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Author Topic: Lightning capital lock-in investment question  (Read 388 times)
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August 11, 2017, 03:37:15 PM

Opening a bidirectional payment channel on the lightning network requires an initial BTC 'deposit' from both the user and the network provider.

Other than operating a LN node yourself, is there any way a BTC holder could 'invest' in a lightning network provider (trustlessly) to supply the node's capital? (And presumably earn interest.)

I feel like this could be a way to mitigate LN centralization.
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August 11, 2017, 07:38:03 PM

There is no "network provider". There are only 2 participants in a lightning channel. Only those two participants can fund the channel. So no, you cannot "invest" in a payment channel.

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August 11, 2017, 10:38:15 PM

There is actually some merit to the question. When a lightning channel gets established, its enabled with a value "from" one end to "another" end. This means that if value primarily flows in one direction, the channel can become estinguished and basically useless in one direction.

One way to mitigate this would be to accept "loans" from other people by having them setting up channels towards the very active channel that is estinguished and use the newly forwarded balance to continue operating the original channel.

This can be useful in cases of a very well established channel via other channels, and could be a business case in itself that a channels connectivity is interesting as it can route cheaper or more directly. While this may lead to centralization, it can be mitigated by obviously creating channel connections to those the active channel has connections to.

It all comes down to how well a crawler can map the network and find active paths. If this works there will never be any super hubs.

<helo> funny that this proposal grows the maximum block size to 8GB, and is seen as a compromise
<helo> oh, you don't like a 20x increase? well how about 8192x increase?
<JackH> lmao
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