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Author Topic: Criticisms of the Lightning Network  (Read 1164 times)
franky1
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August 24, 2019, 11:33:25 AM
 #81

Frank can receive 2 coins from Alice: 1 via Carol and Ella, and 1 via Bob and David. However, I don't think LN supports splitting a transaction over multiple channels [...]

These are not the only possibilities. If there is a cheaper but longer route then it might be chosen.

sorry but the illustration is the illustration.. there are no other routes
trying to fake out a 3rd imaginary channel from alice to pretend there is another way wont work. there are only 2 channels from alice

whats also concerning is when alice moves funds around. those in the middle of the route get affected where they can no longer pay a certain peer.

but imagine it this way.
imagine paypal said you can spend your dollars. but expect to split it up into 3-5 accounts and then not be able to spend all the funds. oh and its locked for a month. so you cant move it out to create new account, but have to us more fresh money to make new accounts.. would you consider that a good system

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August 24, 2019, 11:55:24 AM
 #82

whats also concerning is when alice moves funds around. those in the middle of the route get affected where they can no longer pay a certain peer.
Maybe. Or maybe it changes so that they can pay the one user they want to pay. This can go both ways, but ultimately it's up to the nodes to set a fee that makes it worth balancing their channels. I'm not sure if it's possible already, but I can imagine nodes adjust fees based on their current channel balance.
I agree though: this is a problem. Several of my transactions couldn't be sent because of this. But for an experimental network, I don't mind, and I have high hopes this will become better once LN matures.

Quote
but imagine it this way.
imagine paypal said you can spend your dollars. but expect to split it up into 3-5 accounts and then not be able to spend all the funds. oh and its locked for a month. so you cant move it out to create new account, but have to us more fresh money to make new accounts.. would you consider that a good system
Your example is irrelevant: if someone wants to use Paypal (and pay a large part of the total amount in fees), they're free to do so. Besides, I've read many stories about funds being locked in Paypal. I'd rather not be at their mercy.

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August 24, 2019, 01:01:15 PM
 #83

whats also concerning is when alice moves funds around. those in the middle of the route get affected where they can no longer pay a certain peer.
Maybe. Or maybe it changes so that they can pay the one user they want to pay. This can go both ways, but ultimately it's up to the nodes to set a fee that makes it worth balancing their channels. I'm not sure if it's possible already, but I can imagine nodes adjust fees based on their current channel balance.
I agree though: this is a problem. Several of my transactions couldn't be sent because of this. But for an experimental network, I don't mind, and I have high hopes this will become better once LN matures.

Quote
but imagine it this way.
imagine paypal said you can spend your dollars. but expect to split it up into 3-5 accounts and then not be able to spend all the funds. oh and its locked for a month. so you cant move it out to create new account, but have to us more fresh money to make new accounts.. would you consider that a good system
Your example is irrelevant: if someone wants to use Paypal (and pay a large part of the total amount in fees), they're free to do so. Besides, I've read many stories about funds being locked in Paypal. I'd rather not be at their mercy.

to do with paypal example.. WTF you talking about 'fees'.. my example had nothing to do with fee's it was just about physical ability to send a payment.

imagine you were alice and had $70(7 beads in total).. get told you need to split it up to get a chance to spend it. then get told your not going to be able to spend it all (only send frank $20). and then told that others can route through you messing up your channel balance

but if you want to talk about fee's. here goes
if people start raising fee's to scare people from routing via them, guess what.. there will be less routes. less chance of a successful payment

the liquidity issue is a major thing.
nothing to do with fee's alone. but separately the fee scare makes routing even harder

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August 24, 2019, 01:24:18 PM
 #84

to do with paypal example.. WTF you talking about 'fees'.. my example had nothing to do with fee's it was just about physical ability to send a payment.
I think you've missed my point: Paypal is a centralized (private) organisation that offers a product. LN is built by many individual entities who all run their own system. If you want to compare Paypal with anything, it should be a centralized exchange/casino/website that allows user Alice to send/tip funds to user Frank.

Alice can of couse just open a direct LN channel with Frank, that solves all her problems.

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August 24, 2019, 07:25:23 PM
Last edit: August 24, 2019, 07:37:13 PM by franky1
 #85

Alice can of couse just open a direct LN channel with Frank, that solves all her problems.

alice only has $70,, and those are locked to carol and bob,,,, thus nothing spare to open with frank in LN
imagine it. trying to make a payment and you get a message "sorry cant mak payment please deposit more"
would you call that a good payment system

the example illustration is just a network of 6 nodes. imagine a million nodes, but where users only have 3-5 channels each.
if you run the scenario you will see each extra node routr you have to hop through makes the chances of success worse

by the way if alice did find more funds to deposit. theres still no guarantee alice can pay the full amount to frank as another node might route through alice to pay frank.

imagine it alice makes a alice-frank channel.. but then carol does a carol-alice-frank for upto 3 coins spending all of alices coins

also do you really want to stay awake 24/7 to ensure bob or carol or their counterparts dont route through you. do you then want to hand control to a watchtower(paypal2.0) which can authorise/decline payments while you sleep

its stuff like this that makes me call LN a independant network service for multiple cryptocurrncies including btc
and not
bitcoin layer 2
LN tarnishes the security and trust that btc had for years so i avoid trying to pretend LN is a bitcoin thing

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August 24, 2019, 08:06:14 PM
 #86

also do you really want to stay awake 24/7 to ensure bob or carol or their counterparts dont route through you. do you then want to hand control to a watchtower(paypal2.0) which can authorise/decline payments while you sleep

If you don't want to route any payments at all then you can either fund a private channel or discourage others by changing your fee policy. The fee policy can be modified for each channel separately.

