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I saw the video below that shows the possibility of a shift in Channel Balances. It shows that the amount that one uses to fund a channel may "disappear" if the channel is used as part of a route to fulfill the payment for someone else.

Someone Else --> Me --> Store

https://youtu.be/pOZaLbUUZUs?t=2m18s

It this scenario:

  • -> I get ready to go to the store
  • -> I establish a payment channel between myself and the store and add $100 USD to it
  • -> Someone else uses my channel (i.e. me) as part of their payment routing - a go-between - to pay the same store (since they don't have a direct channel to the store).
  • -> My direct channel to the store is now empty of funds.

How does one come about this problem?

TIA

  • Beware that that video was specifically produced by Bcashers for maximum FUD effect. It starts with a kernel of truth and then pulls you towards insane and nonsense conclusions. – Jannes Apr 13 '18 at 12:11
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It's actually a non problem deliberately set up in this video as a strawman. Professionally produced FUD.

In practice you're very unlikely to have a direct channel with the specific store in the first place, since for privacy reasons you actually want to be separated from that store at least 3 hops. But in either case you'd simply route your payment in the other direction through a different route towards that store. That's the whole point of this thing being a network. Payments can flow in both directions and the network is full of cycles.

  • thanks for the information. How can one determine that this video was done by Bcashers? Is there a way that one can spot FUD in the future? Also, you said: "you'd simply route your payment in the other direction through a different route towards that store" - to do so would mean the transaction cost would increase - right - since it is going thru more hops to get to the store. – Casey Harrils Apr 13 '18 at 18:54
  • Hard to say what gives it away. The sort of people/forums that link to it. The comments below it. The way the video is structured by staying with a small kernel of truth but then quickly derails. But all of those require some level of knowledge of (recent) topic history as well as the technologies involved. So it's hard and time consuming. – Jannes Apr 14 '18 at 14:07
  • Re tx cost: After the sunk cost of opening and closing on chain transactions, all further LN transactions are really just a few bytes flowing over the internet between a few peers. Bittorrent does a trillion times more, for free. The biggest reason to charge a fee is to offset my cost of moving my abacus to the side i don't want it to move (bringing me closer to having to close on chain). But that's offset by transactions moving in the other direction. Competing software managing that balancing act and finding optimal routes among those competing alternatives will drive fees very low. – Jannes Apr 14 '18 at 14:33
  • thanks again for the response :) You said "Competing software managing that balancing act and finding optimal routes among those competing alternatives will drive fees very low" - can you suggest such a software? – Casey Harrils Apr 14 '18 at 17:28

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