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Author Topic: Criticisms of the Lightning Network  (Read 1152 times)
arbiter5
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August 06, 2019, 05:43:45 AM
 #41

Another criticism is, how secure is Lightning? Has it experienced any attacks of some kind? That should worry the users, because we simply don't know.

I mean, Lightning is still software. Software bugs and problems are pretty much inevitable; even with Bitcoin itself. It just depends on how drastic the problem is, and or how quickly it gets resolved.

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Each block is stacked on top of the previous one. Adding another block to the top makes all lower blocks more difficult to remove: there is more "weight" above each block. A transaction in a block 6 blocks deep (6 confirmations) will be very difficult to remove.
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August 06, 2019, 11:52:39 AM
 #42

Hi,

The biggest issue for me is  that you cannot have a  safe backup of your lightning funds using seed words

A safe offline backup solution is very important, if you want users to store any serious amount of funds on LN


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August 06, 2019, 12:19:26 PM
 #43

The biggest issue for me is  that you cannot have a  safe backup of your lightning funds using seed words

no, the wallets used to manage Lightning channels do have a seed in every implementation


there's no seed for the channel addresses, but that's not relevant, as the funds will always end up back in the addresses of the underlying bitcoin wallet should a channel be closed.


think of it like this; Lightning channels are like a checking account, for regular comings and goings of cash. saying the channels don't have seeds is like complaining your debit card didn't come with a bank vault and an armed guard

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August 06, 2019, 12:30:14 PM
 #44

The biggest issue for me is  that you cannot have a  safe backup of your lightning funds using seed words

no, the wallets used to manage Lightning channels do have a seed in every implementation


there's no seed for the channel addresses, but that's not relevant, as the funds will always end up back in the addresses of the underlying bitcoin wallet should a channel be closed.


This is relevant, user will lose funds if  his mobile phone having LN channel states crashes

Quote
think of it like this; Lightning channels are like a checking account, for regular comings and goings of cash. saying the channels don't have seeds is like complaining your debit card didn't come with a bank vault and an armed guard

In essence, what you are saying is LN is insecure for anything greater than 100USD. And you should put only small amounts that you can afford to lose. This forces me to keep transferring funds between bitcoin/LN which doesn't work with high tx fee

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August 06, 2019, 12:52:35 PM
 #45

This is relevant, user will lose funds if  his mobile phone having LN channel states crashes

redundant disk solves that, a seed cannot. For a phone, just keep literal pocket change amounts on a phone. How often does an entire phone fail anyhow?


Quote
think of it like this; Lightning channels are like a checking account, for regular comings and goings of cash. saying the channels don't have seeds is like complaining your debit card didn't come with a bank vault and an armed guard

In essence, what you are saying is LN is insecure for anything greater than 100USD. And you should put only small amounts that you can afford to lose. This forces me to keep transferring funds between bitcoin/LN which doesn't work with high tx fee

nope, I'm not saying either of those things, and that's not how I use Lightning at all. Money comes in, money goes out; there's not much need to go back on-chain, you just need to put some thought into how you manage it.

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August 06, 2019, 01:05:59 PM
 #46

This is relevant, user will lose funds if  his mobile phone having LN channel states crashes

Both Eclair Mobile and Bitcoin Lightning Wallet allow user to backup their Lightning Network channels. The former allows creating local backups as well as encrypting and uploading them directly to user's Google Drive account automatically. As far as I remember, the latter asks user to pay for its backup service. It might have changed, though.

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August 06, 2019, 06:00:39 PM
 #47

In essence, what you are saying is LN is insecure for anything greater than 100USD. And you should put only small amounts that you can afford to lose. This forces me to keep transferring funds between bitcoin/LN which doesn't work with high tx fee

The real problem is you won't able to find routing for such high amount, unless you create new channel with big funds.

Both Eclair Mobile and Bitcoin Lightning Wallet allow user to backup their Lightning Network channels.

I didn't know such option already exist on mobile wallet. It's great, but user might get their funds stolen if they don't use watchtower & realize it after earlier state of money flow/balance could be broadcasted.

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August 06, 2019, 06:07:14 PM
 #48

It's great, but user might get their funds stolen if they don't use watchtower & realize it after earlier state of money flow/balance could be broadcasted.

