We are back for the second installment of JNA. A place where Lightning Junkies can share what we are doing, what we find interesting, and some media we have produced.The last two episodes of the podcast have been fairly critical of the Lightning Network.
We don't do this because we dislike Lightning, we do it because we are fans of intellectual honesty and avoiding things like blind faith.
We had our second Lightning Sucks episode with Shinobi. This time we got Elias Rohrer to talk about his paper on timing analysis attacks. Which is essentially being able to correlate nodes on the Lightning Network based upon their latency. This is very simplistic and I encourage you to listen to the podcast then read the paper that Elias co-authored.
This is the second time that Shinobi has been on the show and been on an episode dubbed "Lightning Sucks." The title is a bit of a troll, me trying to have fun, and a bit of an expression of my insecurity around my lack of understanding around these technologies. The Lightning Sucks series is not over at episode two. We hope to continue having open conversations about the possible downsides of the Lightning Network.
The big takeaway here is that everything has tradeoffs and weaknesses. Become familiar with them and endeavor to be intellectually honest.
Fee Blackmail Attacks
Earlier today we released an episode with Rene Pickhardt in which we talked about the fee blackmail attack he wrote about on the Lightning mailing list. This is a much more serious episode than the previous. Not steeped in trolling, we had a more straightforward conversation.
Fee blackmail attacks are when a malicious party can force someone to lose Bitcoin by attempting to force them to close the channel during high-chain fee events. There is a similar attack called Flood and Loot that would allow miners to possibly profit off of such an attack. This fee blackmail attack is more about a jerk.
The big takeaway here is that picking a channel counterparty is not something that should be taken lightly.
Currently in Lightning
Both LND and c-lightning current client releases have support for MPP aka multipart payments. This is a big deal for increasing the liquidity of the Lightning Network and increasing the chances any particular payment might succeed. This affects those that run their own nodes and their ability to make successful payments. Or otherwise route more payments as a routing node. Alex even touches on the removal of channel and payment limits coming. The foundations are being laid to support far more economic activity than today.
Video of the Month
This month we have another video of Bitcoin Rally gameplay footage. Bitcoin Rally is a Mario Kart clone. In the game you race around the track, collecting satoshis and powerups. Spectators can even pay some sats to throw a powerup onto the track! In this video, Chaz gives some colorful commentary and erratic body movements that will be sure to thrill.
Boom. That was the second edition of JNA.
What did you think?
Did you learn anything?
Be sure to contact us on Twitter if you did or if you have any other feedback!