actions. A node operates without custody of third party funds, which is enforced by a time limited cryptographic script. Zion uses these same cryptographic functions to move data across the same packet layers.
What is a node and why is there a fee to run one? Your Lightning Node is a secure personal server for your data. No one can access the information stored on your node without your private keys, giving you complete digital sovereignty over your personal data. You can use your node to establish payment channels and transact with users across the Lightning Network as well as communicate with any other Lightning user that has the Zion relay installed. These nodes run 24/7 with redundancy built in. Send and receive payments anytime, anywhere without worry. You get direct access to the LND gRPC and/or REST API. These nodes also include a pre-set up channel that allows you to use LND right away and use the app as seamlessly as any normal social media app with a few. Our nodes, which are none custodial also allows you to be hassle free we take on the headaches of node management. We'll tackle things like backups, networking, and version upgrades for you.
These nodes also include:
- Replicated Storage with fast SSD drives
- Memory and Disk encryption
- No credentials stored on the node
- Redundent servers with failover
- API Access restrictions
- Automated channel backups
Why do I have to pay for a node? Because Zion is a decentralized network of distributed, equal parties, each user must hold their own node. If you didn’t pay for a node, your data would be sitting on a centralized database. Your node stores your data, you have full control of your Bitcoin, channels and messages inside the network. We call this non-custodial. If we didn't provide your own node we’d have access to your messages and activity — just like any other social media website does.
Planning for desktop late Q2 2022.
Does Zion collect any data on me? Zion does NOT collect or store any usage data on members of the community. Not because we don’t want to — because we can’t. Running your own node gives you full custody over all of your data, including posted content, messages, payment information and activity. You and you alone have access to your private keys. This is the way.
We never collect data, because we can't
What is staking for Anti-Spam? If a creator has staking turned on for the community, when you make a comment inside the community a certain amount SATS, which is outlined in the stake contract when you join the community, will be held in escrow. If the creator of the community deems your comment Spam they will delete the comment from the thread and you will lose your stake. If you comment stays on the community page for the duration of the staking contract you funds will be returned. This is how we use SATS to prevent spam.
How does messaging work? Zion is built on the Lightning Network, which allows users to instantly send and receive payments. Zion’s messaging functionality is encrypted by this protocol. When you send a message, you will be charged 3 sats. Your message will be encoded and you will receive your 3 sats, for a net cost of zero sats.
If Zion doesn’t run ads or sell my data, how does the network make money? Unlike social media companies, Zion doesn’t exist to generate profits for external parties: the value remains in the ecosystem, and the network itself generates the funds needed to function. Zion gets a small cut of the cost of renting nodes and takes a 2% routing fee on Lightning payments to support continued network development.
What are communities? Communities are forums created by Zion members to discuss, share and get paid for their content. Members can join communities to support a creator, learn about a new topic, or discuss mutual interests.
How to exit a community? First, select the community you want to leave from your community list. Click on “Chat,” then click the “i” logo in the top right. On the next screen, click the three dots icon on the top right, then select “Exit Community.”
What’s the difference between Private Key, Connection String and Public Key?
What is a public key? Zion users are identifiable only by their lightning public key, a cryptographic code that verifies the identity of a user in a decentralized network. Like your telephone number, your public key can be freely shared without compromising the security of your account.
What is a private key? A private key is an alphanumeric string of characters linked to a corresponding public key. Your private keys are held on your device. We have no access to your private keys. Like a password, a private key authorizes a user to access the account and spend, withdraw or transfer funds. Never share your private key with anyone, and always make sure to have a backup copy.
What is the best way to secure my private key? We recommend using a password manager or pasting your key into your phone’s Notes app. Always keep multiple backups of your private key, as it’s the only way to restore your account if you want to change devices.
How can I restore my account using my private key? If you re-download the Zion app or change devices, you can easily restore your account by copying and pasting your private key and then using your PIN.
What is a SAT? Sat or Satoshi is the smallest unit of measurement with the Bitcoin blockchain protocol. One hundred million 100,000,000 SATS are equal to One 1 Bitcoin.
What is Boosting? Boosting basically sends a certain amount of sats to the owner of the message you choose.
- Hold down on the message for 2 seconds for the boost button to appear.
- Boost amount will be set to 100 by default.
- You can set the boost amount as you wish from your Zion Profile.
How do I self host my lighting node to get on Zion? We have outlined details in a video.
How can I share my podcast with the Zion community? Please do this process from a desktop computer. First, we need to link your Zion Lightning PubKey to your podcast within the Podcast Index. This will be found in the account section of the Zion Application.
Insert the email address used for your podcast RSS feed and request an account. You will receive an email from Podcaster Wallet.
Login and insert your Zion Pubkey into the RSS feed using the Add button the Podcaster Wallet Website.Once your Pubkey has been added to your RSS feed in the Podcast Index you can create your community in Zion by simply pasting the link of the RSS feed into the add community box. Your podcast will now appear in the chat of your community
Can you purchase Zion with Bitcoin?
Not quite yet, but we’re working on it! At this time, Zion is only available for purchase by credit card.
The River Financial app is not available in my area. What are my options?
Some members may not be able to access the River Financial App (https://river.com/) in their App Store. With that said, having the mobile app on your phone is not required for Zion to function. If you can access and utilize the link above through a browser then you should have no problems.
To explain a little further, what makes River Financial special right now compared to any of the other hundreds of exchanges or wallets is that they have the technology to facilitate transactions on the Lightning Network layer of Bitcoin. The Lightning Network is what Zion rides on. This portion of Bitcoin specifically, is a newer emerging feature/technology that you just won't find in too many places yet so that is why we suggest River Financial as an option for adding or withdrawing Bitcoin to your Zion account.
If you would like to look at other options, we encourage you to look at other options, such as Muun, Blue, Strike, Bottlepay UK, Breeze, Phoenix and Graaf One. You can view this link for a comprehensive list of Lightning Wallets: https://lightningnetworkstores.com/?tags=wallet