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Author Topic: Noob reflection about Lightning Network. Will it really work?  (Read 68 times)
Dreykku
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September 13, 2018, 07:58:16 AM
Merited by DdmrDdmr (1)
 #1

Hi,

As a beginner, I've just watched a video about lightning network for bitcoin on youtube ("Bitcoin's Lightning Network, Simply Explained!" title of the video, i don't know if links are allowed). I understand roughly how it will work and why it will make so many things so easier and help greatly for scalability, but there is something that's bothering me in the way LN is supposed to work (at least what I understand of it) and, if it's indeed a real issue, I don't understand how BTC could still be massively used in the future no matter how successful LN is.

They say that in order for someone to pay with BTC using the LN, that someone needs first to deposit a certain amount of BTC in a multi signature address, and from there, everything would work fine, and the person could pay using this deposit or a fraction of this deposit with almost no fees and extremely fast. But wouldn't he have to pay fees first to deposit BTC in first place ? Like the ones we currently pay for transferring BTC from an address to another?
If that's the case, the fact that the LN is extremely fast and has almost no fees wouldn't be relevant, since we would still have to pay fees to deposit. And if tomorrow or after tomorrow, BTC value reaches over $50k, those fees we currently already pay would become horribly high. No one would be ready to pay something like $100 to deposit its BTC, even if after that, he's guaranteed to have almost no fees.  

Also, there is something weird I get from LN, I'm not sure what it is. It's just that adding another layer of network seems to be driving us away from what crytocurrency is supposed to be, like the original philosophy of it. First of all, that wouldn't even be as decentralized as it was originally planned to be, plus it also adds a "layer" of complexity that wouldn't help people to understand how cryptocurrency works (ok, it's not like we know how a VISA payement works already, but that's the point, it was supposed to give the knowledge back to people).

I don't want to FUD or anything, it's just that those questions bother me too much. I obviously strongly believe in the blockchain, but I don't see why anyone (except for speculative/emotional reasons) would want BTC to be massively adopted at the cost of so many detours and compromises. Why persisting in trying to improve BTC which has so many flaws ? And that I see more like a prototype, the very first working project that has given us the idea, the first impulse to improve the world of tomorrow, but is intrinsically not worth using anymore, or would have more like a historical/emotional value.
While, instead, we could just invent the crypto of tomorrow that would already solve the problems of consensus, decentralization, scalability in its very core.

And I'm not even talking about those insane amounts of energy required for mining, at a time where everybody is talking about ecology... When will this mining frenzy ever stop? Those mining farms everywhere, even as far as the inside of the mountains, they are ridiculous. It's getting out of hand!
Now, if a crypto like ETH has bright future I think, because it's meant to evolve and eventually give up on the POW mining in the long term, BTC will just eat up more and more mining energy as time goes by and for a blockchain that isn't even that practical in the end.
For me, it's like car manufacturers would still try to improve the Ford T nowadays, even a century after the construction of the first one, instead of inventing new cars. Just give it up already. (And please note that a Ford T still has value nowadays, it's just that it's not used to drive on the highway). It just doesn't make sense for someone like me who's fairly new to the world of crypto.
Why are we so much clinging to BTC and the LN ? Aren't there more simple solutions out there? Even if it means saying goodbye to BTC dominance in the end. Is it because it's taboo to say it or even think about it?

Thank you for reading and, if you would be so kind, bringing me your insights.


PS : Please no hate, I said I was not an expert, there are most likely things that I didn't get in the technical aspect of it. I don't mean to insult Bitcoin, just genuinely trying to understand things that seem weird and incoherent to me

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September 13, 2018, 08:33:40 AM
Merited by DdmrDdmr (1)
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yes it requires moving your money into an address that locks the funds up. (as you say deposit) and also the same when you want to get funds out of LN (you would call it withdrawal so to use LN is 2 onchain transactions.

the "benefit" is supposedly that if you know you are going to pay a certain amount of people X times and you know they use LN. then instead of paying them X times directly with bitcoin. you can save x-2 of costs by using LN

yes the bitcoin fee's have been controversial for about 4 years now. its gone beyond a penny per tranaction which has pretty much rulled out a few third world countries wanting to use bitcoin because bitcoins fees are more than an hours wage in some countries.
before 2014 bitcoin actually had a fee mechanism that actually helped control hw much people paid and also it went DOWN when the bitcoin price went up to ensure that when bitcoin went from $6 to $6 the fee in sats went down to keep prices below a cent

