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Author Topic: The Lightning Network FAQ  (Read 14280 times)
This is a self-moderated topic. If you do not want to be moderated by the person who started this topic, create a new topic. (18 posts by 15 users deleted.)
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December 25, 2019, 08:09:09 AM
 #161

Trolls doesn't believe that development of privacy features are possible in Lightning. Plus I encourage bad-actors/spying-agencies to "track" Lightning transactions. They would have to stake Bitcoin and help with liquidity. Cool

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December 25, 2019, 04:56:11 PM
 #162

Possible use-case for Lightning. Viable as a trust-minimized alternative to mixing/tumbling if privacy features are developed.

Your thoughts?
Viable if you never get back on chain (or spend everything on the Lightning Network)  Wink But privacy features *are needed* a step before accessing the LN anyway, and it is not an alternative in any way.


Never? What/how would someone track my transactions to myself in Lightning, with privacy features enabled?
I meant from the Bitcoin network (/block chain) point of view the channel is just a transaction with a P2WSH output, if you spend all your funds on the Lightning Network then it means that you locally transferred funds to your channel peer. When closing, the transaction output will belong to the peer and you effectively spend funds without the observer knowing where they were going (once again for a Bitcoin network observer, with no knowledge of the Lightning Network).
However, if you fund a channel with a so-called tainted output, close the channel with remaining funds on your side then nothing was mixed at all.

What do you mean by "with privacy features enabled" ?


PS: I didn't want to even mention it but Khaos77's message above is of course nonsense...

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December 25, 2019, 08:49:07 PM
 #163

However, if you fund a channel with a so-called tainted output, close the channel with remaining funds on your side then nothing was mixed at all.
So you open 2 channels on different devices: 1 channel to Bob, who runs a well-connected node, and another channel to Alice, who also runs a well-connected node. From your device connected to Bob, you send funds to your device connected to Alice. After you close the channels, there is no direct blockchain connection between your transactions.
So the question is: who's going to keep track of all LN-transactions, and for how long? And although I'm not sure if LN works like this: if your channel to and from the node is not public, only Bob and Alice know the exact connection.

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December 25, 2019, 09:25:11 PM
Last edit: December 25, 2019, 09:44:49 PM by darosior
Merited by fillippone (3), vapourminer (1)
 #164

So you open 2 channels on different devices: 1 channel to Bob, who runs a well-connected node, and another channel to Alice, who also runs a well-connected node. From your device connected to Bob, you send funds to your device connected to Alice. After you close the channels, there is no direct blockchain connection between your transactions.
But you can't receive on your channel to Alice until you make some payments, and you'll be able to only receive as much as you pay. So you basically get back at spending your bitcoins on the LN.
This also assumes the output you used to fund the channel to Alice is not tainted in any way.

So the question is: who's going to keep track of all LN-transactions, and for how long?
What do you mean by LN-transactions ?
If you mean LN payments, they (normally) cannot be linked.
If you mean Bitcoin transactions opening or closing (in any way) channels, then I think already-mentioned-above companies already do.

And although I'm not sure if LN works like this: if your channel to and from the node is not public, only Bob and Alice know the exact connection.
You should not rely on unpublished channels, they are biggest (potential) privacy leaks than they seem to be (in addition to having many other downsides). (Non-related to the initial subject, but if you are interested Smiley https://github.com/lightningnetwork/lightning-rfc/pull/681)

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December 26, 2019, 08:15:08 AM
 #165

Possible use-case for Lightning. Viable as a trust-minimized alternative to mixing/tumbling if privacy features are developed.

Your thoughts?
Viable if you never get back on chain (or spend everything on the Lightning Network)  Wink But privacy features *are needed* a step before accessing the LN anyway, and it is not an alternative in any way.


Never? What/how would someone track my transactions to myself in Lightning, with privacy features enabled?

What do you mean by "with privacy features enabled" ?


I meant, isn't it possible to develop privacy features to hide sender, receiver, and amount, off-chain in the Lightning Network?

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December 26, 2019, 12:16:31 PM
Merited by LoyceV (4)
 #166

I meant, isn't it possible to develop privacy features to hide sender, receiver, and amount, off-chain in the Lightning Network?