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August 25, 2019, 11:25:46 AM
Merited by Welsh (1)
 #87

Frank can receive 2 coins from Alice: 1 via Carol and Ella, and 1 via Bob and David. However, I don't think LN supports splitting a transaction over multiple channels [...]

These are not the only possibilities. If there is a cheaper but longer route then it might be chosen.

sorry but the illustration is the illustration.. there are no other routes
trying to fake out a 3rd imaginary channel from alice to pretend there is another way wont work. there are only 2 channels from alice

whats also concerning is when alice moves funds around. those in the middle of the route get affected where they can no longer pay a certain peer.


The illustration is the illustration yes, but couldn't Alice open a channel directly to Frank and send the payment?

Quote

but imagine it this way.
imagine paypal said you can spend your dollars. but expect to split it up into 3-5 accounts and then not be able to spend all the funds. oh and its locked for a month. so you cant move it out to create new account, but have to us more fresh money to make new accounts.. would you consider that a good system


This is unpopular opinion, but I believe centralized/federated side-chains/off-chain layers are needed for more efficient Bitcoin "coffee transactions".

But I would not discourage the "LN experiment" either.


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August 25, 2019, 11:56:54 AM
Merited by Welsh (3)
 #88

This is unpopular opinion, but I believe centralized/federated side-chains/off-chain layers are needed for more efficient Bitcoin "coffee transactions".
I don't think that opinion is as unpopular as you think. As a user, I don't care much how it's done, as long as I can make small transactions at a reasonable (low) fee. The one thing it needs though is being accepted everywhere**. That could happen with companies as big as Visa/Mastercard (they're big enough to create their own side-chain), or many smaller ones (working together kinda like how banks operate). I have high hopes for LN in combination with custodial wallets: the custodian ensures I have enough sending/receiving capacity, and LN ensures it can handle transactions to other custodial wallets. Meanwhile, if you really want to, you can still run your own node or use an on-chain transaction if the amount is higher than what you're willing to trust someone with.

** And with that, I'm back on-topic: there's an increasing number of websites accepting LN, and there are already a few dozen different LN wallets, but most of them are new! I've barely seen any established crypto websites starting to accept Bitcoin Lightning transactions alongside on-chain Bitcoin. I hope the reason for this is the fact that LN is still highly experimental, and existing casinos/exchanges don't want to deal with possible problems.

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August 25, 2019, 08:34:27 PM
Merited by LoyceV (2), ETFbitcoin (1)
 #89

When you close a LN channel, some of the coin belongs to you, and some belongs to the other party to the channel. If the other node does not want to potentially wait days to access their coin, it will not sign a cooperating closing tx with a low fee. If the other node is not cooperating and you want to unilaterally close the channel, you must use a previously signed tx, including whatever fee rate was set.
I'd like to see older channel states but Eclair doesn't show them. I guess I'll have to dig into the backups made on Google Drive for those?
As a proof of concept, it would be interesting to see if I could actually use an older transaction to steal funds (and if I succeed give them back to the node, but that's not the point here). I currently have a channel (opened by me) with only just over 3000 satoshi on my side. If I'm the only one paying for fees, I don't expect any of this money back in my wallet. But even all of it is used as fee, it won't be a high fee. So: what if I wait until fees go up, then close the channel, which won't confirm, and after the right amount of time, I broadcast an older state (which at the time might have been signed with a higher fee)?

It's still a mystery to me how the older signed transactions would work, given the fact they can't be broadcasted instantly but only a certain amount of time after trying to close the channel.

You are highlighting a flaw in the concept of LN. If one side is due to receive only a small amount of coin upon closing the channel, they may not stand to lose anything by broadcasting an old channel state, and if the old channel state is going to result in the other node loosing a small enough amount of money, they may not broadcast the "penalty" transaction that allows him to receive all of the coin in the channel.

No wallet software is going to make it easy for the user (nor should they) access to old channel states because of how easy it is for the other node to take all the money in the channel, resulting in you loosing money. You would need to look in backups to find old transactions to close the channel in an outdated channel state.

