What is the hottest technology in the blockchain field in 2019? The Lightning Network has definitely become the answer in the hearts of many people, and the worldwide popular "Lightning Torch" relay has greatly promoted and popularized this emerging technology. Lightning network technology is also considered to be an important part of the large-scale adoption of Bitcoin.
In 2020, New Crown Pneumonia, an uninvited guest, impacted the global economic market, including the crypto market. The downturn in the market also caused Bitcoin to be questioned again. The technology of the Lightning Network also cast a veil.
As one of the most concerned bitcoin expansion technologies, the latest development of Lightning Network has always been the most concerned, and the heavyweight of the development of Lightning Network is the "big three" of Lightning Network: C-Lighting, ACINQ, Lightning Labs.
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On March 26th, in the special session of Babbitt Global Partner Cloud Summit International Station, the principals of the three leaders of the Lightning Network were invited by Babbitt International Station to participate on the same stage for the first time and jointly participate in the online AMA held at ChainNode , Answer all the questions from the Chinese community about Lightning Network , and they also analyze and comment on the impact of the global new crown epidemic on the crypto industry that the community is concerned about. They are Samson Mow, chief strategy officer of Blockstream (c-lightning development team), Pierre-Marie, CEO of ACINQ (éclair development team), head of Lightning Network infrastructure at Lightning Labs , and Alex Bosworth , CEO of yalls.org.
The following is an actual record of AMA compiled by Babbitt . For the convenience of reading, this article sorts out the current situation of the Lightning Network, the impact of the global epidemic on the development of the Lightning Network, and the future development of the industry based on community questions and guest responses.
First, the current status of the Lightning Network
1. What challenges does Lightning Network currently face?
The main challenge: reliability. We are building a payment network, so it must always be reliable. We need to track all the annoying extremes and improve the user experience for end uses.
Other common challenges: liquidity and routing calculations. I don't think the former is a real defect, but a resource limitation that can be solved through charges, while the latter has completed some promising work, such as trampoline routing.
Lightning network nodes have funding thresholds: In a lightning network , nodes must invest sufficient funds in the right direction. If they don't, the payment will fail. To solve this problem, it is necessary to establish a market to stimulate capital allocation and tools to make it easier to allocate capital correctly. Some of these solutions can be added to the agreement, others may be products and services, such as Lightning Labs' Lightning Loop project, which provides an unmanaged method to adjust channel liquidity in response to market conditions.
For Lightning Network to be a scalable solution and drive its development, there must be enough demand to transfer funds to justify additional complexity. Currently, the local token movement method of the blockchain is very effective, and other improvements such as SegWit have also relieved a lot of pressure. Through on-chain transactions and using SegWit and Lightning Network , I rarely pay more than $ 0.01 in fees for on-chain transactions.
The design of the Lightning Network protocol is not static, it does require additional planning changes to address various deficiencies. Problems need research and solutions need to be tried, so the biggest problem may not be known yet.
2. Is the Lightning Network User Experience ( UX) the biggest obstacle to adoption? When will it be adopted on a large scale?
User experience ( UX) is undoubtedly a major challenge, but with our latest wallet Phoenix, we have tried our best to solve this challenge and provide the same UX as regular pre-Lighting Bitcoin wallets. It includes features such as live channels to address inbound mobility issues.
The fact that network traffic may be unbalanced is not necessarily a bad thing, because it can reduce liquidity requirements. E.g. Payment gateways will primarily * receive * funds, thereby freeing them from the need to have large amounts of liquidity in advance. Users may receive revenue, but then they are mostly “spending,” meaning they do n’t have to worry too much about inbound liquidity. The real pressure on liquidity lies in routing nodes, but this is exactly what they do to manage, and this is where they should compete.
For large-scale adoption, when is the large -scale adoption of the Lightning Network actually asking when to see the large-scale adoption of Bitcoin. I think the Lightning Network is just a tool for this purpose. Our guess is the same.
Lightning Network is not designed as a user-friendly application, but as a privacy-protected, fast and scalable transfer protocol. It would be nice if there was an easy way to use it, but this is a different issue from the agreement itself, which is usually designed just to transfer funds. The Lightning Protocol is designed for those who need to pay for cheap, private, fast or all of the above requirements.
