Yes. You pick a peer and after some setup, create a bitcoin transaction to fund the lightning channel; it’ll then take another transaction to close it and release your funds. You and your peer always hold a bitcoin transaction to get your funds whenever you want: just broadcast to the blockchain like normal. In other words, you and your peer create a shared account, and then use Lightning to securely negotiate who gets how much from that shared account, without waiting for the bitcoin blockchain.
Yes, Lightning is open source. Anyone can review the code (in the same way as the bitcoin code)
Similar to the bitcoin network, no one will ever own or control the Lightning Network. The code is open source and free for anyone to download and review. Anyone can run a node and be part of the network.
No, your bitcoin will never leave the blockchain. Instead your bitcoin will be held in a multi-signature address as long as your channel stays open. When the channel is closed; the final transaction will be added to the blockchain. “Off-chain” is not a perfect term, but it is used due to the fact that the transfer of ownership is no longer reflected on the blockchain until the channel is closed.
Example: A and B have a channel. 1 BTC each. A sends B 0.5 BTC. B sends back 0.25 BTC. Balance should be A = 0.75, B = 1.25. If A gets disconnected, B can publish the first Tx where the balance was A = 0.5 and B = 1.5. If the node B does in fact attempt to cheat by publishing an old state (such as the A=0.5 and B=1.5 state), this cheat can then be detected on-chain and used to steal the cheaters funds, i.e., A can see the closing transaction, notice it's an old one and grab all funds in the channel (A=2, B=0). The time that A has in order to react to the cheating counterparty is given by the CheckLockTimeVerify (CLTV) in the cheating transaction, which is adjustable. So if A foresees that it'll be able to check in about once every 24 hours it'll require that the CLTV is at least that large, if it's once a week then that's fine too. You definitely do not need to be online and watching the chain 24/7, just make sure to check in once in a while before the CLTV expires. Alternatively you can outsource the watch duties, in order to keep the CLTV timeouts low. This can be achieved both with trusted third parties or untrusted ones (watchtowers). In the case of a unilateral close, e.g., you just go offline and never come back, the other endpoint will have to wait for that timeout to expire to get its funds back. So peers might not accept channels with extremely high CLTV timeouts. -- Source
Tiny payments are possible: since fees are proportional to the payment amount, you can pay a fraction of a cent; accounting is even done in thousandths of a satoshi. Payments are settled instantly: the money is sent in the time it takes to cross the network to your destination and back, typically a fraction of a second.
Yes, but not in theory. You could make a poorer lightning network without it, which has higher risks when establishing channels (you might have to wait a month if things go wrong!), has limited channel lifetime, longer minimum payment expiry times on each hop, is less efficient and has less robust outsourcing. The entire spec as written today assumes segregated witness, as it solves all these problems.
No, for now. For the first version of the protocol, if you wanted to send a normal bitcoin transaction using your channel, you have to close it, send the funds, then reopen the channel (3 transactions). In future versions, you and your peer would agree to spend out of your lightning channel funds just like a normal bitcoin payment, allowing you to use your lightning wallet like a normal bitcoin wallet.
Not really. Anyone can set up a node, and so it’s a race to the bottom on fees. In practice, we may see the network use a nominal fee and not change very much, which only provides an incremental incentive to route on a node you’re going to use yourself, and not enough to run one merely for fees. Having clients use criteria other than fees (e.g. randomness, diversity) in route selection will also help this.
Lightning is already being tested on the Mainnet Twitter Link but as for a specific date, Jameson Lopp says it best
Nope, because there is no custody ever involved. It's just like forwarding packets. -- Source
Furthermore, the Lightning Network scales not with the transaction throughput of the underlying blockchain, but with modern data processing and latency limits - payments can be made nearly as quickly as packets can be sent. -- Source
Each exchange will get to decide and need to implement the software into their system, but some ideas have been outlined here: Google Doc - Lightning Exchanges
Note that by virtue of the usual benefits of cost-less, instantaneous transactions, lightning will make arbitrage between exchanges much more efficient and thus lead to consistent pricing across exchange that adopt it. -- Source
According to Rusty's calculations we should be able to store 1 million nodes in about 100 MB, so that should work even for mobile phones. Beyond that we have some proposals ready to lighten the load on endpoints, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. -- Source
No you'd remember the information from the last time you started the app and only sync the differences. This is not yet implemented, but it shouldn't be too hard to get a preliminary protocol working if that turns out to be a problem. -- Source
Lightning is based on participants in the network running lightning node software that enables them to interact with other nodes. This does not require being a full bitcoin node, but you will have to run "lnd", "eclair", or one of the other node softwares listed above.
