Can a user restore ln wallet if node goes offline (BW)

Let’s say I connect to my friends node and after a while it goes down. I have my keys (or whatever Blue Wallet gave me) but the node operator cannot restore the node. Can I migrate my account or withdraw coins without the same node being set up again? Any steps I can take to minimize the risks when depending on others?

Hey irakli,

As long as you have your seed phrase, your funds are safe, and you can connect to any node to use for infrastructure. It’s a little confusing because Bitcoin nodes come bundled with a wallet by default nowadays, but they don’t necessarily have to be. You have your own private keys/wallet, so you can connect to any node to validate your transactions.

@jonsyu OP is referring to LNDhub wallet (Bluewallet LNDhub) not to node LND wallet.

@irakli LNDhub wallet created in Bluewallet app, is giving a lndhub link as backup. But that link will work ONLY on that specific LNDhub node.
So if your friend node is crashed, you could not use that lndhub link using another node, you will have to wait until your friend restore fully the same node.

As “uncle Jim” running a LNDhub server he have a big responsibility for its “clients”, he’s a real bank.
So this should be a warning to all those happy to open a LNDhub in “friend’s node” to take in consideration or even have guarantees from the node operator that their funds will be restored.

Also a BW LNDhub, right now do not have a backup at accounts level, is still in early phase. So after restoring the node, the operator will not have an accounting system to put back the funds accordingly to last state of wallets. Can be a very complicated way to make backups of the database or something, but is not specific in documentation.

So I hope you take this as an experiment and wait for new releases, to be able to use it in a normal way.

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Thanks, that was helpful.

Another question: how safe will my funds be with any node? Talking about BW again. Let’s say I connect to my friend’s node, what are the risks associated with this? Will they be able to take my sats? Also, how much information do they have about my transactions?

You should run your own node. Period.
Consider your friend’s node as fully custodial. Keep there only funds for playing and testing.

Actually, technically a lndhub wallet is more like an IOU, so yes, those sats are actually in your friend’s hands always. What you see in your lndhub wallet is an expression of an IOU of the sats he receive them in his node channels.

All txs you are doing, they will see them in node tx listing. But not too much to do with that info.

General rules for LNDhub wallets:

  • use them only as family wallets, where there is a good level of trust and control in using them in a family node
  • use them only with a trusted party/ friend that you are certain it will care much about that “bank” and your money
  • use them anyway as small spending wallets. You can refill them anytime from a more trusted wallet.
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Thank you very much!

Actually I own a node and I wanted to learn more from the users perspective. Still learning.

I got interested because the invoice generation time and complexities about LN increased by a lot and wanted to reassess the worthiness of running a node for the general public in the future. I don’t think it’s viable at the moment and needs improvements.

So, in El Salvador, as an example, the absolute majority of LN users depend on others nodes. This is very centralized. One day their funds might disappear. This will be devastating for bitcoins growth and trust sentiment. What measures can there be taken to avoid this happening? Can we really trust the centralized network? Especially when they are government supported/controlled?

P.S. I know the rule of LN = checking acct.

Again, thank you very much for answering these questions.

Until these new solutions like LNDhub get more robust and advanced in features to control the funds, I suggest to use them only as testing ground. Patience, it will evolve soon.

Until then, each of these users that could not afford to run a home node for themselves, can use many other wallet solutions that offer a better custody and control of their own funds.

I wrote several guides about that and one guide is even dedicated to El Salvador users.

Nowadays, you could have easily a node in your own mobile device. We can mention here Blixt node wallet and SBW (Simple Bitcoin Wallet) than brings many features as a mobile node.

If you are more advanced user and you already have a home desktop node as Umbrel, you can use these mobile nodes for “other” stuff, like I described in this special guide.

You just have to use your imagination a bit…