The traffic on Lightning is definitely highly unidirectional, which reflects the reality of a small network in which the receiver may not necessarily have a receiving address to send funds after receiving them. As the network grows, recipients will have more reasons to send the funds they receive back to the network. Moreover, even in a single direction, the sum of payments can still be a huge savings. If you buy an article on yalls.org and use the maximum protocol to limit the channel, you can execute more than 100,000 transactions even when the traffic is in one direction, before you return to the blockchain and use another channel to open the transaction.
I don't know when we will see mass adoption, which will be a great project outcome, but it depends on market adoption, so it is temporarily unpredictable.
There are many obstacles, but the main driver of adoption will be market demand. If using Lightning Network or developing Lightning Network is beneficial, then more people will use or develop Lightning Network. Finding out these business models and efficiencies is the job of the market, which requires investment and trial and error.
3. The development of Lightning Network has stagnated? Why does the total amount of bitcoin locked in the Lightning Network channel slow down?
Lightning network capacity statistics include only funds locked on public channels. More and more people are seeing people using private (unpublished) channels, especially those using mobile unmanaged wallets, and these funds won't show up in Lightning Web Browsers. I think this trend will be amplified in the future, and the growth of private / unpublished Lightning Networks will greatly exceed the growth of public / published Lightning Networks.
Lightning capital allocation is not growing as fast as before, for a number of reasons. The main reason is that in the past, one person added so much money to eclipse others, so even if other people are increasing funds, their increase is hidden behind one person.
Another reason for the slow growth is that, for security reasons, there are agreements restricting people from increasing their funds. As the software matures, these security restrictions can be relaxed, but so far, Lightning Network D has not relaxed any security restrictions.
Funding growth is not the goal of this system. In fact, we want as little capital as possible in the network, because the more capital, the greater the risk. Many technical improvements have been added to increase the delivery volume with less allocation of funds.
The Lightning Loop project I worked on in the Lightning Lab was actually designed to help remove funds from the Lightning Network . Merchants that allow funds to accumulate in the channel want to remove funds from high-risk lightning nodes and put them in low-risk cold wallets, and Lightning Loop is a service that helps this kind of transfer.
Finally, capital allocation in the Lightning Network must grow organically through market processes. Investing directly in the network without researching where the funds are needed will lead to an increase in total funds that would not be useful to the network or investors. The invested funds must be placed where they are needed. The main way to find out the funding needs is to first try limited funds, then increase where they are used and decrease where they are not.
4. Can the Lightning Network solve the Bitcoin network congestion problem?
The Lightning Network is designed to solve this problem, and as a nice side effect, it can also make payments immediately. If we want Bitcoin to be adopted on a large scale, then while maintaining the key characteristics of Bitcoin, expansion is undoubtedly one of the most pressing issues. Currently, Lightning Network is our best choice.
Lightning Network will bring great improvements, not only increasing overall throughput, but also speeding up payments ( "instant confirmation"). Will these enhancements meet the needs of Bitcoin? Time will tell, but if we maximize the Lightning Network, this is a good question to answer.
No, Lightning Network cannot completely replace blockchain. If you think the full utilization of blockchain space is a problem, then Lightning Network cannot solve this problem because it cannot replace all the functions of the blockchain, so it cannot replace all the traffic of the blockchain.
Instead, the Lightning Network can be used as a replacement for the blockchain for the types of transactions where traders can accept their differences. Therefore, if you want to transfer a small portion and the blockchain is too expensive, you can transfer the same amount of Bitcoin on the Lightning Network and pay a lower fee.
I think the way blockchain is designed will cause congestion, but I think a certain level of congestion is allowed. Blockchain is where everyone broadcasts their transactions to others. If there are too many people broadcasting at the same time, it is difficult to hear others or be heard.
What I want to see is that I don't want to see an unused abandoned blockchain. It's like a restaurant without people. I want to see a busy blockchain that is not too overloaded, like a restaurant with a few people.
Lightning Network is a payment solution for smaller value, so if you use Lightning Network, then you don't need to worry about such things when you are making payments.
Miners do not prioritize transactions with low fees. Users can choose to increase transaction fees to get their transactions ranked higher. Users with smaller UTXOs can choose the right time to wait for low fees. All transaction fees are spent for security. Miners collect these fees as a reward to provide a secure Bitcoin blockchain. Without these fees, the Bitcoin network would not attract so many miners to bring security, and Bitcoin would therefore become unsafe. Transaction congestion is a good thing because it means that miners are rewarded for PoW, which is good for Bitcoin users.
5. The Lightning Network provides a sustainable development solution for the expansion of the blockchain, and has also raised many questions: Will the Lightning Network form a new centralization?