I think you are also misunderstanding how the closing of LN channels occur. When you unilaterally close a LN channel, two transactions must confirm, an intermediary transaction and a final transaction. Say for example if you and I had an open LN channel, I was offline, and you wanted to close the channel. You would broadcast an intermediary transaction that is specific to the channel state. If the intermediary transaction is for an old channel state, it would expose information that would allow me broadcast a "penalty" transaction that allows me to receive all the coin in the channel, and if it is for the current channel state, it would expose useless information. After the intermediary transaction has x number of confirmations, you can broadcast the final transaction that results in coin going to each of us according to the channel state. If I didn't want to wait, I would have the option to broadcast the final transaction before the intermediary transaction has x confirmations -- the two final transactions both result in each of us receiving the same amount of coin, however they are two distinct transactions. If you are broadcasting an intermediary transaction associated with an old channel state, I would have x blocks to get the "penalty" transaction confirmed, including via the use of a CPFP transaction with a very high fee if necessary.

2) Creating inbound channel even harder

It's not as difficult as you think. Some nodes automatically open a channel back if one opens a big enough channel to them. There are also services from which you cant rent the inbound capacity.
Renting inbound capacity is a cost, and those services typically charge a flat fee attributable to a tx fee, and a percentage of the inbound capacity. This cost reduces the benefit to using LN.


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September 05, 2019, 09:45:16 AM
 #90

I'm late to this discussion, but I've been testing the Lightning Network on the recommendation of LoyceV who is trying to garner interest via his Little Lightning Loans thread elsewhere in BCT.

I have Eclair on two mobile devices, and Zap on my PC all have three BTC 0.0011 channels open the first two are random while the third is via nodes in and around Amsterdam in the hope that these would enable transactions to and from Loyce's devices. (yes, before anyone asks, that's nine channels) the only TX I've been able to send or receive on either mobile device is if both are open and I get really, really lucky that channels are found between the two devices.  Zap was able to send a "repayment" to Loyce but hasn't been able to send to either mobile device.  Zap doesn't recognise payment requests from one mobile, but will accept payment requests from the other mobile... even though both devices installed the exact same copy of the apk file for Android Devices.

I have also got running the testnet lightning node for Eclair on both mobile devices and it is also a struggle to find a path even though I've had some 20 channels established on each device. (Unlike the main net, my test net each have ~10 BTC each with channels at the maximum BTC 0.1677721 that the program will allow.  I haven't been able to find a PC test-net lightning node program but could go up to BTC 100+ on a single lightning node if I there were a PC version. (Linux comments can be found here...)

Neither mobile device seems to be able to maintain any connections once the screen saver comes on, so my testnet channels are a never ending series of closed by the other side distractions.

Somewhere along the way I picked up an inbound channel on one mobile device, but TX's across that channel are also rather hit and miss.

Timelord2067's Timely Test and Main-neT LighTning Loans to a "T"
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September 05, 2019, 10:14:05 AM
 #91

(Linux comments can be found here...)
Lol, wrong link? Tongue

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September 05, 2019, 10:42:03 AM
 #92


"NOPE!"

*boom* tish! (trying to discuss Linux with anyone who uses it is like trying to talk to the water cooler expert knowledgable in every subject but in the end knows very little)

RTFM! They say by way of answer...

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September 05, 2019, 11:21:36 AM
 #93

I have Eclair on two mobile devices, and Zap on my PC all have three BTC 0.0011 channels open the first two are random while the third is via nodes in and around Amsterdam in the hope that these would enable transactions to and from Loyce's devices. (yes, before anyone asks, that's nine channels) the only TX I've been able to send or receive on either mobile device is if both are open and I get really, really lucky that channels are found between the two devices.  Zap was able to send a "repayment" to Loyce but hasn't been able to send to either mobile device.  Zap doesn't recognise payment requests from one mobile, but will accept payment requests from the other mobile... even though both devices installed the exact same copy of the apk file for Android Devices.

sounds like the path finding with Eclair and/or Zap isn't working. Either that or you're making some mistake or other. If you look at the Lightning network graph, it's well connected, so there shouldn't be more than maximum 8-12 hops to find the longest route (and the average route length will be lower than that)

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September 05, 2019, 07:16:39 PM
 #94

sounds like the path finding with Eclair and/or Zap isn't working. Either that or you're making some mistake or other. If you look at the Lightning network graph, it's well connected, so there shouldn't be more than maximum 8-12 hops to find the longest route (and the average route length will be lower than that)

All three aren't working?  What would be the odds of that?

Given that I have made and received payments I'm not sure what mistake you might be thinking I've made.

Failed attempts try ten times and come back with "unable to find path..."

The payments are ~ $1 and are funded for the TX fees.

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September 05, 2019, 09:20:28 PM
 #95

All three aren't working?  What would be the odds of that?

that's why I'm suggesting ACINQ's route finding might be at fault, both Zap and Eclair no doubt share some codebase as both are developed by ACINQ

not sure what you could be doing wrong, I haven't used Zap or Eclair. Maybe you've just opened channels (unluckily?) in a poorly connected part of the network graph?

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September 05, 2019, 09:26:45 PM
 #96

that's why I'm suggesting ACINQ's route finding might be at fault, both Zap and Eclair no doubt share some codebase as both are developed by ACINQ

Are you sure about that? I am quite sure that Zap is strictly related to LND (its GitHub seems to prove that too).

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