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Author Topic: Would it cost anything to open a Channel on Lightning Network?  (Read 303 times)
Ucy
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January 02, 2018, 04:13:52 PM
 #1

Can I please get answers to these questions  Smiley

1.  Would opening a Payment Channel on Lightning Network cost any fee?

2. Can one open a payment channel with an individual (& not just companies) ?

3.  Would payment channels continue to be opened or exist after its bitcoins has been exhausted?

4. Can I withdraw my bitcoin from  payment channel whenever I want?  If yes, does it cost anything to do this?


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Carlton Banks
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January 02, 2018, 04:38:05 PM
 #2

1. Yes

2. Yes

3. Yes

4. Yes and yes

Vires in numeris
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January 02, 2018, 05:35:18 PM
 #3

Yes, you can open channels, as many as you want, with a company or with an individual, and the fee will be that of a regular on-chain transaction. This has been the critique of lightning network haters, claiming that in order to do private LN transactions you would need to open a channel individually for each person.

1. Yes

2. Yes

3. Yes

4. Yes and yes

3. is good to know. I thought that once the BTC got liquidated from a channel (balance 0) the channel would automatically close. This will save a lot of fees when you are dealing with usual clients or friends then. But don't you need to make an on-chain transaction to refill your channel anyway?

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January 02, 2018, 05:43:44 PM
 #4

3. is good to know. I thought that once the BTC got liquidated from a channel (balance 0) the channel would automatically close. This will save a lot of fees when you are dealing with usual clients or friends then. But don't you need to make an on-chain transaction to refill your channel anyway?

Someone else on Lightning can send you money to refill the channel.

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January 02, 2018, 06:04:34 PM
 #5

Come on people the current crazy high transactions fees are making the development team rich who
wrote a system that the knew from day one would not scale and LN Hubs act like bankers and a Channel
is little more than a credit line with standing charges.

Yes sure they will keep banging on about it not being centralized and remaining trustless but look
at this picture https://blockchain.info/pools

2/3 of the core code is concerned with mining that created CPU wars and the joke is that
mining is not even needed as many people here that program will already know. 

That's right ten big mining pools now account for 90% of all transactions and this is how we ended
up with a monopoly and they have been allowed to get away with $45 in transaction fees.

People that fix cars don't want to see safe roads and with so little cream to spread around they
have taken to dropping bricks from motorway bridges on to the traffic below.

 



 

Mining is CPU-wars and Intel, AMD like it nearly as much as big oil likes miners wasting electricity. Is this what mankind has come too.
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January 03, 2018, 07:15:33 AM
 #6

3. is good to know. I thought that once the BTC got liquidated from a channel (balance 0) the channel would automatically close. This will save a lot of fees when you are dealing with usual clients or friends then. But don't you need to make an on-chain transaction to refill your channel anyway?

Someone else on Lightning can send you money to refill the channel.

Ok, this is news to me too. I thought the channel gets closed, once the BTC in that channel are spend. It makes a bit more sense now that a channel can still be open for other, if they funded or refilled the channel.

Who decides when the channel can be closed? I pressume this is automated and will close when it is not filled, but can the person who innitiated the channel, close the channel, if it is filled with other people's money?

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January 03, 2018, 09:24:10 AM
 #7

Ok, this is news to me too. I thought the channel gets closed, once the BTC in that channel are spend.
The payment channel has more than one side, if your side exhausted it's Bitcoins, that means the other side has all your Bitcoins, which is still part of the same channel.

Quote
Who decides when the channel can be closed?
Anybody can at any time decide to close the channel, and finalize the transactions on-chain.

Quote
I pressume this is automated and will close when it is not filled, but can the person who innitiated the channel, close the channel, if it is filled with other people's money?
Each transaction on LN requires an updated signature from all parties. When the channel is closed, these signatures are enough to decide who-gets-what on-chain. Whoever opened the channel can't take the money from other participants in that channel.

Disclaimer: I'm trying to understand how LN is going to work, and this post is based on my current understanding.

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January 03, 2018, 09:52:10 AM
 #8

Come on people the current crazy high transactions fees are making the development team rich who
wrote a system that the knew from day one would not scale and LN Hubs act like bankers and a Channel
is little more than a credit line with standing charges.

Yes sure they will keep banging on about it not being centralized and remaining trustless but look
at this picture https://blockchain.info/pools

2/3 of the core code is concerned with mining that created CPU wars and the joke is that
mining is not even needed as many people here that program will already know. 

That's right ten big mining pools now account for 90% of all transactions and this is how we ended
up with a monopoly and they have been allowed to get away with $45 in transaction fees.

People that fix cars don't want to see safe roads and with so little cream to spread around they
have taken to dropping bricks from motorway bridges on to the traffic below.