The Lightning Network is unlikely to be centralized because anyone can start and run their own Lightning Network nodes. You can take a look at the distribution map of Lightning Network nodes and you can't see any signs of centralization. Some larger nodes have many channels, but the vast majority of nodes are interconnected in a decentralized manner.
Like everything with economies of scale, the Lightning Network will have a degree of centralization. This is the fact that there will be larger nodes and smaller nodes. There are two important things to consider:
-There are also factors that promote decentralization, such as the ability to protect nodes. It sets a limit, namely the size that a node can reach vs. the risk of being hacked;
-As a user, it doesn't matter if you have larger nodes (which may be reviewing you or controlled by someone you don't like), as long as you can bypass them. This is the main difference between Lightning Network payments and legacy on-chain payments.
There is a fundamental difference between the centralization of the Lightning Network (Lightning Network ) and other centralizations (such as mining). On the Lightning Network , you can always bypass nodes you don't like, which is not possible at the base layer. Economic incentives will lead to the emergence of large nodes and smaller nodes. What we need to ensure is that even if you are a small node operator, you can still easily use Lightning Network, which makes global review difficult.
Alex Bosworth: I don't know the future of Lightning Network, because it is a market process, so we cannot simulate its future. I can say that it may keep trust to a minimum because there are other more efficient and simpler ways to do the same thing as the Lightning Network.
I can say that because decentralization is a very good feature of the Lightning Network, people who work in open source usually try to help the Lightning Network by making it cheap and easy for anyone in the world to participate. Decentralize as much as possible. Because Lightning Routing requires funding allocation, it may be more centralized for higher value transmissions.
5. How do you think about the problem that "HTLC cannot really protect small payments across multiple channels, especially when the level of miner fees is high"?
Indeed, if the HTLC (payment) is too small (or too expensive) so that the corresponding output in a lightning commit transaction will be more expensive than the payment itself, trim it. I think this is reasonable. As a Lightning Network node, you can still choose not to forward / accept these HTLCs (remember , these payments cannot be made without Lightning Network ). I don't know what you mean by "double HTLC or probabilistic payment".
Samson: Judging from the current settings of the Lightning Network, very, very small payments may not be routed under certain circumstances. The Lightning Network was originally designed around 2015, when the price of Bitcoin was much lower than it is now. Therefore, at the time, these small payments that could not be paid were irrelevant. Now, as the price of Bitcoin has risen, these transactions have to pay relatively large amounts.
One way to alleviate this problem is to shift the value of payments from HTLC that cannot be chained to on-chain fees, so benefits and costs can be presented.
This has been deployed in the Lightning Protocol, but it is an ongoing issue. When on-chain is not the solution, there are more possible mitigation measures, such as probability payments or streaming very small values.
7. In addition to the centralized hosting wallet, does Lightning Network hope that users can still receive money when they are offline?
No, your node needs to be online to receive Lightning Network payments. But there are many tricks to solve your needs. E.g. If you are using a mobile wallet, you may receive an offline notification that the payment is in progress, please wake up the application to receive payment, and so on, and similar methods.
Samson: Research in this area is ongoing and it looks like it is indeed possible! It is important to note that the development of Lightning Network is continuing and it is still a very young technology. If you want something, the best way to achieve it is to develop, or hire a developer to develop it. There is still much to be done.
The Lightning Network is based on Bitcoin, which is based on the Internet. It can also work without an Internet connection, but fundamentally, you need to access the Internet to receive bits without trusting others currency.
There are many ideas on how to limit trust in others, one of which is the mailbox HTLC. This will allow the routing nodes to keep the payment you receive until you are online, but they will not be able to collect the payment for themselves. This has been created as a custom extension of the Lightning Network, but is not yet standard.
8. The first Lightning Network DEX Sparkswap was announced on March 17th. The reason is that there are not enough users? The concept of Lightning Network DEX is too early? What do you guys think?
We ( ACINQ) have not communicated the number of users, but in the past few months we have seen a huge increase in Lightning Network usage.
Alex Bosworth: I know their founder, Trey Griffith, and talked to him about his project before he founded the company. I think he did a good job in industry exploration, but not every exploration can get results, even if The exploration was perfect.
With Lightning Labs and Lightning Loop, we have not reached the goal of large-scale adoption. In order for us to grow into large-scale adoption, we need to start from the beginning and keep growing. The saying goes, "you can't eat fat with one bite" The use of our network and software does continue to grow. We are ready. This growth and development takes time, and the market is certainly small now.
