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Author Topic: Lightning Network Discussion Thread  (Read 5233 times)
Anon136
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July 10, 2018, 05:54:11 PM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1), infofront (1)
 #1

A thread for discussion of all things Lightning Network.

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July 10, 2018, 05:57:43 PM
 #2

I made this because I couldn't find anything like it already in existence. If a thread like this already exists and I just missed it feel free to close this down mods but point me in the right direction too please. I found this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2834043 but it's more of someone asking a (very vague) question about it not a general discussion thread. Anyway, I'll kick it off with a question.

There seems to be a chicken and egg problem with lightning. When I make a new channel it says I can only receive the amount on a channel that I have spent down. So how did the first address get spent down enough to receive the first lightning tokens?

Also writing that previous sentence made me wonder, for that matter, what is the correct terminology for these things? If we are just going to call them bitcoins like there is no distinction between the bitcoins on the main net and these frequently renegotiated contractual obligations on the lightning network? Is that reasonable? If not are they lightning tokens? They aren't really tokens the way ERC20 tokens are tokens, are they?


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July 10, 2018, 06:39:54 PM
Merited by suchmoon (5), ebliever (5), Don Pedro Dinero (1)
 #3

If not are they lightning tokens? They aren't really tokens the way ERC20 tokens are tokens, are they?

They are bitcoins, many people don't understand that and try to prove that Bitcoin with LN is not a real Bitcoin because it doesn't use normal coins.

Here is another good discussion on whether or not Lightning Network is centralized.

There seems to be a chicken and egg problem with lightning. When I make a new channel it says I can only receive the amount on a channel that I have spent down. So how did the first address get spent down enough to receive the first lightning tokens?

I don't really get "the problem" you mentioned. That's how I think it worked: 1. Someone created a node and decided to open a channel with that node 2. Bitcoins were sent to a multi-signature address which private keys are in control of both parties. 3. Someone else opened the channel to the same node and it was possible to start sending transactions across decentralized LN network.

There are no Lightning Network tokens. Each party is transacting with each other without broadcasting anything to the Bitcoin network. Everything is settled down once someone decides to close the channel. The biggest issue right now is that channel limits how much you can spend. Split payments are a planned feature.

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July 10, 2018, 07:00:40 PM
 #4

They are bitcoins, many people don't understand that and try to prove that Bitcoin with LN is not a real Bitcoin because it doesn't use normal coins.
...
There are no Lightning Network tokens. Each party is transacting with each other without broadcasting anything to the Bitcoin network. Everything is settled down once someone decides to close the channel. The biggest issue right now is that channel limits how much you can spend. Split payments are a planned feature.

I think though there is a reasonable case to be made that lightning network obligations are not bitcoin because one can not send those obligations to a bitcoin address. That which can be sent to a bitcoin address is not an unreasonable definition for the world bitcoin bitcoin, I think.

I suppose a good analogy is checkbook money. Technically not the same thing as cash or base money but people chose not to differentiate. They just call the checkbook money they have on balance "dollars" even though they obviously are not literally dollars.


I don't really get "the problem" you mentioned. That's how I think it worked: 1. Someone created a node and decided to open a channel with that node 2. Bitcoins were sent to a multi-signature address which private keys are in control of both parties. 3. Someone else opened the channel to the same node and it was possible to start sending transactions across decentralized LN network.

Ah yea I get it. It's because the entity that I am opening my channel with has the opposite balance with respect to me that I have with respect to him. We don't both have positive balances to each other. Haha. Dumb.

The android wallet that I'm using doesn't seem to have the functionality to open a channel where I am the creditor and my partner is the debtor. In other words a channel that I can receive funds on without having spent down first. But just because this wallet lacks that functionality doesn't mean the network lacks that functionality. Tell me if I got something wrong here.

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July 10, 2018, 07:02:08 PM
 #5

I am sure the LN devs will eventually make everything dumb proof. They will basically find a way to do everything automatically which you need to do manually right now. I am not worried about that. Writing code for automation is probably ez.

