Whenever the balance of a Lightning channel is updated, the counterparties must revoke the Commitment Transaction reflecting the channel's earlier balance, and sign a new Commitment Transaction with the new balance. If the counterparty attempts to steal funds by broadcasting the revoked transaction to the Bitcoin network, then the other party can broadcast an anti-theft transaction that forfeit's the counterparty's funds.

A common objection I hear from skeptics of the Lightning Network is that, as a consequence of this, you have to be constantly online and monitoring the blockchain to prevent this kind of fraud.

However, as mentioned in this post, I've heard it proposed a number of times that:

the anti-cheat transactions can be safely distributed in the network and have an attached bounty to make it interesting for third parties to monitor on your behalf. When a third party broadcasts the anti-cheat they'd assign the bounty to themselves, but would be unable to touch the remaining funds.

My question is, has this ability to broadcast anti-theft transactions to third-parties interested in monitoring the blockchain for theft transactions actually been implemented somehow? Do the existing Lightning implementations include a protocol for broadcasting anti-theft transactions to third-parties?


1 Answer 1


I've asked the Lightning developers on Slack and this was their response:

enter image description here

Please note that things might change in the future.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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