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Author Topic: Refunding Lightning Network channels?  (Read 67 times)
Kprawn
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January 24, 2018, 04:37:56 PM
 #1

Ok, Refunding might be the wrong terminology, but here goes :

Bob opens a payment channel with Alice for 5 BTC. He used that bitcoin daily and the "funds" is nearly depleted, so he

wants to "re-fund" the channel to continue using it. By doing this, he does not have to close the channel and then re-open

a new channel with Alice. {cost saving in fees}

What will the impact be, if he had this option? At some stage people have to open & close new channels to generate

miners fees. {This is the only way to make Bitcoin mining sustainable in the long run, when Block rewards expire}  Huh

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January 24, 2018, 06:05:33 PM
 #2

Re-funding the channel from an on-chain transaction requires a (miners') fee too. At the moment I have no worries that miners may not earn enough in the future.

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January 25, 2018, 02:15:55 AM
 #3

Ok, Refunding might be the wrong terminology, but here goes :

Bob opens a payment channel with Alice for 5 BTC. He used that bitcoin daily and the "funds" is nearly depleted, so he

wants to "re-fund" the channel to continue using it. By doing this, he does not have to close the channel and then re-open

a new channel with Alice. {cost saving in fees}

This will be possible: Bob can recharge the channel by receiving funds via Alice.

Quote
What will the impact be, if he had this option? At some stage people have to open & close new channels to generate

miners fees. {This is the only way to make Bitcoin mining sustainable in the long run, when Block rewards expire}  Huh

The blockchain has an annual capacity of around 200 million simple transactions. Thus, if every resident of the USA opened and closed one LN channel (causing three transactions), the blockchain would be full for more than three years! Ergo, there is no need to worry about miners not collecting enough fees.
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January 25, 2018, 02:19:52 AM
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The blockchain has an annual capacity of around 200 million simple transactions. Thus, if every resident of the USA opened and closed one LN channel (causing three transactions), the blockchain would be full for more than three years! Ergo, there is no need to worry about miners not collecting enough fees.

If adoption was very high, I'm sure exchanges would have implemented being able to withdraw to your payment channel, so those people would not have to keep opening and closing a LN channel. Once Lightning becomes 'mainstream' for Bitcoin users, the only on-chain transactions would be likely:
- Moving to cold storage/withdrawing from cold storage
- Funding physical bitcoins
- Moving a large amount of funds around. Your coffee purchase doesn't need to be immutable, but sending someone a few million may need it
- The occasional closing/reopening of a channel for whatever reason

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January 25, 2018, 03:47:44 PM
 #5

Ok, Refunding might be the wrong terminology, but here goes :

Bob opens a payment channel with Alice for 5 BTC. He used that bitcoin daily and the "funds" is nearly depleted, so he

wants to "re-fund" the channel to continue using it. By doing this, he does not have to close the channel and then re-open

a new channel with Alice. {cost saving in fees}

This will be possible: Bob can recharge the channel by receiving funds via Alice.

Quote
What will the impact be, if he had this option? At some stage people have to open & close new channels to generate

miners fees. {This is the only way to make Bitcoin mining sustainable in the long run, when Block rewards expire}  Huh

The blockchain has an annual capacity of around 200 million simple transactions. Thus, if every resident of the USA opened and closed one LN channel (causing three transactions), the blockchain would be full for more than three years! Ergo, there is no need to worry about miners not collecting enough fees.

That is at the current Block size, but I presume that the Block sizes will also be increased over time, if it becomes a problem.

Nobody said that the Block sizes will never be upgrades, only that it is not needed now, because the Lightning Network will

handle most of the traffic. Good observation but flawed if you are trying to apply that reasoning to a technology that can be

adapted in an emergency.  Wink

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