Nodes participating in the routing process don't know who initiated the transaction and what the final destination is thanks to onion routing. Transactions are not listed anywhere so they can't be tracked by outsiders. As for hiding the amount, multi-part payments have just become a real thing.

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December 26, 2019, 01:06:40 PM
Merited by Rath_ (2)
 #167

I meant, isn't it possible to develop privacy features to hide sender, receiver, and amount, off-chain in the Lightning Network?

Nodes participating in the routing process don't know who initiated the transaction and what the final destination is thanks to onion routing. Transactions are not listed anywhere so they can't be tracked by outsiders. As for hiding the amount, multi-part payments have just become a real thing.
For hiding amounts and CLTV deltas, C-lightning also uses shadow routing.

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December 27, 2019, 05:16:45 AM
 #168

I meant, isn't it possible to develop privacy features to hide sender, receiver, and amount, off-chain in the Lightning Network?

Nodes participating in the routing process don't know who initiated the transaction and what the final destination is thanks to onion routing. Transactions are not listed anywhere so they can't be tracked by outsiders. As for hiding the amount, multi-part payments have just become a real thing.
For hiding amounts and CLTV deltas, C-lightning also uses shadow routing.


OK, with all that, can Lightning then be developed into a viable, trust-minimized alternative for centralized mixing/tumbling?

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December 27, 2019, 08:20:33 AM
 #169

OK, with all that, can Lightning then be developed into a viable, trust-minimized alternative for centralized mixing/tumbling?
I don't expect LN to be used for many large transactions, so it might be used to hide the coffee beers you bought from your wife, but not to hide your yacht.
Even at low LN-fees, I assume nodes will charge a percentage because that's how they earn (and they need to balance their channels again), so for high amounts, on-chain fees will be much lower.

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December 27, 2019, 02:11:52 PM
 #170

I meant, isn't it possible to develop privacy features to hide sender, receiver, and amount, off-chain in the Lightning Network?

Nodes participating in the routing process don't know who initiated the transaction and what the final destination is thanks to onion routing. Transactions are not listed anywhere so they can't be tracked by outsiders. As for hiding the amount, multi-part payments have just become a real thing.
For hiding amounts and CLTV deltas, C-lightning also uses shadow routing.


OK, with all that, can Lightning then be developed into a viable, trust-minimized alternative for centralized mixing/tumbling?
As I said above not really if you want to get back on chain afterwards. But just use joinmarket if you want trustless mixing...

Quote
Even at low LN-fees, I assume nodes will charge a percentage because that's how they earn (and they need to balance their channels again), so for high amounts, on-chain fees will be much lower.
It depends, I expect most of routing nodes to remove (most of?) their base fee in the future, and thus thanks to multi part payments you could make big payments as well.
As the network grows there will be more and more alternative paths from you to your destination (and even more with smaller payments if you use MPP!), and if some node owners rise their fees too much they wont be chosen into routes anymore. So I don't expect fees to rise that much.
Nonetheless I hope the base layer will still be used because...  Grin

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December 28, 2019, 04:50:54 PM
 #171

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/lightning-network-traffic-analysis-raises-questions-fees-privacy
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1911.09432.pdf
Quote
this paper’s findings currently put the responsibility of privacy on users selecting their payment routes.

Oh, no!  Responsibility?!  What a catastrophe!   Roll Eyes

Responsibility is something that generally comes with freedom.  It's only natural.  Even if no further advancements were made towards privacy from this point forwards, it's a fair price to pay (and I suspect the majority of users on this chain would rather take on some additional responsibility, rather than sacrifice decentralisation, which is a much higher cost to bear).  But I suspect we'll be making continued advancements in privacy anyway, both on-chain and off.

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December 29, 2019, 09:28:05 AM
 #172

I meant, isn't it possible to develop privacy features to hide sender, receiver, and amount, off-chain in the Lightning Network?

Nodes participating in the routing process don't know who initiated the transaction and what the final destination is thanks to onion routing. Transactions are not listed anywhere so they can't be tracked by outsiders. As for hiding the amount, multi-part payments have just become a real thing.
For hiding amounts and CLTV deltas, C-lightning also uses shadow routing.


OK, with all that, can Lightning then be developed into a viable, trust-minimized alternative for centralized mixing/tumbling?


As I said above not really if you want to get back on chain afterwards. But just use joinmarket if you want trustless mixing...


