Bitcoin verifies about 220 million transactions a year. Even when using Lightning, wouldn't I want to verify my Bitcoins at least once a year on the Blockchain? With 8 billion humans verifying once a year, wouldn't it take on average 40 years to get verified in the blockchain? What if you're forced to close a Lightning channel?

Wouldn't this make the Bitcoin use not secure anymore?



But with the coming taproot upgrade and schnorr signatures we can create a single Bitcoin tx that is n - of - n multisig which enables us to do multiparty channels with n participants in 1 transaction. So if you take n=40 we can onboard 8bn people in 1 year. If you choose n=480 we can do it in 1 month. So let's keep fingers crossed for that Bitcoin upgrade.

  • 2
    Isn't that severely difficult under the ln-penalty paradigm? Wouldn't we need SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT?
    – Murch
    May 22 '21 at 22:49
  • 1
    As far as I know Eltoo channels would most certainly make communication and handling of multiparty channel state easier. So yes this additional upgrade would come in handy but I believe ln-penalty would work for multiparty channels if it had to. May 22 '21 at 23:22
  • 2
    Sorry to sound pessimistic, but even setting up channel factories and then having smaller subgroups of users be able to update their substates bilaterally seems like a major challenge for 40 new users, let alone 480—even with Eltoo, but with LN-penalty it sounds nigh impossible.
    – Murch
    May 22 '21 at 23:47
  • 1
    Aren't such huge n-of-n channels more likely to fail to update assuming O(1) failure rate of each user? If each user fails (loses key, gets hacked) with probability p, 0<p<1, then the success probability for a channel update is (1-p)^n which is exponentially decaying with growing n. Thus, the probability of forced closures (on-chain) for fund recovery is 1-(1-p)^n, very likely. Thus, IMHO, such large channels will cause many on-chain transactions. There might be an optimal trade-off in terms of n between 2-party channels with high dependability and n-party channels with low dependability. May 24 '21 at 5:01

A lot depends on how you define "scalable".

If your question is: do we have ready-to-go technology, which without further on-chain Bitcoin protocol changes, is sufficient for making everyone on the planet to have personal Lightning channels on Bitcoin, the answer is almost certainly no (I'm not an expert on Lightning).

But scalability is generally understood to be more a question of "how do resource requirements scale in function of usage", and for that, Lightning is a significant improvement compared to purely on-chain payment transactions (while coming at the cost of additional assumptions like liveness: the ability for participants to get their settlements timely included on chain). That doesn't mean further technological improvements won't be necessary for further growth.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.