I want to try setting up my LN node for fun and the guide I read tells me that I need to sync a btc full node first. I used to run my full node but I stopped doing it because I have dynamic IP and some of the IP's I get are bad IP's. Port forwarding doesn't work on those bad IP's (I can't upload data to my peers). Does it make a difference for running a LN node? If it does is it possible to connect to someone else's node to run my LN node?


Funded about 0.5 BTC to play with across a bunch of channels, pulled out 0.26 BTC after shutting everything down. Fucked around with Satoshi's place a bit, bought some stickers, but I believe most of the 0.24 BTC I didn't get back was blown on channel open/close fees, and possibly just "lost" due to bugs and shit.

I thought it wasn't possible to lose funds on LN. I know there might be bugs and shit, the stuff is still in beta but this is the first time actually I heard about somebody who managed to lose his funds. Even if its in beta, I thought It wasn't really possible to lose your coins. :/ I would have freaked out If I had lost 0.26btc for trying science lol.
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July 10, 2018, 07:31:06 PM
 #6

The android wallet that I'm using doesn't seem to have the functionality to open a channel where I am the creditor and my partner is the debtor. In other words a channel that I can receive funds on without having spent down first. But just because this wallet lacks that functionality doesn't mean the network lacks that functionality. Tell me if I got something wrong here.

Which android wallet are you using? I personally use Eclair but it doesn't support receiving coins over Lightning Network. I'm waiting for Android version of Zap wallet which seems to have this feature.

I thought it wasn't possible to lose funds on LN. I know there might be bugs and shit, the stuff is still in beta but this is the first time actually I heard about somebody who managed to lose his funds. Even if its in beta, I thought It wasn't really possible to lose your coins. :/ I would have freaked out If I had lost 0.26btc for trying science lol.

As you mentioned, Lightning Network is still in its early beta thus this kind of things might happen, but...

but I believe most of the 0.24 BTC I didn't get back was blown on channel open/close fees, and possibly just "lost" due to bugs and shit.

"Believe"? I doubt that he spent that much on stickers and satoshi's place, but he should have at least checked his transaction history and summed everything up before making such statement.

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July 10, 2018, 08:03:40 PM
 #7

Which android wallet are you using? I personally use Eclair but it doesn't support receiving coins over Lightning Network. I'm waiting for Android version of Zap wallet which seems to have this feature.

Bitcoin Lightning Wallet I believe it is called. I chose it over eclair because it has a "channel recovery tool".

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
If one can not confer upon another a right which he does not himself first possess, by what means does the state derive the right to engage in behaviors from which the public is prohibited?
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July 10, 2018, 08:15:47 PM
 #8

The android wallet that I'm using doesn't seem to have the functionality to open a channel where I am the creditor and my partner is the debtor. In other words a channel that I can receive funds on without having spent down first. But just because this wallet lacks that functionality doesn't mean the network lacks that functionality. Tell me if I got something wrong here.

Which android wallet are you using? I personally use Eclair but it doesn't support receiving coins over Lightning Network. I'm waiting for Android version of Zap wallet which seems to have this feature.

I thought it wasn't possible to lose funds on LN. I know there might be bugs and shit, the stuff is still in beta but this is the first time actually I heard about somebody who managed to lose his funds. Even if its in beta, I thought It wasn't really possible to lose your coins. :/ I would have freaked out If I had lost 0.26btc for trying science lol.

As you mentioned, Lightning Network is still in its early beta thus this kind of things might happen, but...

but I believe most of the 0.24 BTC I didn't get back was blown on channel open/close fees, and possibly just "lost" due to bugs and shit.

"Believe"? I doubt that he spent that much on stickers and satoshi's place, but he should have at least checked his transaction history and summed everything up before making such statement.
I believe there is no worthy android app still using the LN. Moreover I can hardly found of an worthy android app already with Segwit too. Mycelium the most popular android wallet still doesn't uses it Segwit. LN is still a whole long way to go.