I don't think Sparkswap is doing something too advanced, but their model is flawed. The Lightning Network is best suited for small transactions, so I don't think they can get considerable income from their own exchanges. In addition, the Lightning Network Wallet is online, so there is a risk of hot wallets, which also excludes the possibility of users trading a large amount of funds. The main problem with Lightning Network is user experience. However, many user experiences rely on specific new technologies to develop and adopt the Lightning Network , such as splicing (splicing can seamlessly switch between off-chain and on-chain bitcoins. You can open, close channels, and send on-chain with a transaction Bitcoin output.) And two-way funding channel. Once such technologies exist, the user experience will be greatly improved.
Will the Lightning Network become Bitcoin's DeFi?
The word "DeFi" is a bit vague and the definition is unclear, so it is difficult to determine what is or is not DeFi. The Lightning Network is detrusted and decentralized, and it does bring comprehensive solutions to problems that cannot be solved with the Bitcoin main chain. Liquid Network will also soon deploy the Simplicity smart contract language, which means that more innovative projects can be created with the same functionality as DeFi (that is, DeFi in our eyes). Buzzwords like "DeFi" don't matter, what's important is to create products that users need.
Alex Bosworth: I am not an expert in DeFi, but Lightning Network is a scalable protocol that can potentially cover almost all contracts that can be solved on the Bitcoin blockchain. This may include contracts signed or signaled by multiple parties, and the Lightning Network's basic agreement itself provides users with the ability to put funds into work by acting as routing nodes.
With the introduction of the Schnorr / Taproot soft fork, such applications will become easier to develop.
3. Regarding the crypto market, the market has fallen sharply recently. What do you think is the reason?
1. Why did the crypto market crash recently?
Falling prices are caused by panic, markets and over-leveraged traders. We see that this situation stopped after BitMEX stopped trading. The price of Bitcoin recovered after a while, but there is no reason why the price of Bitcoin is so low, so this rebound is inevitable. Money inflows always take time to get us back to normal. I think we should return to $ 10,000 when we halve in May this year.
Alex Bosworth: I think it is good that Bitcoin price is not restricted by other regulated markets, such as restricting short sales, blocking the market when prices fall, and ending transactions at a specific time.
Bitcoin is widely traded, has a diverse owner base, and the market is highly liquid, so I think price changes are a healthy reflection of real market dynamics. I believe that this decline accurately reflects the current demand for money supply. At this time, it is understandable that the market dynamics are rapidly changing, and this change seems to some extent from more speculative and more abundant capital. The type of investment is shifting to slower markets and economic reconstruction.
2. Are you Hodler?
Yes. The best thing is HODL.
Alex Bosworth: I believe that Bitcoin is a substitute for fiat currency, not a substitute for conventional investment, but I try to hold some Bitcoin as working capital and facilitate routing on my Lightning Node. I believe HODLing is the best and most fully developed use case we currently have for Bitcoin.
3. What is the market's next trend?
The attractiveness of the Liquid Network is growing. Currently 950 BTC has been peg-in the Liquid Network. Tether has issued USD16.5 million USDt on the Liquid Network. , And the BTSE exchange recently issued and raised platform coins on the Liquid Network. The Liquid Network is also developing rapidly, and the Simplicity smart contract programming language is an important part of it. Once Simplicity is deployed, we will start to see development work focused on interesting new projects that utilize complex smart contracts.
Alex Bosworth: I want to increase privacy as a major trend. One of the most important aspects of currency is that it is replaceable, and there is still much work to do to ensure this.
4. How to associate with Lightning Network? Why choose to work on the Lightning Network?
Blockstream was founded by early Bitcoin developers and Dr. Adam Back (inventor of Hashcash, the technology used in Bitcoin's PoW algorithm). Therefore, it is natural for us to choose Bitcoin. As for why the Lightning Network was chosen, it is because the Lightning Network is the only way to make Bitcoin available to retail businesses worldwide. We started investing in the research and development of Lightning Network in 2015 , so we have discovered its potential very early. One of our developers, Dr. Christian Decker, proposed the concept of the Lightning Network in a paper entitled "A Fast and Scalable Payment Network with Bitcoin Duplex Micropayment Channels". When the Lightning Network white paper was published, this paper was still undergoing peer review, so many people did not understand his contribution. The Lightning Network is the cheapest and fastest way to spend or receive Bitcoin, and it fits perfectly with everyday payments like buying lunch or coffee. Other products cannot compete with Lightning Network's retail payment capabilities.
