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Questions tagged [lightning-network]

Proposed payment system leveraging payment channels which allow re-negotiation of balances that finally get executed on the Bitcoin blockchain.

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61 votes
3 answers
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How does the Lightning network work in simple terms?

Could you please describe how the Lightning network is supposed to work? How does it scale better than pure blockchain transactions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Lightning Network ...
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50 votes
1 answer
15k views

What are Channel Factories and how do they work?

One of the open research questions for Lightning Network is that it will take a massive amount of on-chain transactions to create enough payment channels for all the Lightning Network users. Lately, I'...
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28 votes
3 answers
6k views

How are paths found in Lightning Network?

I understand now how multihop payments can work in LN, but how do we discover payment paths in Lightning Network in the first place? Obviously you'd need to take into account the available capacity ...
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18 votes
2 answers
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What security weaknesses result from using off chain solutions?

What type of security weaknesses are potentially created by using off chain solutions (such as the lightning network) for a portion of Bitcoin network traffic?
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18 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the trade-offs between transacting on Lightning Network and Bitcoin mainchain?

Lightning network's first prototype code is online, so it's about time we learn more about what it is. (At least I wish some people would…) What are the expected trade-offs of Lightning Network to ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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Is centralization in the Lightning network inevitable? Why (not)?

Especially keeping in mind the possibility of single-funded channels (see Tadge's Google Doc Slides), buying from an exchange and concurrently opening a payment channel on the Lightning network would ...
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14 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is Lightning Network a risk for Bitcoin security since it reduces miner fees?

does LN represent a risk for the Bitcoin ecosystem since it will reduce miner fees (the only income they'll have in a post-btc-minting world) and displace them into second layers? I couldn't find any ...
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13 votes
2 answers
779 views

Why did the lightning network implement a gossip protocol?

As pointed out by many lightning developers in the past (e.g. Rusty's 1 million channel challenge) the gossip protocol is quite noisy and a part of the BOLTs causing many engineering challenges. ...
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

How are fees determined in the Lightning Network?

How are fees determined in the Lightning Network? For transactions that occur on chain, fees are determined by the availability or demand for space in node's mempools. How are they determined in the ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does Lightning transaction revocation work?

I've been reading about the Lightning Network, and I feel like I alllllmost understand it, but I can't quite figure out how the revocation transactions are designed so user A can claim the channel's ...
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11 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is a millisatoshi? I thought satoshi is the smallest unit?

I encountered 'millisatoshi' (msat) while browsing Lightning Network..., see screenshoot below: And subsequently I found it mentioned here: https://github.com/ElementsProject/lightning/blob/master/...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

When closing the channel for LN - how to calculate the fee for the blockchain transaction?

To be clear: Following is not about fees in Lightning Network. Following is about fees on blockchain for transaction which closes the channel in LN. Channel closing transaction can be created months ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

In Lightning Network, what are the proposals for solutions to transfers to offline end users?

Basic examples in LN always mention payments from an online end user to other online end user. But let's say we want to send a micropayment donation to a blog that does not have an always online LN ...
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11 votes
1 answer
327 views

Does eltoo require trusting watchtowers not to close channels?

The way Lightning Network works now, watchtowers maintain a list of penalty transactions to broadcast in case one party attempts to close a channel with an outdated channel state. The watchtower ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Lightning Route Discovery - How to know capacity in each direction?

So i have a question how routing works in the LN. I read partly through the RFC described in https://github.com/lightningnetwork/lightning-rfc but I have still this open question. I know every node ...
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

"HTLCs don't work for micropayments"?

I read this tweet by Tadge Dryja recently. What exactly did he mean? Is this an issue? If so, is this issue fixable?
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

How is a node in the middle prohibited from keeping the money in a routed Payment in Lightning network?

It is my understanding that Lightning is to scale with users having only few payment channels by leveraging the six degrees of separation theory to facilitate payment routing. I understand how onion ...
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10 votes
1 answer
433 views

How to emulate SIGHASH_NOINPUT using CHECKSIGFROMSTACKVERIFY?

I read on bitcoin-dev that CHECKSIGFROMSTACKVERIFY (CHECKDATASIG in BCash) can be used to emulate new sighash flags. How would that work, concretely? As an example, please provide an example update ...
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10 votes
2 answers
746 views

Transaction overriding in lightning network

I'm reading the lightning network whitepaper, and at some point it states this: Therefore, it is possible in bitcoin to devise a bitcoin script whereby all old transactions are invalidated, and ...
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to recover funds from a force-closed Lnd lightning channel?

I lost my Lnd channel backup in a boating accident, but I still have the mnemonic. I had one freshly opened channel to my own c-lightning node which has never been used. I force closed the channel ...
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

What criteria should be taken into account when selecting nodes to create new lightning channels with?

Alex Bosworth recently pointed out: I see people connect to a "well connected" node on LN and by that they mean they connect to a node with lots of channels. The number of channels is actually a ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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What makes millisatoshi real?

In the Lightning Network, it's possible to pay in units a thousandth of a satoshi, a millisatoshi. But you can't redeem them directly on the main chain when closing a channel, it will be subject to a ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Running lightning in prune mode

I am running lightning with the LND implementation and a full node. Nevertheless, I heard that it is possible to use Lighting in pruned mode. How is this possible? I read in the LND install ...
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do parties in a Lightning Network channel need to be online?

I'm thinking of a scenario where users on mobile devices using a LN client will rarely be online. Let's say Alice opens a channel with Bob and they make 10 LN transactions. After Alice has received ...
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9 votes
1 answer
606 views

Lightning Network scaling alternatives?

I'm really looking forward to the Lightning Network and all the efforts being put in by Blockchain.info, Blockstream, and others. But I was wondering if there aren't other options for decentralised ...
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do I restore a Lightning Node with active channels that has crashed causing data loss? Is it similar to restoring a Bitcoin wallet?