All lightning wallets have node software integrated into them, because that is necessary to create payment channels and conduct payments on the network, but you can also intentionally run lnd or similar for public benefit - e.g. you can hold open payment channels or channels with higher volume, than you need for your own transactions. You would be compensated in modest fees by those who transact across your node with multi-hop payments. -- Source
Sure, you can help write up educational material. You can learn and read more about the tech at http://dev.lightning.community/resources. You can test the various desktop and mobile apps out there (Lightning Desktop, Zap, Eclair apps). -- Source
No -- Source
lit doesn't depend on having your own full node -- it automatically connects to full nodes on the network. -- Source
LND uses a light client mode, so it doesn't require a full node. The name of the light client it uses is called neutrino
Upon opening a channel, the two endpoints first agree on a reserve value, below which the channel balance may not drop. This is to make sure that both endpoints always have some skin in the game as rustyreddit puts it :-)
For a cheat to become worth it, the opponent has to be absolutely sure that you cannot retaliate against him during the timeout. So he has to make sure you never ever get network connectivity during that time. Having someone else also watching for channel closures and notifying you, or releasing a canned retaliation, makes this even harder for the attacker. This is because if he misjudged you being truly offline you can retaliate by grabbing all of its funds. Spotty connections, DDoS, and similar will not provide the attacker the necessary guarantees to make cheating worthwhile. Any form of uncertainty about your online status acts as a deterrent to the other endpoint. -- Source
You typically want to have more than one channel open at any given time for redundancy's sake. And we imagine open and close will probably be automated for the most part. In fact we already have a feature in LND called autopilot that can automatically open channels for a user.
Frequency will depend whether the funds are needed on-chain or more useful on LN. -- Source
You don't really set up a "node" in the sense that anyone with more than one channel can automatically be a node and route payments. Fees on LN can be set by the node, and can change dynamically on the network. -- Source
Yes but it has to be implemented in the Lightning software being used. -- Source
You won't have to do anything. With autopilot enabled, it'll automatically open and close channels based on the availability of the network. -- Source
The LN depends on bidirectional payment channels (BPCs) , which are not secure. Someone who pays you through a BPC may be able to reverse his recent payments before closing the channel.Right out of the box, no. They can't do that. Not without risking their entire stake in the channel. So if Bob, the malicious actor, pays Alice and then Bob decides to reverse the transaction, Alice has the chance to take all of the money including Bobs. So basically if Bob takes no action, he assumes no risk, if he takes action his risk is potentially greater than his reward. That's why this is a failure mode. The success of the network relies on the fact that there is no incentive to enter this mode, and every incentive to avoid it. But does that mean there will be zero failures, no, but Bob would be a lot more likely to succeed by taking his money to Vegas and he would have more fun there.
One problem with this idea is that either party could cheat the other by sending to the miners, instead of the last cheque T[n], some earlier cheque T[i] that had a more favorable balance to hehim. In particular, the sender of the most recent payment T[k] can send the previous cheque T[k-1] to the miners, canceling that payment. The "solution" that has been offered to this problem is that each cheque T[k] has a time lock that delays the actual release of the balances to the two parties for a couple of days. After each cheque T[k] is exchanged, each of the two parties also receives a special "punishment" cheque P[k]. This transaction is effective only if the previous cheque T[k-1] has been confirmed, but its time-lock has not expired yet; and it sends all the NA+NB coins to the wronged party, without waiting for the time lock.So this part isn't explained well. What is really happening here is in order to extend the life of a payment channel there needs to be a mechanism to change the direction of the channel so that money can flow both ways. Every time the channel changes direction it enters a new state and the players give each other a key that allows them to take all of the money IF their counterpart attempts to use a transaction from the earlier state of the channel.
So, the idea goes, Alice can deter and correct such fraud attempts from Bob by saving the transactions P, P, ... P[n], checking the blockchain at least once a day or so, and sending the appropriate P[k] to the miners as soon as she sees a stale cheque T[k-1] being confirmed.When he says Alice, he means a full node connected to the network. The node is reading each new block and looking for transactions which are pertinent to it. In particular if she sees Bob attempt to use a transaction from one of the earlier states of the channel, then Alice is now able to take all of the money using her key. There is some risk here to Alice, if she goes offline or can't get that transaction into a block, but Bob is taking an even bigger risk. So in practice Bob has a huge incentive to never let those old transactions see the light of day.
There are of course many things that can go wrong with this idea. So it is not really a solution, but a "hacker's solution": a trick, preferably convoluted, that may achieve the desired result in some cases, and can be blamed on the "luser" when it doesn't.Basically I've concluded that any time someone uses game theory or incentives to build a system Jorge refers to that a "hacker trick". He of course has no alternative to such "tricks" other than I expect "using a bank" but lets continue.