Alex Bosworth: In 2016, I started working on Bitcoin and opened a new educational project called “The Residency” at Chaincode Labs. It takes a month to learn directly from Bitcoin core developers how to develop a Bitcoin protocol.
I started Lightning Network while I was working at BitGo, where we provide back-end support for Bitcoin exchanges and merchants. We can think of scalability as an issue with rising fees on the chain. I started to study how Lightning Network provides a solution for exchanges to enable them to transfer funds faster, more securely and cheaper.
5. How did you work during the epidemic? What impact did you have?
I'm in Canada and the outbreak is not well controlled. Health authorities in Canada are not very capable and the government is not well prepared. We don't have enough reagents to make testing difficult. Masks are difficult to buy, and the government does not provide them. There is no procedure for isolating cases or even treating suspected cases, it is only recommended to stay at home. In addition, we are following in the footsteps of the United States, so it is too late to close the border. Fortunately, however, our population density is not large, so R0 (Basic Infectious Index: refers to the situation where an infected person is infectious during the period when he is infectious without external intervention How many people can be transmitted on average.) Relatively low.
Blockstream is a distributed organization, so it has almost no impact on the progress of the project. I have been working from home during this time, and in fact, this is a good opportunity to change the rhythm. We also have some offices, but as a precaution, we have closed them for the health of our team members. We have an office in Milan, where the outbreak was more severe, but fortunately everyone at Blockstream is safe.
Our office is in Paris and there is only one team member in Italy. From two weeks ago, we all worked from home. The epidemic has little effect on our work, but having to stay home all the time will definitely affect personal life.
Alex Bosworth: A lot of the development of the Lightning Network has been done with people around the world, so it has not yet produced great changes. I used to work from home for a while and now I have been working from home. For me, everything is fine, but I expect things to get worse in the United States before they get better.
My biggest problem is that I have hearing problems, and the doctor can't help me right now because it's not a big problem. I have to wait until the medical resources are sufficient. In my opinion, the United States will have the largest number of deaths and new crowns. I don't think it is optimistic now, but I believe we will survive the crisis in time. I did go to Brazil for a Bitcoin conference in February this year , but since then I have been self-isolated. As far as the current work is concerned, Lightning Labs is already a remote working company, so it has not affected our development process too much.
Fourth, in the face of security, centralization and other issues, Satoshi Amoto has proposed "kill btc and build a new bitcoin." Is this really possible?
Today, the Lightning Network can be used for many use cases. However, we need to keep in mind that Lightning Network is still in beta testing and many different companies, including Blockstream, have been developing continuously. Most, if not all, of Lightning Network's current problems are already resolved and are coming. The Lightning Network is undoubtedly part of the rapid development in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Unlike on-chain improvements such as SegWit or Taproot, this new technology development does not need to wait for consensus.
Alex Bosworth: I like working for Lightning Network because I think it is a difficult challenge, which means we may not succeed. I don't think the Lightning Network is indispensable for Bitcoin. The Lightning Network is just a useful supplement. There are many similar goals to Lightning Network to achieve, and I believe to explore all these ideas, but there is a lot of motivation behind Lightning Network to make it from theory to practical application.
I want to warn people that many people will lie outside, tell people what they want to hear, and they will pretend to be simple ways to solve technical problems. I will pay more attention to long-term experts in this field to understand the limitations of technology and which solutions really have technological prospects. Ignore real-world problems because you don't want to understand what the experts are telling you is disaster.
Five Lightning Network Privacy Issues
1. Why do I hear that Lightning Network users still need Tor to further protect privacy? Is it possible that Tor will no longer be needed in the future? What help can rendezvous routing bring to privacy?
They do not run on the same layer. Last fall, there was another great talk on this at Lightning Network CONF @ Berlin. There are two main points:
-The key requirement for "true" privacy is the size of the anonymous set (the more people use it, the better). There are more people using Tor than using Lightning Network, so even if you are not anonymous on the Lightning Network layer, you may be anonymous on the Tor layer.
-The disadvantage of a dedicated / unpublished channel is that the node you are connected to will most likely know that you are the source / destination of payment for that channel. You cannot hide it from your companions, but you can use Tor to hide the IP address.
Collective routing allows payment to go through an intermediate node, and the payer and payee each calculate half of the route. This helps protect the privacy of the payee node.