Eclair Mobile sets the timelock for the remote uncooperative close to 2 weeks which is plenty of time, especially if you take into account that most people keep their phones constantly connected to 3G or 4G networks (unless you live in the US where data plans are expensive Wink ). It's also possible to have an LND node on a VPS and a Zap app on a phone which makes sending and receiving payments much easier without a risk of theft. Spark is an alternative if someone uses c-lightning.

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August 06, 2019, 06:47:18 PM
 #49

Eclair Mobile sets the timelock for the remote uncooperative close to 2 weeks which is plenty of time

Then my scenario would be unlikely Smiley

Few client i've used in past (mainly on testnet) have default 144 blocks (1 day)

It's also possible to have an LND node on a VPS and a Zap app on a phone which makes sending and receiving payments much easier without a risk of theft.

But most user don't run full nodes, rent a VPS or both

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August 06, 2019, 07:05:28 PM
 #50

Few client i've used in past (mainly on testnet) have default 144 blocks (1 day)

I made a small assumption here. It's still 144 blocks by default, but it is extended to 2016 blocks when the user enables receiving payments over the LN. You are more likely to lose money when the other party had coins on their side in the beginning.

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August 06, 2019, 07:07:54 PM
 #51

Both Eclair Mobile and Bitcoin Lightning Wallet allow user to backup their Lightning Network channels. The former allows creating local backups as well as encrypting and uploading them directly to user's Google Drive account automatically. As far as I remember, the latter asks user to pay for its backup service. It might have changed, though.
My Eclair client makes backups on Google Drive, and I've never paid them directly (only with my privacy). I think Google Drive is part of the ~15 GB Gmail storage space.
I've never tested the backups though.

But most user don't run full nodes, rent a VPS or both
I think it was BitCryptex who mentioned a VPS before: does it require storing the full blockchain to run a full LN node? If so, any cheap VPS won't qualify (the cheap VPS I bought recently has 25 GB only).

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August 06, 2019, 07:16:16 PM
 #52

My Eclair client makes backups on Google Drive, and I've never paid them directly (only with my privacy).

It looks like you have misread my post. Bitcoin Lightning Wallet is the one that charges users for backups. More information can be found here.

does it require storing the full blockchain to run a full LN node? If so, any cheap VPS won't qualify (the cheap VPS I bought recently has 25 GB only).

No, it doesn't. If you choose LND then you can use built-in neutrino which is a light client. The Lightning Network node itself doesn't use many resources. We could set it up even on your VPS.

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August 06, 2019, 09:31:37 PM
 #53

Hi,

The biggest issue for me is  that you cannot have a  safe backup of your lightning funds using seed words

A safe offline backup solution is very important, if you want users to store any serious amount of funds on LN


FWIW it's not true anymore on C-lightning. Using the [db_write plugin hook](https://lightning.readthedocs.io/PLUGINS.html#db-write) a plugin can replicate the entire database. Along with the seed (contained in `~/.lightning/hsm_secret`) it is possible to have a full backup of your LN node. To get much closer from practice here is a proposed plugin implementing that actual feature : https://github.com/lightningd/plugins/pull/40.

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August 08, 2019, 09:06:44 AM
 #54

I'm still waiting for the people who keep insisting that "Bitcoins in Lightning are IOUs". They're not posting so far, I believe maybe they have given up on that propaganda. Cool


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August 08, 2019, 11:52:37 AM
 #55

I'm still waiting for the people who keep insisting that "Bitcoins in Lightning are IOUs". They're not posting so far, I believe maybe they have given up on that propaganda. Cool


it's conceptually similar, so you can see how someone could make such a mistake (or deliberately state the falsehood as fact in order to bash Lightning)


the similarities end in the redemption; if you redeem an IOU, the issuer might just refuse (or make an excuse). But the issuer of funds in a Lighting channel is the Bitcoin blockchain, and so when you "redeem", it accepts no matter what.

i.e. payment channels have the advantages of an IOU without the drawbacks

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August 08, 2019, 05:34:37 PM
Last edit: August 08, 2019, 06:10:26 PM by Khaos77
 #56

I'm still waiting for the people who keep insisting that "Bitcoins in Lightning are IOUs". They're not posting so far, I believe maybe they have given up on that propaganda. Cool

You mean on spreading truthful statements.

One guy says LN has bitcoins on it.
To that idiot, I say ok send me the bitcoins directly without using bitcoin onchain network.
He says , he can't do that , he can only send me a LN's representation of bitcoins on LN network,
but that it can be redeemed later on Bitcoin onchain network, if I want it onchain, we have  to wait for the time lock to expire.

