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Are lightning network addresses the same as bitcoin addresses or are they completely different?

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    Addresses for which part of LN? Funding channels? Closing channels? Making payments over LN? The commitment transaction? – Andrew Chow Apr 5 '18 at 5:49
  • @Andrew I assume what he's asking about is whatever you need to give someone else to pay you (assuming you both already have channels set up). – Pieter Wuille Apr 5 '18 at 12:06
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The Lightning Network does not use addresses for payments within the network.

When you want to pay someone, you will be given a Lightning Invoice (specified in BOLT 11) which will look like a very long address. These invoices specify various parameters of the payment you will make except for the amount itself. It provides the information necessary to route a payment to the recipient.

However Lightning invoices are different from addresses. Besides being very long, they are actually one time use as you can't use the same hash preimage for multiple transactions over LN. They are also much longer than addresses; these invoices aren't things that you would want to read out to someone. Although they still use Bech32 for encoding, Lightning invoices are completely separate from Bitcoin addresses and unrelated to Bitcoin addresses.

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    You might want to mention that non-address payments have been used elsewhere in Bitcoin, e.g. BIP-70, the BIP70-alike which is mandated by bitpay, or the IP transactions in the original Bitcoin software. – G. Maxwell Mar 9 at 5:15

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