Use Tor to wrap the data transmitted by the Lightning Network nodes and route these data to the Tor network. This can hide the source of the data, as well as the receiver (using a hidden service). The IP addresses of Lightning Network nodes are publicly visible, so if users have privacy awareness, Tor can be used to hide them. However, Lightning Network payments are routed through the Lightning Network in a similar way. Using Tor is very useful for maintaining the privacy of a node's IP address.
Rendezvous routing in Lightning Network can encrypt the private channel and add it to the global Lightning Network routing table, allowing the sender or receiver of the payment to retain their privacy.
The Lightning Network is a protocol that uses the regular Internet for communication. Because it is built on the ordinary Internet, any privacy issues will be passed on to Lightning Network . Tor is a tool that can be used to protect privacy, but there are other ways to build or use it. Tor is just a popular choice.
ND does not support Rendezvous Routing. This is not what we are studying, but it is a potential method to achieve what I just said: encrypt the final route to one node and redirect through another node. payment.
I'm not an expert in Tor, but Lightning Network D does support network connection hiding services to Lightning Network D nodes, which helps protect privacy.
2. Is it true that the "BOLT 11 invoice contains the node's public key, so it may cause privacy issues"?
I'm not sure what you mean. The public key of your Lightning Network node has similar advantages to a Bitcoin address. If you post a Lightning Network invoice on social media , everyone will know that this node ID is yours (but no one will know how much money you received, which is a key difference from regular Bitcoin addresses). You can also change the node ID by creating a new Lightning Web Wallet .
The public key of a node is a unique identifier. If you post your public key on a forum or social media, this only involves privacy issues. If you do this, then this public key can be linked to your forum / social media username, which may or may not be what you want.
Technically speaking, the BOLT11 invoice does not necessarily have a public key, but the public key can actually be recovered from the required BOLT11 signature.
If you receive payments through the Lightning Network without sending them, the public key can be a privacy issue, and this is where Lightning Network needs to improve. One possible solution is to encrypt the final path, including the final public key. There are other solutions and privacy issues that need to be addressed.
The future of Six Lightning Networks
1. How will Schnorr signature and Taproot / Graftroot affect Lightning Network?
This is an optimization (for example, we can have smaller messages and transactions). Schnorr will greatly benefit the Lightning Network . Taproot allows anonymity by allowing transactions on the Lightning Network chain (channel opening / closing) to be distinguished from "normal" transactions. Schnorr can make many improvements to the Lightning Network (path decorrelation for better privacy, cancelable payments, etc.)
Taproot / Graftroot will make Lightning Network channel switch transactions exactly the same as other transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. This means that users can be more private when using the Lightning Network , which is conducive to Bitcoin's fungibility. This will benefit the Lightning Network , as it will make the on / off transactions of the channels on the chain look the same as non-Lightning Network transactions. This can make Lightning Network more privacy, and overall improve the interchangeability of Bitcoin.
Alex Bosworth: I generally support this proposal, and I think there is always room for improvement. It will fix some of the mistakes made by SegWit, which shows that nothing is perfect. It will benefit Lightning Network, but only in a limited way, without the key features of Lightning Network or a necessary future feature relying on Schnorr / Taproot.
I don't think Schnorr / Taproot will have a huge impact on Lightning Network , but it will make things more efficient and private. Since it is easier to implement signature aggregation using Schnorr, less on-chain space is required for channel closure and it is more difficult to identify them as channels.
The Lightning Network can also use Schnorr signatures more widely in the internal protocol itself to obtain some of the efficiency of the point-to-point Lightning Protocol, which does not require soft forks, but these improvements are yet to be developed.
2. At present, many Chinese exchange wallets do not integrate Lightning Network. Do you have related marketing plans in the future, such as Lightning Network btc recharge, etc.? How is the development environment on Lightning Network now, and how to build the corresponding application ecology? What is the development plan of Lightning Network in the next few years?
In the past few months, we have seen the latest developments in exchanges that support Lightning Network : Bitstamp, BitMEX, Bitfinex … this is arguably because these are all important profit-oriented participants in Bitcoin, which means They are betting that the Lightning Network is the future of Bitcoin. As for wallets, there are more and more Lightning Network Wallets now, and as developers can use more and more tools and libraries (such as Lightning Network Development Tools through Square Crypto, etc.), the list of members supporting Lightning Network may Will grow bigger.
