myths and misconceptions about the payment channel network

myths and misconceptions about the payment channel network
Key facts:
  • Lightning is not an independent network of its own, as some mistakenly think.

  • Bitcoin is Lightning”, explain specialist bitcoiners on the subject.

The terminology of the Lightning network has made some of its users and enthusiasts think that this solution is separate and totally independent of Bitcoin.

While it is a network in the sense that it facilitates peer-to-peer commissioning, it is not a parallel network or that it has its own cryptocurrency or native token, as well as its blockchain or decentralized record of transactions.

In fact, the first version of the white paper of Lightning states that “the transfer of value occurs outside of a blockchain.” Thus, Lightning instead uses the gossip-protocol or the gossip protocol [chisme, en inglés], which basically allows the parties to communicate how many bitcoins each has at a given time.

Many people come to think that what is used in Lightning are virtual bitcoins, or lies, when Nothing could be further from the truth. Lightning is Bitcoin.

Lighting is Bitcoin: this is what the specialists say

Nicholas Bourbon.

Last Thursday, June 23, several bitcoiners met to discuss this issue, in the Twitter space of the Bitcoin Escala community. The space had the participation of notable bitcoiners such as Nico Bourbonni, from the developer team of Muun Wallet; Dulce Villarreal, creator of the educational program La Librería de Satoshi; as well as the podcaster and popularizer Lunaticoin. All agreed not to conceptually separate Bitcoin from Lightning.

In short, they argued that Lightning channels are made up of 2 users, who create a Bitcoin transaction by joining their signatures (multisignature) to establish how many satoshis (fractions of BTC) can be sent or received on said channel, so there is no way Bitcoin and Lightning are different things.

“There is an idea or feeling that in Lightning bitcoins ‘travel’, but in reality they don’t travel at all,” said Nicolás Bourbon. “Everyone is updating the balance and there is the feeling that 1 bitcoin was transported. It is an illusion that is generated with this that it is a network, but in essence it is something boring: maintaining a multi-signature between people who request to update their statuses and that generates the final balance of the network », he explained.

Analogies about Lightning and Bitcoin as account systems

myths and misconceptions about the payment channel network
Diana Gomez.

“For me, the relationship between Bitcoin and Lightning is a bit like the one between the grocer’s ledger and the credit card that the grocer opens with different neighbors and different clients,” said bitcoiner Daiana Gómez Benegas.

One thing is what the grocer consolidates, where his real stock goes, where his holdings go, and another thing is the channels that he opens for accounts with different users, who unlimitedly exchange the balances that they predetermined until he decides to consolidate it in the book. elderly.

Diana Gomez.

Gomez made the observation that Lightning is a very valid way to scale Bitcoin and it could be provisional, but it makes the dream of making micropayments with bitcoin (BTC) a reality.

Read:  Lemon Cash Announces Lightning Network Enablement for Bitcoin Transactions

Dulce Villarreal used an analogy that compares Bitcoin and Lightning to a kind of message box, differentiating it from other account systems such as traditional financial and even other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.

“SWIFT is an account system where you consolidate, Ethereum is an account system. Bitcoin handles UTXOs»said.

myths and misconceptions about the payment channel network
Sweet Villarreal.

Let’s say that we have our keys and these UTXOs are in a box like the one at the post office where the letters arrive. So, when you have the keys to that mail that is your wallet, you are the owner of that mail,

Just imagine that, like Lightning Network, you send an envelope through a payment channel and it arrives at his box where he has that key: that person already owns that letter.

Bitcoin is not a system of accounts like the traditional banking system […]then, it is not that you have 1 BTC per se, you have the keys to that encrypted money as if it were a box with information and you have the right or ownership of that little box that is worth money.

Dulce Villarreal, developer of Bitcoin and Lightning.

“When you do a good study on how a payment channel works, you understand Bitcoin scripts and the basics of Bitcoin, it becomes super clear [que Lightning es Bitcoin]That’s why I think it’s important to get into the technical part,” Dulce Villarreal emphasized.

At the end of the space, the podcaster and popularizer Lunaticoin also intervened, to leave his opinion with the didactic and easy-to-understand style that characterizes him.

«Lightning is so boring really, it’s so simple that it’s insulting. It’s a simple multisignature between two people and all you do is update how that multisignature is going to be undone. So how is it not going to be Bitcoin? It’s pure Bitcoin”Lunaticoin said.

The podcaster gave the opinion that “Lightning is different from a sidechain” or Bitcoin side chain, where “you would have to ask a federation for permission” to recover your funds after the closure of a channel.

It is possible that Bitcoin Escala will organize a second day to dispel myths about Lightning, including that of centralization, which has been warned in the past by specialized voices, as we have reported in CriptoNoticias.