If my lightning node crashes after receiving payments (but before I have closed the channel) can I recover my funds? What happens if I do not have backups of all the channel updates? Is the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
224 views

Why are multi hop virtual payment channels desirable?

There are papers about multi hop virtual payment channels emerging like the Perun paper or more recently the Donner Paper. The idea seems to be to reserve some liquidity on a path (or potentially flow)...
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9 votes
1 answer
621 views

Would it be possible to send money through the Lightning Network to an offline address?

My understanding is that the current Lightning Network spec requires an address receiving money to sign things with its private key - which requires the owner of that key to be online. Are there any ...
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9 votes
1 answer
175 views

Channels state validation in lightning network?

I looked into docs but didn't find any information, how do client get information about the state of intermediate channels? Since channel transactions are offchain, and only channel participants ...
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8 votes
1 answer
601 views

What is the Lightning Network proposal? What problem is it trying to solve?

We already have a few questions about technical details of Lightning network, however, … What is the Lightning network proposal in the first place? What problem is it aiming to solve?
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8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there incentive for those who run lightning nodes?

This is likely very much a noob question, but I would like to know if there are fees or incentives for those who are running a lightning node? Of course, other than having access to lightning network?
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8 votes
1 answer
607 views

How many paths are tried on average before a payment succeeds in Lightning?

In Lightning, the sender can never be sure that a multi-hop payment will go through, as intermediary nodes don't announce the distribution of funds in their channels (only the total capacity). Is ...
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8 votes
1 answer
480 views

What are the downsides of Hodl Invoices?

As far as I understand hodl invoices enable some interesting use cases. However, I heard that they can be detrimental to the network. Is that correct and in what way? Additionally, at a talk at the ...
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8 votes
1 answer
910 views

Why do lightning invoices expire?

I'm considering the development of a lightning app, and I'm trying to make it non custodial. I was thinking on pre-generating invoices for all users every x time to make things simpler. To do that I'...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the timeline for Lightning Network's availability?

I have been reading a lot about this Lightning Network and what it does. But what I still don't know is if this Lightning Network is already being used for Bitcoin or when Bitcoin will start to use it ...
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8 votes
2 answers
526 views

Lightning Node High Availability/High Throughput

Are there any resources/best practises on running a highly available/high throughput lightning node? If my lightning service where to take off, should I be running multiple lightning nodes or a single ...
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8 votes
2 answers
482 views

For lightning network, can I surround myself with a bunch of nodes to increase anonymity?

Let's say I'm on a Lightning Network. Can I create a bunch of nodes, and do all my spending through those nodes? Can you hide the fact that these nodes are likely controlled by the same person? How ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Receiving payment in Lightning Network is a big problem?

There are some requirements to receive Lightning funds. According to here, Nothing can be received immediately after creating a new payment channel, as ‘room’ for incoming funds has to be made by ...
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does a segwit based side chain like the lightning network allow for fractional reserve?

I'm confused. I've watched the video The Lightning Network Explained (Litecoin/Bitcoin), and read the following comments by Craig Wright: This occurs because schemes such as segregated witness ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is a hash pre-image as it is used for the breach remedy?

Until this afternoon I thought the anti-cheat transactions or breach remedies built on the exit-transaction of the counterparty. Apparently, they build on something called a "hash pre-image". What is ...
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7 votes
1 answer
796 views

Do we still need SIGHASH_NOINPUT for Lightning Network?

In the original Lightning whitepaper, Joseph Poon advocates using SIGHASH_NOINPUT so that we can create the first commitment transaction which references the funding transaction txid without actually ...
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7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Lightning mainnet peer list?

I just set up c-lightning on mainnet and I'd like to open a channel but I can't find a list of node ids and ip addresses. Does anyone know where I can find this?
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to manually rebalance Lightning Network channels?

I'm running an LND node that has a few dozen channels open to various relevant vendors/routing nodes. There are a couple specific channels that are open with stores that are getting used with most of ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

When opening a LN channel using LND, what does 'push-amt' do?

I set up Lightning node (LND) and wanted to receive a payment. Autopilot for managing the channels always creates channels w/ zero remote balance, thus nobody can route a payment to/through my node. ...
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7 votes
2 answers
3k views

When running a Lightning Network hub, who pays the fees when a transaction has to be broadcast to the blockchain?

I've been educating myself on how the Lightning Network protocol works, and I have some questions. Let's say that a user sends a small payment to someone and it makes multiple hops through the ...
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  • 171
7 votes
4 answers
503 views

Can miners collude to bypass the penalty based revocation system of the lightning network?

The core lightning security assumption relies on a punishment mechanism called “Justice Transaction”. However, how can you prevent a malicious user from colluding with a miner, and producing a block ...
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  • 362
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do "trustless third-party watchers" work in Lightning Network?

The main point with LN is the need to monitor the blockchain. The reason for this is to detect if the counterparty misbehaves by publishing an old channel state to the blockchain. For a node running ...
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6 votes
1 answer
178 views

Why is the length of the transport messages on the lightning network encrypted?

From BOLT 08 we can see that every message is sent in the following way: 2 byte: length 16 byte: MAC [length] byte: Encrypted message 16 byte: MAC In reality these messages will be send over TCP/...
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6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Closing a channel in Lightning Network

I have some doubts about the closure of a lightning network channel. As far as I know, there can be (al least) 4 different scenarious: one node decides to close the channel, and the other one accept ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Routing in Bitcoin Lightning Network

Here is all we can find in the Lightning Network whitepaper about payment routing process that it is completely unclear to me (at least it is not enough to know what happens exactly at time of finding ...
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