Talking about its proof issues how do you feel it will affect the price of bitcoin? I mean I have rarely seen anyone talking about its impact over the price of bitcoin. Because obviously LN might make BTC ready for a immediate mass adoption at a cost of bit of centralization or maybe channelization would be more appropriate.
If not are they lightning tokens? They aren't really tokens the way ERC20 tokens are tokens, are they?

They are bitcoins, many people don't understand that and try to prove that Bitcoin with LN is not a real Bitcoin because it doesn't use normal coins.

Here is another good discussion on whether or not Lightning Network is centralized.

There seems to be a chicken and egg problem with lightning. When I make a new channel it says I can only receive the amount on a channel that I have spent down. So how did the first address get spent down enough to receive the first lightning tokens?

I don't really get "the problem" you mentioned. That's how I think it worked: 1. Someone created a node and decided to open a channel with that node 2. Bitcoins were sent to a multi-signature address which private keys are in control of both parties. 3. Someone else opened the channel to the same node and it was possible to start sending transactions across decentralized LN network.

There are no Lightning Network tokens. Each party is transacting with each other without broadcasting anything to the Bitcoin network. Everything is settled down once someone decides to close the channel. The biggest issue right now is that channel limits how much you can spend. Split payments are a planned feature.
I have a pretty dumb question maybe. These channels which we obviously know will be on the bitcoin network. So won't any opened and later unclosed channels act as a mighty traffic over the blockchain? I mean if it happens that will again bring us to the same issue.


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Anon136
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July 10, 2018, 08:29:48 PM
 #9

I believe there is no worthy android app still using the LN.

You should try this app that I'm using if you haven't (Bitcoin Lightning Wallet). So far its worked like a dream. I would say that it isn't very polished and it requires user interaction that will ideally be done away with in future projects, but as long as you understand the basics of what is going on it works perfectly, nary a hiccup. If the first day of playing with it is representative of what I am going to continue to experience with it in the future, I would say that it is ready for me personally to start using in my day to day life.

I just paid a penny to see a meme and 4/10ths of a penny to leave a comment about the meme. Dumb I know but it's fun because you can see the humble beginnings of so much potential.

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
If one can not confer upon another a right which he does not himself first possess, by what means does the state derive the right to engage in behaviors from which the public is prohibited?
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July 10, 2018, 08:35:11 PM
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 #10

I believe there is no worthy android app still using the LN. Moreover I can hardly found of an worthy android app already with Segwit too. Mycelium the most popular android wallet still doesn't uses it Segwit. LN is still a whole long way to go.

Talking about its proof issues how do you feel it will affect the price of bitcoin? I mean I have rarely seen anyone talking about its impact over the price of bitcoin. Because obviously LN might make BTC ready for a immediate mass adoption at a cost of bit of centralization or maybe channelization would be more appropriate.

If you are only interested in a Bitcoin SegWit Android wallet then check out Samourai. The developers are mainly focused on the security and privacy, it supports both nested and native SegWit. Mycelium became a bit shady some time ago.

I feel that LN will have a huge impact on the Bitcoin price in the future but we are still suffering from FUD and probably price manipulation. Also, we should not focus on the price, adoption is the most important factor here. Why do you think that LN is a bit centralized? Because of the people who connect to nodes which a huge amount of channels? Once LN network grows, it won't be a problem.

I have a pretty dumb question maybe. These channels which we obviously know will be on the bitcoin network. So won't any opened and later unclosed channels act as a mighty traffic over the blockchain? I mean if it happens that will again bring us to the same issue.

That's true, you still have to broadcast a transaction to open and close the channel, but it's paying off if you are often paying some bitcoins to a specific service (instant and cheap transactions). There is a service which offers conversion from LN to on-chain funds and vice-versa without reopening a channel. As far as I remember, there is an idea which can help us to lower the size of the initial transactions - Schnorr signatures, new BIP related to this has been recently released. You should also check out Channel Factories.

Opened channels do not have any impact on the Bitcoin Network beside coins being locked up in multisig addresses.

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July 10, 2018, 09:04:04 PM
 #11

So... each time the time locked contract is renegotiated (a transaction is executed) the duration of the time lock is reduced right? Does this put a functional limit on how many times a channel can be used? If so what sort of limits are we looking at?