..
anyway back to LN
LN is not a bitcoin feature. LN is its own network. a payment system with no currency. in the future LN nodes can use it for many currencies as long as the two users of a channel agree on what transaction format(currency) they will play with.

with that said. if bitcoin continues to raise the bitcoin fee. people will while inside LN prefer to swap btc for a altcoin with cheaper onchain fee's but still able to access the same merchant tools and exchanges. thus there are negatives of LN about becoming a fortknox. people deposit btc and withdraw, for instance litecoin.

as for the whole bitcoin fee war, bitcoin cant scale. those 2 things are untrue. fe's can be reduced with code and bitcoin can scale onchain with code. but certain developers prefer to reduce bitcoin from being
medium of exchange
store of value
payment system

to being just
store of value.
however by removing bitcoins utility of medium and payment. its 'perceptual value' and desireability dies and so that kills the store of value aspect.

its just a real sham that its a few bitcoin devs themselves that are behind the "it cant scale so we wont try" mindset.

LN could have some niche for those who do many transactions an hour. such as gamblers and day traders who arbitrage. but for normal common peoples use where they only do an average of (visa stat 40tx a month) (btc stat 5tx a month) its harder to preplan spending habits to want to deposit more than 2 days visa spending or 3weeks btc spending to then lock that amount into LN and use it efficiently

but yea even with a niche for 'spam'(repeat spenders above the norm) users, LN still has some flaws and also less security, less ethics and less of the ethos/point of why bitcoin was revolutionary. but as i said LN is not a bitcoin feature. its, its own network which many coins will use. which in itself will not help bitcoin if bitcoin devs continue to not progress bitcoin and instead aim everything in LN's direction as the solution

I DO NOT TRADE OR ACT AS ESCROW ON THIS FORUM EVER.
Please do your own research & respect what is written here as both opinion & information gleaned from experience. many people replying with insults but no on-topic content substance, automatically are 'facepalmed' and yawned at
Dreykku
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September 13, 2018, 09:52:29 AM
 #3

but yea even with a niche for 'spam'(repeat spenders above the norm) users, LN still has some flaws and also less security, less ethics and less of the ethos/point of why bitcoin was revolutionary. but as i said LN is not a bitcoin feature. its, its own network which many coins will use. which in itself will not help bitcoin if bitcoin devs continue to not progress bitcoin and instead aim everything in LN's direction as the solution

Thank you. So you agree Bitcoin could never be massively adopted in its current state ? With or without LN i mean.
So, Bitcoin code can be changed? Wow, I didn't know that. You mean it could theoretically one day become scalable and have low fees if we wanted? Why didn't we do it already? What's preventing developers from doing it? It's getting even more confusing than what I initially thought.

Also, apparently it could also theorically become PoS from what i've just read on the net, but the pools of miners would prevent it.

Anyway, even with the PoW still, why not change the code for scalability and lower fees? Who would NOT want that? It's insane.

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September 13, 2018, 09:58:50 AM
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Glad to see such a long, well thought out post on the topic, the truth is however, the lightning network is still extremely experimental, payment channels are still relatively rare as not many stores care too much about bitcoin fees to warrant the additional investment. The only thing standing in its way is retail adoption, once we see this, we will begin to see increased development and strength behind off-chain solution like Lightning. There are also a few different implementations fighting for dominance, which is good in the long run, but can cause issues early on.

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September 13, 2018, 01:24:49 PM
 #5

You mean it could theoretically one day become scalable and have low fees if we wanted? Why didn't we do it already? What's preventing developers from doing it? It's getting even more confusing than what I initially thought.

Also, apparently it could also theorically become PoS from what i've just read on the net, but the pools of miners would prevent it.

Anyway, even with the PoW still, why not change the code for scalability and lower fees? Who would NOT want that? It's insane.

People seem to have different ideas about what scalability actually means and what compromises we should be prepared to make to accommodate it.  Some people believe that increasing on-chain throughput is the best solution, while others argue that isn't a solution at all because it places an increased burden on the nodes that support the network.  At the moment, we're compromising a little with the on-chain throughput, but also exploring the possibilities of off-chain transactions. 

Don't assume that nothing is being done or that things are being deliberately delayed.  That's a myth perpetuated by people who only want to see on-chain capacity increases without even considering other options that wouldn't adversely impact decentralisation. 

It's certainly not a simple fix, but rest assured that talented and determined developers are hard at work looking at all the potential ways forward.