And there are other problems. For one thing, until the channel is closed, there is no record anywhere of all the checks that were exchanged though it.Ok, the record is in the computers that we are calling Alice and Bob.
Thus, if Alice loses her LN wallet, she cannot reconstruct it from some master key and some public source (as she can do with ordinary bitcoin payments).Ok so I'm assuming you mean that Alice could lose all of the money in her LN account if she looses her phone and Bob is malicious. In practice phones are not likely to be used for bidirectional payments, they don't have enough connectivity. (for mono-directional payments they do.) In any case she should limit the funds stored in her phone regardless. Bitcoin is like cash and so is LN.
The "network" is supposed to use a chain of two or more BPCs to execute a payment between any two users that are not directly connected by a BPC. Say, Alice wants to pay 2 BTC to Eric, through the path Alice Bob Carol Dave Eric. The four payments are negotiated by the 5 users and cryptomagically linked so that, in the end, either they all happen (that is, all users get valid cheques for their respective channels) or all fail.This is true, but the phrase cryptomagically linked is disingenuous. No one in the chain has the ability to steal the money because they lack a key that only the person further down the chain will have. There is no a potential cascading failure here and no magic.
Since the intermediate users (Bob, Carol and Dave) will charge fees for their service, either Alice has to pay more than 2 BTC, or Eric receives less than 2 BTC, or both. Thus the four cheques will have slightly decreasing amounts, and the middlemen receive a little more than they send through the next BPC. Each of those 4 cheques will have its own punishment transactions, and, in general, all 5 nodes will have to watch the blockchain for the previous cheque on each of his path channels (in addition to all the previous stale cheques) .Again this is confused. Each channel in the network is maintaining it's relationships independently. A transaction passing down the chain does not increase this burden.
That brings up the Watchers issue. Since one cannot assume that every user will be able to scan the blockchain every day, it was proposed that the task could be delegated to some Watcher service that would do that for a fee.But we aren't assuming that. We aren't even assuming that end users will use bidirectional channels.
Since a BPC must be used used for at least tens of payments, on average (otherwise the LN would not be a "scaling solution" at all), it must remain open for months. But the Watcher will have to keep watch for each stale cheque associated with each client's BPC, as long as the BPC remains open -- even if the channel has been idle fro months. Originally it was assumed that the Watcher could be paid by a fraction of the confiscated coins, whenever he detects a fraud and sends the punishment transaction to the miners. Thus those services were originally called "Bounty Hunters".I don't even think that this idea has any traction so it's not the solution to the problem rather than something someone once proposed. The solution is to select the appropriate type of channel based on the connectivity, uptime, and staking amount of the participants. Bidirectional channels are "live" and requires continuous connectivity and monitoring from participants. Monodirectional channels allow one participant to be passive. What this means is that it limits the types of devices and connections that can participate in bidirectional payments but not in the network as a whole.
Then there is the issue of finding the payment routes. The only case when that problem is solved is when the "network" is just one huge central bank hub with one channel to each user. But this solution is just an inefficient PayPal with some formidable financial problems thrown in. If that topology is excluded, each user will need to create at least half a dozen BPCs in order to ensure reasonable connectivity of the network. So each LN user would have to split his coins among half a dozen BPCs and keep them locked there for months.Ok, when the coins are "locked in" in a BPC they are spendable and they are useful for routing payments that's THE WHOLE POINT. Likewise it storing coins in multiple BPCs doesn't affect how payments can be combined from them. Likewise if the node you share a BPC with is not malicious, it will just close the channel upon request. This is again an example of claiming a failure mode is normal.
Even so, the typical path will have half a dozen hops. Then there is a need for a router, some service that will find a suitable path given its two end users. The max amount that can be sent through a BPC from Alice to Bob is the clearance C = NA-Q, where NA is the amount initially locked by Alice and Q is the net payment (positive or negative) already sent through that channel in that direction. The max amount that can be sent through a path is the smallest among the clearances of its channels. Thus the router must know the current clearances of all the channels that he may use in his paths. Thus he too must somehow promptly receive information about every LN payment exchanged through those channels, since each payment changes the clearance. And the router must also know which nodes are on-line and willing to relay payments (since all nodes in a path must negotiate the multi-hop payment) and what fees each relay charges. Because of that need, no one knows how to implement a routing service that will work for 10 million users, each making several multi-hop payments ṕer day on average, with each payment requiring half a dozen BPC payments. Not even if the router service is centralized, much less if it is to be decentralized.This just isn't true. What Jorge is basically stating is that there is no way to instantly calculate a globally optimal solution without complete knowledge of the instantaneous state of the system. He should know already that no one is attempting to do that, what they are attempting to do is create a metahueristic or stochastic solution that finds as large a set of sufficient paths as possible and picks the best among them. So think of how a colony of insects organizes itself for example, each local actor has limited knowledge but collectively they create a desired outcome.