But, can it help in making your transactions harder to trace? I believe that's the whole point I was arriving at.

https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/lightning-network-traffic-analysis-raises-questions-fees-privacy
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1911.09432.pdf
Quote
this paper’s findings currently put the responsibility of privacy on users selecting their payment routes.

Oh, no!  Responsibility?!  What a catastrophe!   Roll Eyes

Responsibility is something that generally comes with freedom.  It's only natural.  Even if no further advancements were made towards privacy from this point forwards, it's a fair price to pay (and I suspect the majority of users on this chain would rather take on some additional responsibility, rather than sacrifice decentralisation, which is a much higher cost to bear).  But I suspect we'll be making continued advancements in privacy anyway, both on-chain and off.


Privacy in on-chain transactions are also the users' responsibility. What's so special about it for the troll?

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December 29, 2019, 12:52:08 PM
 #173

Privacy in on-chain transactions are also the users' responsibility. What's so special about it for the troll?

Thought they were scoring cheap points.  Failed as usual.   Cheesy

One day they'll learn that they've lost every argument before they've even tried to make it, because their go-to position is to throw decentralisation under the bus.  It's the one thing all the Lightning detractors can't get around.  LN provides more throughput without placing any additional burden on the non-Lightning users who secure the blockchain.   

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December 30, 2019, 07:37:04 AM
 #174

But, can it help in making your transactions harder to trace?
Of course Smiley Want to test it for yourself? Try finding my on-chain address connected to this transaction.

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January 02, 2020, 10:20:26 AM
Merited by fillippone (2), vapourminer (1), Carlton Banks (1), d5000 (1), JayJuanGee (1), Wind_FURY (1), nc50lc (1)
 #175

Hi everyone,

As we talked about privacy in this thread, here is a great write up by ZmnSCPxj which summarizes a lot of the known privacy breaches: https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/lightning-dev/2019-December/002408.html.

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January 03, 2020, 09:00:33 AM
 #176

But, can it help in making your transactions harder to trace?
Of course Smiley Want to test it for yourself? Try finding my on-chain address connected to this transaction.


I can't, of course.

But that's the beauty if some specialized actors, good or bad, decide to track and breach user-privacy. They're required to stake Bitcoins in Lightning, provide liquidity, which add value to the network. Cool

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January 03, 2020, 12:14:30 PM
Merited by fillippone (2), JayJuanGee (1), darosior (1)
 #177

Also in relation to privacy/fungibility over Lightning, here is a link to another write-up by the same author (ZmnSCPxj) Darosior linked on a Coinswap-like procedure using the Lightning protocol:

https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/lightning-dev/2019-October/002245.html

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January 05, 2020, 12:07:37 AM
Last edit: January 05, 2020, 02:09:21 AM by DaveF
 #178

Can anyone do me a favor and open up a channel to my node at home?

Whacker
03400a67375da5d5d04dd59514452ce9f0cadb2fbec65863073897d52843b61c80@24.45.24.105:9735
03400a67375da5d5d04dd59514452ce9f0cadb2fbec65863073897d52843b61c80@whacker.cas8.com:9735

I can open channels out and pay invoices, but when I try to open one from my other node at the office it fails.

But, I have done some testing on my node at the office and I don't know if I broke something.

Thanks,
Dave
edit: someone opened one. If it was one of you thanks :-)
Now all I have to do is figure out what I broke on the office one.

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Wind_FURY
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January 23, 2020, 06:20:56 AM
 #179

Who among the consistent Lightning users here have been running a node, specialized specifically for routing transactions/providing liquidity, how long have you been running it, and what's the averge cost of running it?

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January 23, 2020, 08:40:38 AM
Merited by LoyceV (4), Wind_FURY (2), fillippone (2), vapourminer (1)
 #180

Who among the consistent Lightning users here have been running a node, specialized specifically for routing transactions/providing liquidity, how long have you been running it, and what's the averge cost of running it?
I've been running one (C-lightning) for almost two years now, and it costs me barely nothing : just setup on top of my old computer which already ran core.
So it costed me a low end computer which I had for free (I'm in the process of changing it, but I'm not that well connected after all) and electricity cost for an idle computer.
The bigger cost is the coins to open channels.

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