This is what I'm worried about too. If Lightning Network to be implemented, one day there will be no need for mining anymore.
Hopefully, we are not heading to a deadlock because of the benefits of all parties involved.

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January 03, 2018, 11:43:24 AM
 #9

This is what I'm worried about too. If Lightning Network to be implemented, one day there will be no need for mining anymore.
Lightning Network can't exist without miners, and there will always be miners. If it's less profitable (unlikely!), the hashrate would get lower, and the remaining miners would still earn money.

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January 03, 2018, 12:26:38 PM
 #10

Come on people the current crazy high transactions fees are making the development team rich who
wrote a system that the knew from day one would not scale and LN Hubs act like bankers and a Channel
is little more than a credit line with standing charges.

Yes sure they will keep banging on about it not being centralized and remaining trustless but look
at this picture https://blockchain.info/pools

2/3 of the core code is concerned with mining that created CPU wars and the joke is that
mining is not even needed as many people here that program will already know. 

That's right ten big mining pools now account for 90% of all transactions and this is how we ended
up with a monopoly and they have been allowed to get away with $45 in transaction fees.

People that fix cars don't want to see safe roads and with so little cream to spread around they
have taken to dropping bricks from motorway bridges on to the traffic below.

 



 
Actually the devs get no money by high transaction fees unless they are involved into the mining business. If there wouldnt be so many transactions each transaction would cost way less and surely Satoshi Nakamoto didnt expect Bitcoin to be this large at this point in time (I wish he would still be there for us). You are right though with your concern regarding the monopoly of mining. Its an unregulated market where the one that can mine for the lowest cost will take more and more of the global hashing power in the long run. Correct me if Im wrong.
Vigme86
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January 03, 2018, 12:36:27 PM
 #11

Can I please get answers to these questions  Smiley

1.  Would opening a Payment Channel on Lightning Network cost any fee?

2. Can one open a payment channel with an individual (& not just companies) ?

3.  Would payment channels continue to be opened or exist after its bitcoins has been exhausted?

4. Can I withdraw my bitcoin from  payment channel whenever I want?  If yes, does it cost anything to do this?

Point 1. and point 3. are kind of part of the points that confuses me on LN stuff, if I may I would like to detail it more.

If I have good understood, once LN will be avaible for mass adoption, as a user you have to make a multi-sig special transaction on-chain
to create the channel, and if you or your counterpart will link to other users with other channels, and so on, in that case you're creating the famous Lightning Network (LN), off-chain, to transact between multiple users.
Then each transaction on the channel will be off-chain until channel will not be closed, but transactions on-channel, thus off-chain, will not be feeless, and each transaction will cost a fee to pay LN nodes between you and the user you want to pay and viceversa.

Thus there will be on-chain fees, collected by miners as of today, and off-chain fees, collected by LN users.

My questions are:
- Who pays on-chain fees? A and B I suppose, right? In equal shares? 30% 70%? 70% 30%? How will be calculated?

- How will be calculated off-chain fees ?

- In my view, off-chain fees will be collected by users who can afford running a full-node running 24h 7d with multiple opened channels, that could be   kind of an interesting business not for miners but for simple users also, or not?

- Once you will have a LN with multiple channels, how do you balance between them once a channel between two users (A and B), and hence the bitcoin encumbered on-chain within that transaction, will be released?
It's highly unlikely they will be still entirely between A and B wallets, quite the contrary, some part of them will be paid as off-chain fees, others will be sent to other users (let's say C and D), which though remain with opened channels. What will happen in that event to those bitcoins? I suppose they will be avaiable on-chain to C and D wallets, but it seems kind of risky to me, because you could create negative balances on the Lighting Network, how do you manage that?
Let's say C has a 0,5 BTC balance off-chain, A and B close their channel, doing that C "earns" 1 BTC in his on-chain wallet and "lose" 1 BTC in his LN off-chain, hence with a balance off-chain in the LN of -0,5 BTC. What will happen if he closes all his channels?

Thanks in advance  Wink

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January 04, 2018, 03:02:44 AM
 #12

1. Yes

2. Yes

3. Yes

4. Yes and yes
Thanks for the answers. Good to know. It looks like very promising as they are all 'yes'.

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January 04, 2018, 05:08:13 AM
 #13

Can I please get answers to these questions  Smiley

1.  Would opening a Payment Channel on Lightning Network cost any fee?

[...]

4. Can I withdraw my bitcoin from  payment channel whenever I want?  If yes, does it cost anything to do this?
The costs associated with opening and closing LN channels will likely be significant.

The cost to get a transaction confirmed on the blockchain will likely go up from current levels (or else there would not be incentives to use LN in masse), and the amount of transaction space required to open and close a LN channel is much greater than getting a "normal" (eg a payment from one person to another, or a withdrawal from a business to several of its customers) transaction.