Oh holy Jesus that wall of text. Bro, your writings are too long. I highly doubt that this is because you are just so packed to the brim with deep insights and wisdom that it can't possibly be contained in anything less than an 8000 word essay. Learn how to say what you are trying to say concisely.

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July 11, 2018, 09:37:38 AM
 #12

what interests me in particular is how Mr. Average will perceive lightning networks and how they'll be sold to him.

It's conceivable that users may choose to delegate absolutely everything to third parties. they might buy with fiat directly into already existing channels run by an exchange or coinbase equivalent and expect all channel management to handled by them as well.

even now with all the cool tools to hand, many, many people are too lazy and dumb to spend a few minutes learning how to take control for themselves and that's with something less complex than this.

i'll be the first to admit i don't understand a great deal about it but for now it still looks like a very cool experiment, not the savior of everything.  
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July 11, 2018, 01:49:49 PM
 #13

I believe there is no worthy android app still using the LN.

You should try this app that I'm using if you haven't (Bitcoin Lightning Wallet). So far its worked like a dream. I would say that it isn't very polished and it requires user interaction that will ideally be done away with in future projects, but as long as you understand the basics of what is going on it works perfectly, nary a hiccup. If the first day of playing with it is representative of what I am going to continue to experience with it in the future, I would say that it is ready for me personally to start using in my day to day life.

I just paid a penny to see a meme and 4/10ths of a penny to leave a comment about the meme. Dumb I know but it's fun because you can see the humble beginnings of so much potential.

Well I will surely try the app with a few bits but I will wait for LN to get out of the development stage completely and become free from any bugs and errors because I am really not into losing my money. Moreover, I am really sorry but I am never going to trust a new app with merely 1000 downloads so far with my funds. So will wait for app to grow a bit to organic users.
I believe there is no worthy android app still using the LN. Moreover I can hardly found of an worthy android app already with Segwit too. Mycelium the most popular android wallet still doesn't uses it Segwit. LN is still a whole long way to go.

Talking about its proof issues how do you feel it will affect the price of bitcoin? I mean I have rarely seen anyone talking about its impact over the price of bitcoin. Because obviously LN might make BTC ready for a immediate mass adoption at a cost of bit of centralization or maybe channelization would be more appropriate.

If you are only interested in a Bitcoin SegWit Android wallet then check out Samourai. The developers are mainly focused on the security and privacy, it supports both nested and native SegWit. Mycelium became a bit shady some time ago.

I feel that LN will have a huge impact on the Bitcoin price in the future but we are still suffering from FUD and probably price manipulation. Also, we should not focus on the price, adoption is the most important factor here. Why do you think that LN is a bit centralized? Because of the people who connect to nodes which a huge amount of channels? Once LN network grows, it won't be a problem.

I have found Samourai to be a pretty useful app for android but I think I will be much more happier if Electrum comes in with a better version of their android app. I mean it sucks when you compare it with the desktop version which is just too good. The mobile version suffers a whole lot of problems.

Moreover, yes I think you are right mass adoption can only be done if forget about price variation. But my problem here is that if the whale play goes on mass adoption will become difficult because people will always be afraid about what they are holding or spending.

Quote
I have a pretty dumb question maybe. These channels which we obviously know will be on the bitcoin network. So won't any opened and later unclosed channels act as a mighty traffic over the blockchain? I mean if it happens that will again bring us to the same issue.

That's true, you still have to broadcast a transaction to open and close the channel, but it's paying off if you are often paying some bitcoins to a specific service (instant and cheap transactions). There is a service which offers conversion from LN to on-chain funds and vice-versa without reopening a channel. As far as I remember, there is an idea which can help us to lower the size of the initial transactions - Schnorr signatures, new BIP related to this has been recently released. You should also check out Channel Factories.

Opened channels do not have any impact on the Bitcoin Network beside coins being locked up in multisig addresses.
Will surely have a deep look into these resources this question has been in my mind for quite some time now. I believed that opened channels could make the condition worse.


