How to

Learn how to use Phoenix, a simple wallet for Bitcoin and Lightning

In the first article, we describe the Phoenix wallet and how it works. In this second part, we will learn how to use the Phoenix wallet to interact with the Bitcoin Lightning payment channel network.

Phoenix is ​​a Bitcoin wallet that manages to integrate a fairly simple and intuitive user experience into Monedero Lightning non-custodian, which also allows for asset management within the Bitcoin blockchain. This makes it easy to interact with the Lightning Network’s network of payment channels.

This wallet is a nodo real lightning that works on your device. However, for this to be possible, ACING developed a number of tools that we explored in the previous article. So, if you want to know more about Phoenix and how it works, we invite you to read this article.

Having cleared this up, this guide will focus on using Phoenix, from how to download and install said wallet, to how to send and receive payments; either through the Lightning network, or within the Bitcoin blockchain.


Download and install

Phoenix is ​​currently only available for Android devices. However, the official blog states that the work is being done in the iOS version for the beginning of 2020.

Phoenix home screen. Image: ACINQ.

Now, to download the app, it is always advisable to get the download link from the official website. So you have to go to the portal Phoenix official where you will find the button to download the app on Google Play.

Creating a portfolio

When you first open the wallet, you will be presented with these two options: New Wallet to create a new wallet and Restore My Wallet to recover the 12 word recovery wallet.

You will need to press on to continue A new wallet (New portfolio). This process will take a few seconds while your new wallet is generated.

Protective Seed of Recovery

After the wallet is created, the next step before receiving funds is to protect the recovery seed, as this is the only means available to recover the BTC in it.

Phoenix Initial Options: Back up your wallet and set a PIN. Image: ACINQ.

To learn more about how this recovery seed works, we recommend reading the How Phoenix Works article.

Note that this recovery seed is unique and only you should have access to it. For this reason, it is recommended that you copy it neatly on paper and keep it in a safe place without moisture and that only you have access to.

With this clarified, on the main screen you need to click on the Backup my wallet button. After that, after writing down and saving the seed, you need to check the I have backed up my seed box and click Confirm to finish.

Set security PIN and biometric security

If you have a recovery pad, you can rest assured, as your funds are safe from any eventuality; in the event that you are unable to access your equipment, whether due to theft, damage or loss. However, we were able to verify that, If a security PIN is not set, anyone who has access to your phone will be free to access your wallet and thus the recovery seed. Therefore, it is recommended to set the PIN after the backup has been made.

Phoenix requires a 6-digit security PIN. Image: ACINQ.

Now, to set the said security PIN, on the same home screen, you have to click on Set Pin. Later you will need to confirm the specified activation.

This pin with 6 numbers. As a security tip, avoid linking personal information to a PIN numberto prevent wallet breaches.

Once the PIN is set, Phoenix will give you the option to authenticate access with your fingerprint, as long as your device allows it.

Combined with a security PIN, Phoenix allows you to activate fingerprint authentication. Image: ACINQ.

Then, once the PIN is confirmed, an option will appear to enable biometric authentication, as long as your device allows it. When you activate it, you’ll use the same fingerprints you’ve already registered on your device.

Receive funds

Phoenix is ​​a wallet that runs exclusively under the Bitcoin Lightning network, but also allows you to manage funds via the blockchain. However, as we pointed out in the first Phoenix article, All your funds are housed in Phoenix payment channels, but it is the ACINQ node that is responsible for the exchange from the Lightning network to the Bitcoin blockchain.

Receive funds through the Lightning Network

As soon as you install your wallet, you can immediately start receiving funds through the Lightning Network. There’s no need to wait for some sort of network sync or confirmation, as is often the case with other Lightning wallets.

Obviously you will need a payment channel, but it will be created immediately after receiving the first payment. To do this, a small amount will be deducted from you (0.1% of the total received) and you will be able to use the funds immediately.

If you want to know more about how this system works, you can visit the official Phoenix blog.

Now, in order to receive your payment, you will need a payment account address. You can find this in the Receive option at the bottom.