We do have plans to add the Lightning Network to our wallet, Blockstream Green. Our Lightning Network client c-lightning is very easy to develop applications due to its plugin-based architecture and modular design. Next year Lightning Network will focus on privacy. In the next few years, we can look forward to Eltoo Lightning, a massively improved lightning network design without punitive measures.
Alex Bosworth: I discussed Lightning Network with Chinese exchanges and wallets . I know Cobo Wallet supports Lightning Network. I think it's more of a user requesting access to Lightning Network, and then developers and exchanges support it. We recently implemented the Lightning Network D's integrated Lightning Network with Lightning Network D. They are one of the largest exchanges in the world and are headquartered in Hong Kong.
Developing in Lightning Network is much easier than developing on Bitcoin or other chains, because you only need to wait for a block to get instant feedback. Don't worry about multiple confirmations.
I have released an open source MIT licensed node.js library for building applications on Lightning Network and built some of my own applications. I think this is a good environment for building applications in the next few years Lightning Network D will open up more options for developers in the next year or two.
3. If the currency price does not go up after halving, will the miner's fee decrease threaten the system security of the Bitcoin network? What will Lightning Network do in this regard? For example, will you consider subsidizing a portion of the fee income to miners?
I think the problem has nothing to do with Lightning Network . If the miners are not profitable, they will stop mining and the mining difficulty will be reduced, thereby benefiting the remaining miners.
Lightning network transactions are off-chain, and miners will only charge fees for opening and closing transactions on the on-chain channel. Therefore, it is unlikely that the Lightning Network will provide much compensation to miners. If the price of Bitcoin does not rise, inefficient miners will temporarily shut down. Blockstream's mining business has low power and operating costs, and we can last longer than most miners and become the last survivors. However, I don't think we should worry too much in this regard, because it is very likely that the price of Bitcoin will continue to rise, so that block rewards will always ensure that Bitcoin mining is profitable. There has also been continuous progress in Asic R & D.
Alex Bosworth: I don't think the price will necessarily increase after halving, which does mean that the security of confirmation will be reduced.
Technically, it is not right for them to charge less fees. They should charge the same amount of transaction fees, but the subsidy amount of the new currency should decrease.
One thing I'm doing with Lightning Loop is to make it easier for people with Lightning funds to send to people on the blockchain by creating a bridge to the blockchain, making the blockchain pair have Lightning balances People are more useful.
In the case of lower on-chain security, Lightning can also help provide more security. Normally, if the security on the chain is low, you will wait for more confirmation time. If you have a lightning channel, you can wait longer to confirm, but after that, you can send without waiting for the block.
4. Regarding on-chain transactions, is Lightning Network just a transition solution? Finally, the problem of transaction capacity still needs to be solved by cross-chain? What are the advantages of Lightning Network compared to cross-chain technology?
For small payments, Lightning Network is a long-term alternative to on-chain transactions. Lightning networks can make cross-chain payments, but I don't think they are useful for overall capacity. Cross-chain payments are feasible in the Lightning Network , but I'm not sure if they are useful. I must not be the only one with this idea, because few people seem to be working on it.
The Lightning Network is a long-term solution that uses Bitcoin as a means of retail payment. Large payments will still be made on the chain, as Lightning Web Wallet requires routing and has limited capacity. In addition, the Lightning Web Wallet is a hot wallet (online), so you definitely don't want to take a lot of Bitcoin with you. The Lightning Network Wallet can be understood as such: it is a wallet that you carry with you to spend. You may store most of your cash in your bank, which is your Bitcoin wallet.
If you are referring to cross-chain between Bitcoin and other blockchains, the answer is no. We can have multiple sidechains connected to Bitcoin -for example, the Liquid Network. The Liquid Network is designed for transfers between exchanges, but you can also use it for large payments. And, most importantly, you can add Lightning Network to the Liquid Network ! With Liquid Network, you can issue assets, such as USDt, and these assets can have their own Lightning Network, which can make almost free transactions instantly.
The advantage of Lightning Network is that it is not limited by consensus on the chain. This means that the lightning network is developing very quickly. As a result, many exciting new technologies are being developed around the Lightning Network. Competitors must wait for consensus to be added before adding new technology, which means that overall development is slower than Lightning Network.
Alex Bosworth: I developed something called Crossmarine Swaps for cross-chain transactions . This technique allows you to use other chains to fill or unload your Lightning Channel.