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Anon136
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July 11, 2018, 03:17:56 PM
 #14

It's conceivable that users may choose to delegate absolutely everything to third parties. they might buy with fiat directly into already existing channels run by an exchange or coinbase equivalent and expect all channel management to handled by them as well.

I think the only solution here is to have the LN be similarly easy to use as those centralized services. That way people don't need to necessarily understand all of the differences, they can just understand that people who know more than they do are telling them that this is the better way to do it and since both options are similarly simple to use they will take the word of the people who know more than they do.

It may not end up playing out that way. Bitcoin could become centralized like gold did in the past for exactly the reasons you and aununy are talking about. But if it does there will still always be cooler more underground projects to get interested in. Do you suppose the type of people who are using monero are the type of people who would hand over their private keys to a bank? I don't thinks so Wink



Well the topic is complex, but one simplified soundbite is that transaction fees will become too high on-chain for users to open HTLC payment channels on-chain, and thus they will be forced into fractional reserves which is what European Central Bank thinks they might do anyway, even if they could afford to open a channel on chain:

Once LN is chugging along nicely we will just increase the block size. The only reason that people like me were resistant to block size increases is that people were pretending like it was a solution that it wasn't and planning on using it as a crutch to avoid actually addressing the real problem. Once the resistance to bigger blocks put the fire under everyone's ass that they needed to actually develop a REAL solution, and they actually rolled out that solution, there is no reason at all why we can not go back and re explore the idea of increasing the block size. That was always the position of people on my side of the argument. It was never some fanatical opposition to bigger blocks on principle. It was just a statement to all of the people who thought we were going to solve the scaling problem by just increasing block size as big as was necessary, that they could piss off, which they did, over to btrash, and good riddance.

I think the way that you have to think about this problem is from the other direction. You have to think in terms of need and what is required to serve that need. So kinda like this: Lets say everyone on the planet wants to use LN. That's 7 billion people. I'm going to make a wild stab and say that they may need 3 on chain transactions per year each. I think that is a pretty generous assumption. 1 every 10 years could be enough. The average transaction is about 250 bytes but lets double that to 500 because transactions to open a payment channel are probably bigger I'm sure. Lets also assume that on chain scaling measures only decrease the total size of transactions by half though between now and this nebulous point in the future. Ok so that comes out to 100mb per block being required. So with those assumptions if the block size was significantly less than 100mb your claim would probably be true and if it was 100mb or higher it would probably be false. The specific values aren't important, you can plug in your own, just wanted to point out the different way of thinking about the problem.



Well I will surely try the app with a few bits but I will wait for LN to get out of the development stage completely and become free from any bugs and errors because I am really not into losing my money. Moreover, I am really sorry but I am never going to trust a new app with merely 1000 downloads so far with my funds. So will wait for app to grow a bit to organic users.

Sure, sure, I only put 20 dollars on there myself. If I lose it I've had more than 20 dollars worth of fun with it already.

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
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July 12, 2018, 01:58:45 AM
Merited by suchmoon (5), Anon136 (1), mamamae (1)
 #15

what interests me in particular is how Mr. Average will perceive lightning networks and how they'll be sold to him.

It's conceivable that users may choose to delegate absolutely everything to third parties. they might buy with fiat directly into already existing channels run by an exchange or coinbase equivalent and expect all channel management to handled by them as well.

even now with all the cool tools to hand, many, many people are too lazy and dumb to spend a few minutes learning how to take control for themselves and that's with something less complex than this.

i'll be the first to admit i don't understand a great deal about it but for now it still looks like a very cool experiment, not the savior of everything.  


Oh holy Jesus that wall of text. Bro, your writings are too long. I highly doubt that this is because you are just so packed to the brim with deep insights and wisdom that it can't possibly be contained in anything less than an 8000 word essay. Learn how to say what you are trying to say concisely.

Well the topic is complex, but one simplified soundbite is that transaction fees will become too high on-chain for users to open HTLC payment channels on-chain, and thus they will be forced into fractional reserves which is what European Central Bank thinks they might do anyway, even if they could afford to open a channel on chain:

It's conceivable that users may choose to delegate absolutely everything to third parties. they might buy with fiat directly into already existing channels run by an exchange or coinbase equivalent and expect all channel management to handled by them as well.