What you see is the QR code of the payment receipt. If you want to get the address of the said invoice, you have to press the copy symbol to save it to your clipboard.

QR code of the payment account. Image: ACINQ.

That’s interesting This invoice does not have an invoice amount, that is, the sender enters the total amount to be sent.. However, if you want to create a payment invoice with a fixed amount, you need to click on the edit symbol and it will take you to the appropriate options.

On the other hand, when receiving, there are two possibilities: If the amount is less than a certain amount set by the ACINQ node (currently 100,000 hours), you will be able to receive the payment without any problems. But if it exceeds this amount, you will be notified that you have an incoming payment to which You will be charged a percentage of 0.1% amount received for generating a new channel.

Notification of incoming payment. Image: ACINQ.

These types of features allow you to receive payments regardless of whether it exceeds the current capacity of your payment channels.because if it doesn’t have the required capacity, a new one is created.

Regardless of the size of the incoming transaction, as soon as you accept, you can dispose of your funds as you wish.

Receive BTC via blockchain

When we talk about receiving BTC via blockchain, it is receiving in the traditional way, i.e. sharing a public address. Of course, as we mentioned at the beginning, you do not receive directly in Phoenix as all funds are handled within the payment channel, so the ACINQ node is in charge of performing the exchange. This means that it is the one that originally receives the funds and exchanges them to your payment channel.

Now you will need a public address to receive. You will find it in the Receive option and clicking on Show Bitcoin Address. After logging in, you will be shown a standard Bitcoin address. Once you receive the confirmation, the funds in your wallet will be displayed. You will also be charged 0.1% of the total amount for exchanging the blockchain to the payment channel, a task performed by the ACINQ node.

Phoenix provides a standard Bitcoin address for receiving funds within the blockchain. Image: ACINQ.

Now all you have to do is split it and wait for the BTC to be confirmed. You can then send them, either via the Lightning network, or the traditional way.

Send funds

Sending funds within Phoenix is ​​a bit easier than receiving them. This is because depending on whether you scan a Bitcoin address or an invoice for payment, the wallet sends the funds to the appropriate destination.

For shipments to on-chain BTC addresses, the minimum amount is 10,000 hours.

Now, to send, you just need to go to the Send section in the bottom menu.

To send a payment, Phoenix offers to scan the payment invoice or paste it from the clipboard. Image: ACINQ.

enter, Your device’s camera will automatically open allowing you to scan either an invoice for payment or a Bitcoin address. If you already have it in your clipboard, you need to click the Paste payment request option.

The following image shows both payment formats. On the right side we see a payment to a BTC address, and on the left a payment via the Lightning network.

Capture the two payment methods offered by Phoenix: via the Lightning network, left; and payment to BTC address. Image: ACINQ.

Now, depending on the case, you will have to specify the amount. In the case of paying bills with a fixed amount, you will not need to do anything else. Just click on Exchange Request in case of BTC address, and in case of Lightning network payment, press the Pay button.

Extra Phoenix Tools

At this point, you can start using Phoenix with complete peace of mind and start using the Lightning network like an expert. However, this wallet offers some additional tools, from the settings menu, for more advanced users.

Change fiat currency

Within Phoenix, by default, USD units are processed at the current exchange rate. But you can also exchange it between more than 20 different national currencies.

Enter your Electrum server

To synchronize information from the Bitcoin blockchain, the Phoenix wallet connects to a random Electrum server. However, to provide more confidence, it allows you to modify this connection, making it easier for you to connect to a trusted or your own server.

Channel closure and forced closure.

Note that within Phoenix these concepts are different. If you use the option to close all channels, you will need to enter a Bitcoin address, outside of Phoenix, to which funds from those channels will be sent. This process only requires one confirmation to make all BTC available.

On the other hand, forced closure means unilateral closure. This is only used in an emergency, where the ACINQ node fails or is hacked. This process will require 750 confirmations within the blockchain, or approximately 5 days. If you use this option, you will need to transfer the wallet to a wallet compatible with the initial number, such as Electrum, to see the funds, after the necessary confirmations are received.

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