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Author Topic: Is the Lightning Network centralized?  (Read 1234 times)
pooya87
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August 18, 2018, 02:59:22 AM
 #241

Due to long transaction verifiation processing time of bitcoin, lightning network is developed. This network processes bitcoin tansactions through its active nodes located around the world. These nodes make the processing time lesser by almost 50%.

But, the question if this network is centralized depends on these active nodes. Are these nodes come from independent miners or from few big companies? That would determine the degree of decentralization of lightning network.

That's the multi-million-dollar question. The level of decentralization of the Lightning Network will depend on how many independent nodes there would be worldwide. Because if many nodes are dominated by a single company, then the LN would be effectively centralized. However, if it's easy and cheap to open/close a channel at will, then anyone could participate as a node for the Lightning Network, making it a decentralized scalable solution for Bitcoin.

There's still a long way to go before the LN becomes stable and practical for the mainstream world. Thus, I believe that it's too early to determine whenever the Lightning Network is centralized or not. Improvements will come along the way, and adoption will spread across the world for sure. Therefore, if successful, Bitcoin could've reached a major milestone in scalability. Just my opinion Smiley

the same arguments can be made about bitcoin nodes! on this network if we have more nodes run by individuals from different parts of the world, as spreed wide as possible, then we have a more decentralized network. and if we have more centralized nodes run by corporations it will be more centralized.

but LN has the benefit that you have the possibility to now earn something from running a node! before this you just ran a bitcoin node if you wanted to contribute to the network and benefit from having a full verifying node. but now if you run an LN node you can buy some small amount of satoshi. so i guess we can say if bitcoin nodes are decentralized LN nodes will be too, even more because of the incentive.

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August 18, 2018, 05:56:31 AM
 #242

I think it is centralized, otherwise how can I protect multiple transactions? so we're back to centralization again

If Lightning is centralized then who controls the network? Is there third party trust needed to join the network? Are there centralized hubs that you must join to enter the network? No.


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August 18, 2018, 06:11:32 AM
 #243

I don't know much about the LN but I believe it can make bitcoin transaction even faster than ever before. and can hold much transaction.

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August 18, 2018, 08:24:10 AM
 #244

I think it is centralized, otherwise how can I protect multiple transactions? so we're back to centralization again

If Lightning is centralized then who controls the network? Is there third party trust needed to join the network? Are there centralized hubs that you must join to enter the network? No.

Indeed it's decentralized and this is what we need right now especially transactions are taking too long. And with the lightning network transactions will be measured in milliseconds.

OP's concern is the node and lightning network depend on its underlying technology. The nodes are the one who will just confirm the transaction and it doesn't directly affect to lightning network to be a decentralized one.

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August 18, 2018, 08:31:45 AM
 #245

but LN has the benefit that you have the possibility to now earn something from running a node! before this you just ran a bitcoin node if you wanted to contribute to the network and benefit from having a full verifying node. but now if you run an LN node you can buy some small amount of satoshi. so i guess we can say if bitcoin nodes are decentralized LN nodes will be too, even more because of the incentive.

Currently, it is much easier to take over the network since there aren't many channels. In the future, it will be more difficult for a single person to route most of the Lightning Network transactions because the number of existing nodes will be huge. If someone wanted to disrupt the network, they would have to offer incredibly small fees. Capital won't matter since multi-path payments may be available by that time. Recently, a large node has been shut down by its owner. It affected a few users but it wasn't disastrous.


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August 21, 2018, 05:35:09 PM
 #246

the same arguments can be made about bitcoin nodes! on this network if we have more nodes run by individuals from different parts of the world, as spreed wide as possible, then we have a more decentralized network. and if we have more centralized nodes run by corporations it will be more centralized.

but LN has the benefit that you have the possibility to now earn something from running a node! before this you just ran a bitcoin node if you wanted to contribute to the network and benefit from having a full verifying node. but now if you run an LN node you can buy some small amount of satoshi. so i guess we can say if bitcoin nodes are decentralized LN nodes will be too, even more because of the incentive.

That's certainly true, mate. I believe that the incentive inherent within LN nodes would contribute towards a more robust and decentralized system for the enjoyment of all. This is somewhat similar to Dash's masternodes feature, where individuals receive a reward if they're able to keep the node alive and running. On the other hand, Zencash has nearly the same proposition, where people running secure nodes are incentivized which has contributed to greater decentralization within the network.

If such model becomes successful in the LN, then without doubt it will become the most decentralized scalable solution to date. With Channel Factories, Watchtowers, Atomic Swaps, and more, the LN will make Bitcoin great again. Probably, this could be the end of altcoins as we know it, since Bitcoin would be capable of processing millions of TPS at near-free costs without much effort.

Nevertheless, the much-awaited LN will bring lots of excitement to Bitcoiners worldwide. Just my thoughts Grin
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