Sorry LN transactions are IOUs.

@windfury , so how is that non-mining/non-earning node Tandy 1000 doing for you?


FYI:
Actually have not posted it, since I did not believe anyone was still stupid enough not to know , LN is nothing but an IOU system.
IOUs for bitcoin or litecoin or whatever other segwit infected coin of the week.

You can whine it is time lock, but the bitcoins never leave the bitcoin network.
I store gold in a bank, then I trade their fiat, are you dumb enough to think I am trading gold and not the bank promissory notes /IOUs .

Same thing, you're trading LN IOUs to be redeemed at a later date.

* What is really asinine is the IOU truth is so painful to the LN supporters.*





I'm still waiting for the people who keep insisting that "Bitcoins in Lightning are IOUs". They're not posting so far, I believe maybe they have given up on that propaganda. Cool


it's conceptually similar, so you can see how someone could make such a mistake (or deliberately state the falsehood as fact in order to bash Lightning)


the similarities end in the redemption; if you redeem an IOU, the issuer might just refuse (or make an excuse). But the issuer of funds in a Lighting channel is the Bitcoin blockchain, and so when you "redeem", it accepts no matter what.

i.e. payment channels have the advantages of an IOU without the drawbacks


You need to modify the it accepts no matter what.

Because users can still lose funds due to errors.

https://coinspice.io/news/lightning-network-warning-please-dont-lose-money-learn-from-my-recklessness/

Quote
Tidwell also described as a shock the fact peers cannot “rescue” BTC by simply closing channels. He explains how opening a node and funding it with BTC, and then something happens to the node through corruption, for example, even working with LN partners offline to force-close the channel doesn’t recover lost BTC. And there’s more in this quick, detailed warning video. Broadcasting an old channel was particularly telling, as another example, because of the ease with which such a mistake can happen. He hopes honest peers on a channel and innovations will mitigate against future disasters, but one conclusion anyone can make after watching: Lightning Network has a long, long way to go as a solution to anything.

additional:
https://www.theblockcrypto.com/tiny/thieves-lost-2-22-bitcoin-on-the-lightning-network-because-of-security-measures-research-shows/
Quote
The study analyzed transactions starting from November 2017 until June 2019. It identified a total of  241 possible dishonest transactions which totaled 2.22 bitcoin. However, it does not mean that thieves tried to steal all that money—some of it might have been confiscated when the justice transaction kicked in.

BitMEX Research also suggests not all of these transactions might have been really dishonest as some of them might be false positives.




Next moron that states LN is not IOUs, and bitcoins are on it.
Tell him great, now we can shut down that energy wasteful onchain Bitcoin Network/miners and only use LN. (Sarcasm)  Tongue
 Wink

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August 09, 2019, 11:33:16 AM
 #57


Babble


No IOUs in Lightning. They are signed transactions made by the participants of the channel that have not been broadcasted on-chain yet. No one is holding your coins, and issued something worthless in Lightning.


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August 09, 2019, 12:21:04 PM
 #58

One guy says LN has bitcoins on it.
To that idiot, I say ok send me the bitcoins directly without using bitcoin onchain network.
He says , he can't do that , he can only send me a LN's representation of bitcoins on LN network,
I'm not sure what you're getting at. It's obvious you can't send Bitcoins without making an on-chain transaction. That statement is true with or without Lightning Network.

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August 09, 2019, 12:21:20 PM
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 #59

another way to look at it :-

  • IOU's are informal contracts, that have a reputation for being easy to break
  • Lightning channels are contracts too, but they're enforced by the Bitcoin blockchain. You can't break these contracts


future improvements (i.e. Eltoo / sighash_noinput) will tidy up the corner case where old copies of channel updates are put on-chain.

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August 09, 2019, 01:18:19 PM
 #60

  • IOU's are informal contracts, that have a reputation for being easy to break
  • Lightning channels are contracts too, but they're enforced by the Bitcoin blockchain. You can't break these contracts

Well put. I think a lot of misconceptions regarding LN stem from mistaking the latter for the former. They seem to believe that LN smart contracts are governed by laws similar to legal laws (ie. a social construct based on trust and thus easily broken) while the laws smart contracts are governed by are more akin to the laws of physics.

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