When the channel is closed between Lightning Nodes, how is the closing transaction sent to the Bitcoin network? Does that mean to run a Lightning Node, you also have to run a Bitcoin node on your local machine since you have to broadcast closing transactions in the end? If there is a remote way for Lightning Node to communicate with Bitcoin Node, does that mean Lightning Node also has capability to communicate under Bitcoin protocol?

1 Answer 1


Lightning Channels are just unbroadcast cached Bitcoin transactions. So yes, Lightning Nodes need to keep abreast of transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain to notice new channels getting opened, existing channels getting closed, and need to be able to broadcast Bitcoin transactions to close channels or to submit justice transactions.

Different Lightning implementations use different ways to interact with the Bitcoin network. Some require access to a full node of varying flavor (e.g. Bitcoin Core, btcd), others use a light-client model based on compact block filters.

  • Thanks for the answer! Just to clarify, to run Lightning Node, you need some kind of Bitcoin client running on your machine, correct?
    – xor
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 13:59
  • This depends on the flavor of Lightning implementation you are running, but generally yes.
    – Murch
    Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 18:00
  • 1
    Do you have any recommendation to run lightning node without running full node, or run on light machine? I want to run node that is customizable so I want to avoid using hosted wallet service, but couldn't find any good option.
    – xor
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 1:24

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