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September 13, 2018, 01:45:52 PM
 #6

yes it requires moving your money into an address that locks the funds up. (as you say deposit) and also the same when you want to get funds out of LN (you would call it withdrawal so to use LN is 2 onchain transactions.

the "benefit" is supposedly that if you know you are going to pay a certain amount of people X times and you know they use LN. then instead of paying them X times directly with bitcoin. you can save x-2 of costs by using LN

yes the bitcoin fee's have been controversial for about 4 years now. its gone beyond a penny per tranaction which has pretty much rulled out a few third world countries wanting to use bitcoin because bitcoins fees are more than an hours wage in some countries.
before 2014 bitcoin actually had a fee mechanism that actually helped control hw much people paid and also it went DOWN when the bitcoin price went up to ensure that when bitcoin went from $6 to $6 the fee in sats went down to keep prices below a cent

..
anyway back to LN
LN is not a bitcoin feature. LN is its own network. a payment system with no currency. in the future LN nodes can use it for many currencies as long as the two users of a channel agree on what transaction format(currency) they will play with.

with that said. if bitcoin continues to raise the bitcoin fee. people will while inside LN prefer to swap btc for a altcoin with cheaper onchain fee's but still able to access the same merchant tools and exchanges. thus there are negatives of LN about becoming a fortknox. people deposit btc and withdraw, for instance litecoin.

as for the whole bitcoin fee war, bitcoin cant scale. those 2 things are untrue. fe's can be reduced with code and bitcoin can scale onchain with code. but certain developers prefer to reduce bitcoin from being
medium of exchange
store of value
payment system

to being just
store of value.
however by removing bitcoins utility of medium and payment. its 'perceptual value' and desireability dies and so that kills the store of value aspect.

its just a real sham that its a few bitcoin devs themselves that are behind the "it cant scale so we wont try" mindset.

LN could have some niche for those who do many transactions an hour. such as gamblers and day traders who arbitrage. but for normal common peoples use where they only do an average of (visa stat 40tx a month) (btc stat 5tx a month) its harder to preplan spending habits to want to deposit more than 2 days visa spending or 3weeks btc spending to then lock that amount into LN and use it efficiently

but yea even with a niche for 'spam'(repeat spenders above the norm) users, LN still has some flaws and also less security, less ethics and less of the ethos/point of why bitcoin was revolutionary. but as i said LN is not a bitcoin feature. its, its own network which many coins will use. which in itself will not help bitcoin if bitcoin devs continue to not progress bitcoin and instead aim everything in LN's direction as the solution
To try and simplify it a bit more think of it as switching funds from an account that can only wire to one with a small swipe fee. You have to pay the original wire to wire the funds into the small swipe account, this can be only used with merchants and users that accept the swipe accounts. If you want to send it back to your wire account you need to pay the wire fee again to close your swipe account.

It's a great system for merchant use, the idea is you could pull out a few hundred from your main btc to your lightning wallet use it at stores spend it all up and refill it when needed.














 

 

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Salikha
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September 16, 2018, 03:24:09 PM
 #7

Individuals appear to have distinctive thoughts approximately what compromises we ought to be arranged to create to oblige it. A few individuals accept that increasing on-chain throughput is the finest arrangement, whereas others contend that isn't a arrangement at all since it places an expanded burden on the hubs that back the organize.
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September 16, 2018, 11:29:37 PM
 #8

To try and simplify it a bit more think of it as switching funds from an account that can only wire to one with a small swipe fee. You have to pay the original wire to wire the funds into the small swipe account, this can be only used with merchants and users that accept the swipe accounts. If you want to send it back to your wire account you need to pay the wire fee again to close your swipe account.

It's a great system for merchant use, the idea is you could pull out a few hundred from your main btc to your lightning wallet use it at stores spend it all up and refill it when needed.

Supermarkets, cinemas, bars, restaurants, etc. I think it's a solution that can be very useful and speed up adoption in the real world, more than in online payments. With Lightning Network it could be possible to make your daily purchases and pay with bitcoin without having to wait for the transaction to be confirmed on the network. Fast and cheap.


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September 16, 2018, 11:42:58 PM
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The idea is to put money in your LN wallet that you would then use in smaller transactions, so you just have to put enough money to not need to constantly refill it and the channel stays open.

The problem will be when fees are insanely big so it's not economically viable anymore do an on-chain transaction to do a refill.

At that point they'll better have something clever to solve it, because I don't see a blocksize increase happening (not because "some devs" don't want to, as if "some devs" had the power to change that).

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