Lightning is definitely not the only solution to provide a blockchain alternative. I do hope there are more solutions, but Lightning is by far the most mature and adopted solution, and I don't expect it to disappear anytime soon.
Lightning is a cross-chain solution that can run across multiple types of systems. I think this is its biggest advantage. Anything can connect with Lightning Network.
The utility of a network system increases as it grows. A phone is not very useful if only a few people have it. If almost everyone has a phone, then the phone becomes a universal demand.
For this reason, I believe Lightning's winning strategy is to interact with as many users as possible, regardless of the system they use.
5. Previous papers stated that by using less than 0.5 bitcoin, the liquidity of most Lightning Networks can be locked, thereby destroying the Lightning Network . Is there any solution?
The capacity lock-in attack is real and has been around for a long time, and it can only be solved by some kind of prepayment mechanism. The paper claims that it can be processed with 0.5 BTC, but has been widely exaggerated.
Alex Bosworth: Every system is under attack, and most of Bitcoin's early work was developed to shut down denial of service issues. Blockchain still has many unresolved privacy, security, and service availability issues, even if all the work has been done to ensure it.
In fact, articles about its potential problems bode well for the security of Lightning Network. The strength of popular open source protocols is that researchers from around the world can assess weaknesses, come up with solutions, and help prioritize the most important issues. Because every system has problems, if you don't see the files and hear the problems, this may mean they still exist, but just haven't been resolved.
With lightning, our main line of defense is the blockchain. BOLT 11 Lightning invoices have an alternate address that lists an on-chain address or multiple addresses as a replacement for Lightning. If you can't use lightning payment, you can use blockchain instead. We are also studying how to spend the Lightning Fund on the chain, such as Lightning Loop and channel stitching.
The second major defense is that we have a built-in method to require micropayments. Because the system is designed for privacy, it is difficult to write software to distinguish between those who attack the system and many who use the system legally. If there is too much activity, a potential DoS mitigation may be to require small payments for overuse.
Not all developments are made to solve these problems, which makes sense, because if the use of Lightning is restricted due to other problems , then the Lightning Network has no bulletproof meaning.
This is something we often consider when working on Lightning Network D. Generally speaking, each version will become more resilient to attacks, but there is still a long way to go.
Under the global epidemic, how will cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin go?
Bitcoin was born at the time of the economic crisis in 2009. Now the global economy is in crisis again. Is this similar to the financial crisis in 2008? This time, Bitcoin failed to get out of the independent market, but instead followed the fluctuations of US stocks. Where does its advantage compare to the traditional financial system?
This time is different. We encountered the financial crisis in 2008, but this economic crisis was caused by a number of reasons, including a major black swan incident: the new crown virus. Factories around the world are closed and people don't buy much. The market needs cash, so they have to sell everything they can, including BTC. However, the price of bitcoin has not fallen as much (not as much as the stock), which means that many people still believe in bitcoin because bitcoin may be the only currency that can counter the horrendous inflation we now face .
In addition, we also see that Bitcoin is now decoupled from the traditional market. Prices are returning to $ 7,000, and despite trillions of dollars of liquidity being injected, the stock market remains sluggish. It's only 48 days before Bitcoin halved. When fiat currencies print trillions of dollars at a time, Bitcoin's inflation rate will fall by 1.8%. There is no better asset than Bitcoin.
I think our environment may be worse than in 2008. Central banks in Europe and the United States have both announced trillion-dollar bailout policies, and we are waiting for the People's Bank of China's move, but it may be similar. I don't think this will eventually become a savings tax, it will only increase the value proposition of Bitcoin. Short-term price fluctuations may be due to other factors (panic, liquidity demand). We will see this happen in the coming months, but I would be surprised if the price of Bitcoin could not benefit from all of them.
Alex Bosworth: I think the situation in financial markets is still very similar, although some financial institutions have made direct changes to the direct cause of the 2008 financial crisis. I'm not an expert in equities or financial institutions, but I don't agree with the argument that Bitcoin follows the stock market. In the past 5 years, the US stock market has increased by about 5% in non-adjusted U.S. dollars, and Bitcoin has increased by about 2,000%, so I don't think the correlation between them is very precise.
I don't believe that Bitcoin can replace traditional markets. Bitcoin trading is more like a zero-sum game, just like trading any commodity. In my opinion, bitcoin as an investment is more similar to cash, but more advantageous because it lacks the inherent cost of permanent inflation, and it lacks the boundary limits inherent to any particular fiat currency.