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January 04, 2018, 11:10:53 AM
 #14

If there's a fee to open/close the channel, and I only make a single transaction with the other party, how is that different to the existing fee structure?  If i make regular transfers, do i simply keep the channel open for all future payments (say with exchange)?  As far as i can see, LN makes it cheap for bulk tx but not really helping the user with individual tx.  I hope i'm missing something.
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January 04, 2018, 11:17:57 AM
 #15

If there's a fee to open/close the channel, and I only make a single transaction with the other party, how is that different to the existing fee structure?
For just one transaction, you'll end up paying more in fees than without using LN.

Quote
If i make regular transfers, do i simply keep the channel open for all future payments (say with exchange)?
Correct.

Quote
As far as i can see, LN makes it cheap for bulk tx but not really helping the user with individual tx.  I hope i'm missing something.
It's very likely (centralized) hubs will emerge: you open 1 channel with the hub, and the hub has many other open channels. Say Bob <> hub <> Alice, or Bob <> hub <> exchange <> Alice.
As long as you don't close the channel, you can keep using it without paying on-chain fees.

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January 04, 2018, 11:26:58 AM
 #16

...
It's very likely (centralized) hubs will emerge: you open 1 channel with the hub, and the hub has many other open channels. Say Bob <> hub <> Alice, or Bob <> hub <> exchange <> Alice.
As long as you don't close the channel, you can keep using it without paying on-chain fees.

Thus conflicting one the foundations of Bitcoin, decentalisation?  After 10 years, we've reinvented the Bank.    Undecided  
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January 04, 2018, 10:36:14 PM
 #17

Thus conflicting one the foundations of Bitcoin, decentalisation?  After 10 years, we've reinvented the Bank.    Undecided  

Nope.

Alot of people make this mistake. There won't be much incentive to attempt to make hubs of payment channels. The resources needed to run a Lightning node are little more than running a regular Bitcoin node, i.e. not much.

So the routing algorithms can use as many node hops as they like, as charging a discernible fee will only hurt how well your node is connected within the Lightning network. No-one's going to choose to pay high fees with this model, as it's going to be far too easy to find a cheaper alternative. Making a business out of that is going to be tough, it's real race-to-the-bottom economics.

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January 04, 2018, 11:53:11 PM
 #18

Thus conflicting one the foundations of Bitcoin, decentalisation?  After 10 years, we've reinvented the Bank.    Undecided  

Nope.

Alot of people make this mistake. There won't be much incentive to attempt to make hubs of payment channels. The resources needed to run a Lightning node are little more than running a regular Bitcoin node, i.e. not much.

So the routing algorithms can use as many node hops as they like, as charging a discernible fee will only hurt how well your node is connected within the Lightning network. No-one's going to choose to pay high fees with this model, as it's going to be far too easy to find a cheaper alternative. Making a business out of that is going to be tough, it's real race-to-the-bottom economics.

 Huh  So back to square 1, we need to pay fees to open the channel each transaction?  Or we keep our own channel open (tieing wallet balance) hope our recipient is on LN with an open channel? 

Like the idea of running a node though, have my old machine for mining that i keep meaning to give a new project.
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January 05, 2018, 02:05:47 AM
 #19

Huh  So back to square 1, we need to pay fees to open the channel each transaction?  Or we keep our own channel open (tieing wallet balance) hope our recipient is on LN with an open channel?
No, you only pay a fee when opening and closing a payment channel. Once the channel is open, you can transact freely (i.e. as many times as you want) with the other person in the channel at no cost. If you want to transact with someone outside of the channel but there is some route to them through LN channels, then you can use your same channel to pay that other person by routing a payment through other channels. This routing of payments will either be extremely cheap or have no cost, depending on whether node operators in the route charge a fee for being routed through.

If you are just going to make a single transaction with someone and you don't plan on using them to route payments to other people, then you should not create a channel for that. Just make a normal Bitcoin transaction.

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January 05, 2018, 09:46:09 AM
 #20

I've been wondering about the promise of 100,000 transactions per second with the Lightning Network. Bitcoin can still handle only about 5 transactions per second. That means, for every Bitcoin transaction, there can be 20,000 Lightning transactions! Even if I use LN for everything I do, it will take me years to make that many transactions.
That made me realize something else: someone can receive a Lightning transaction without every making an on-chain transaction, am I right? If that's the case, I can indeed imagine LN having 20,000 times more off-chain transactions than Bitcoin has. And if that's right, many users will keep their payments offline forever: if you only receive 0.00005BTC through LN, it's not even enough to pay for a Bitcoin fee, so all Bitcoin dust stays off-chain.

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