Casa, the company behind the plug-and-play Bitcoin / Lightning node, just announced that it is in the process of open sourcing as much of the Casa Node software as possible. Less than 24 hours later, they also released a browser extension that interfaces directly with the Casa Node, allowing users to make Lightning and on-chain Bitcoin payments without having to open a separate browser tab to log in through the Casa Node dashboard.
Open sourcing the Casa Node code is an important step for the company, helping to further reduce trust requirements through transparency and achieve feature parity with other plug-and-play nodes like Nodl. It also allows developers to begin adding support for Casa Node integration with third party software. For instance, Casa is actively working with the developer of the popular Lightning browser extension, Joule, to integrate Casa Node support.
While Joule works to build in Casa Node support, the Casa browser extension provides the same functionality by allowing users to make payments straight from Chrome. What currently differentiates this extension from others is that it connects to your node through a custom API versus giving it access via macaroons, making the whole process much more secure. Setup is easy and takes less than a minute to get up and running.
Over the past year, the Lightning Network UX has evolved from purely CLI to dedicated plug-and-play hardware with consumer-grade interfaces. Bear market be damned, this is an amazing time for Bitcoin and I can’t wait to see what else 2019 will bring.