Lightning Shell: instant disposable root shells

I recently released Lightning Shell, a service to book access to a docker container with root access using Bitcoin's Lightning Network. It's meant for people who want to try out possibly untrusted software without polluting their system. In a future iteration I could also imagine self hosting Apps that book containers over an API, but that's still far from becoming reality.

One important goal was is usability without JavaScript. For that reason the payment processing uses iframes and http-equiv refresh to check for paid invoices and the containers can be accessed not only using a web tty but also via SSH.

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Building a Lightning candy dispenser

The candy dispenser in action

Back in September I attended the 3rd Lightning Network Hackday in Berlin organized by fulmo. It was a rather loose gathering of people working on all sorts of Bitcoin and Lightning related projects. One of the most fun applications of Lightning I saw there was a little electronic candy dispenser. The concept was simple but yet fascinating: a Raspberry Pi, embedded in the candy dispenser, ran lnd and served a website with an invoice displayed as QR code. Every time one sent money some M&Ms dropped out of the machine and a new invoice was generated. This turned out to be so much fun that I decided to build one myself.

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