I'll go so far as to say LN is virtually useless as an end-user protocol. It provides the technological base for the payment processors of the future. Some have compared it to the TCP/IP protocol. The analogy is:
Internet -> Bitcoin
TCP/IP -> Lightning Network
World Wide Web -> Layer 3

Anyway, the next generation of payment processors will be built atop LN, will absorb all risk associated with LN, and will provide users a foolproof layer 3 solution. And possibly fractional reserve banking and derivatives.
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July 12, 2018, 03:17:23 AM
 #16

What is your actual position anunymint? Are you a bcash troll? Just anti crypto currency? Pro fiat fractional reserve banking? Pro gold and silver bullion? I have a taste of some of the things you stand against but no idea what you sand for.



I'll go so far as to say LN is virtually useless as an end-user protocol. It provides the technological base for the payment processors of the future. Some have compared it to the TCP/IP protocol. The analogy is:
Internet -> Bitcoin
TCP/IP -> Lightning Network
World Wide Web -> Layer 3

Anyway, the next generation of payment processors will be built atop LN, will absorb all risk associated with LN, and will provide users a foolproof layer 3 solution. And possibly fractional reserve banking and derivatives.

Interesting perspective. +Merit

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
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July 12, 2018, 04:13:25 AM
Merited by Last of the V8s (1)
 #17

If I mentioned any of that in the WO thread, I'd probably get labeled a bcash shill  Cheesy
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July 12, 2018, 07:52:05 AM
 #18


I'll go so far as to say LN is virtually useless as an end-user protocol. It provides the technological base for the payment processors of the future. Some have compared it to the TCP/IP protocol. The analogy is:
Internet -> Bitcoin
TCP/IP -> Lightning Network
World Wide Web -> Layer 3

Anyway, the next generation of payment processors will be built atop LN, will absorb all risk associated with LN, and will provide users a foolproof layer 3 solution. And possibly fractional reserve banking and derivatives.

But the "fractional reserve banking" system, and/or derivatives will be isolated only in the "next generation" payment processors' layer correct? But not on the Lightning Network?


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July 12, 2018, 02:45:36 PM
Merited by Wind_FURY (10)
 #19


I'll go so far as to say LN is virtually useless as an end-user protocol. It provides the technological base for the payment processors of the future. Some have compared it to the TCP/IP protocol. The analogy is:
Internet -> Bitcoin
TCP/IP -> Lightning Network
World Wide Web -> Layer 3

Anyway, the next generation of payment processors will be built atop LN, will absorb all risk associated with LN, and will provide users a foolproof layer 3 solution. And possibly fractional reserve banking and derivatives.

But the "fractional reserve banking" system, and/or derivatives will be isolated only in the "next generation" payment processors' layer correct? But not on the Lightning Network?

I'm pretty sure that's right.
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July 12, 2018, 04:36:11 PM
 #20

So I am working on not the absolute maximum security (hey natural calamities are a risk we all face yet we still go about doing our work anyway), but the maximum on-chain scalability so we avoid the deleterious effects of “Mt. Box” hubs especially for databases for everything we do on the Internet not just payments (aren’t we tired of being controlled by a few Internet behemoths!). Off-chain does not scale to the masses except in localized groupings (which is what non-fractional reserve layer 3 solutions require). So I am trying to solve the BIG ENCHILADA which is long-term even more important than Bitcoin. But not a Bitcoin Killer. The Knowledge Age is the ultimate Bitcoin Killer but that is some decades from now. In the interim Bitcoin will be dominant.

Can you give us at least a flavor of how you propose to achieve on chain scalability?

Well I hope you do solve "the big enchalada". While you work on that though the rest of us can be doing lightning payments that are super cheap super fast and don't really negatively impact the bitcoin that we already had in any way.

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
If one can not confer upon another a right which he does not himself first possess, by what means does the state derive the right to engage in behaviors from which the public is prohibited?
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