Can you explain a bit about the mesh net? Is it just an mpls network between nodes or is there something deeper going on?It is not actually a meshnet. It is software defined networking, it is much more powerful than just meshnet. Its a new type of networking and new completely new protocol and networking namespace, independent of the existing internet.
are those coins that are not in circulation in any cold wallets since only a portion is currently available according to CMC?The coins are locked into 100 addresses, each with 1 million coins each. And they are released sequentially.
How does the Network consensus algorithm Obelisk work and differ from widely known algorithms like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake?PoS and PoW use miners. Miners receive new coins every block as a block reward. So miners are making money and will fight to control the network. An everyone will suffer because the newly created coins represent inflation.
nxt i think is doing ok..There were three people that each owned 30% of the coin. One decided he wanted out and began dumping. NXT was over 150 million I think. When he started dumping, it basicly killed NXT.
What will be the actual function of Skycoin (the coin itself)? Will the coin be used as currency, as transfer of value in and between all these various developing functionalities, semi-separate projects to tie them all together or it's function will be more limited?Yes. Bitcoin has no purpose. An altcoin does two things - check your balance - send money to other people
nxt is a newer platform than sky, market value is $220 million plus $166 million, I get what you are saying but the evidence is wrong. Community is huge and active in Nxt. But you say it is killed, i dont get it?What I am saying, is that NXT would be a lot further along than it is now and probably around where Ethereum is, except for that mistake in the distribution and keeping it too concentrated. It set them back by years. They did not consider what the impact on the price would be, over the long term, when one of the early whales started selling off or decided he wanted out.
So the skycoin wallet will be a VPN for our internet usage?The VPN is just one application, that uses bandwidth over Skywire. There are several things in development.
So if there is no block reward what is the incentive to run a node?running a consensus node does not cost anything. You can run it on a raspberry pi.
So Skycoin is a Proof of Resource coin where its value is actually backed by provision of a useful service, in this case private and secure networking? Are there plans to add decentralized storage and even distributed processing to it?We have decentralized storage, which is called CXO. But only the bandwidth is monetized by Skywire. We do not nickle and dime and try to attach a coin cost to every API call. Everything that should be free is free. So its a different philosphy.
so these 100 separate million coin accounts will be 100 ICOs or how is the distribution patterned? is it written into the code or up to the devs?We will have a distribution page, up on the website soon. Its complicated.
Is it possible for Skycoin to choose the best paths and route around bad or slow nodes as damage to the networkYes. This is very important.
on your website it says you will have a NON- Turing complete lisp language?That is probably an error. LOL. We will have a new website soon.
Will Skycoin still have the node subsidy plan for setting up and registering the mesh nodes like originally planned?Yes. We are going to get from 20% to 30% distributno of the coins, through network incentives for people running Skywire nodes, consensus nodes and services.
I read how you suggest Skycoin could be used for VPN connections, is this the largest use case you see?No. This is just something easy, that we have working. Its not the largest applicatoin at all.
Maidsafe has been working on the redesign of the net for about ten years, what are you doing the same and what different?Maidsafe is in version 2 or 3. Maidsafe will not have a real coin until version 9. Each version takes them about two or three years. Maidsafe will not be "done" or ready for atleast 18 years at this rate.
Are you a corporation or foundation or charity? Registered? I am not sure i have seen anything about who you are? What is the dev team size? Background?I think there are over ~60 people who have worked on Skycoin or have made major contributions. Its really a project from the darknet.
I see Skycoin as essentially replacing TCP/IP and providing mesh network type functionality at the hardware level, Ark would run on top of it as a top level application layer.Yes. The key functionality is two things - connecting to people by public key (networking) - distributing self validating, immutble data peer to peer (transactions, blocks etc... content addressible storage)
Who is the entity that is funding this? I think you have done 2 ICOs? How much did you receive? The first was 10c and the second was @ 50c per coin, released 6 million, is that correct?The people who funded the project for the first four years, were early bitcoin and deep crypto people; who were unhappy with the fact that Bitcoin and the other alts did not seem concerned about the core issues at all. They gave us over 1200 bitcoin I think, over several years and did not ask for anything in return.
Have you personally been in Sky from the start? What members have? Who allocates the ICO money etc... I hope you understand that decentralization with investment is a two edged sword, we invest in people but we cannot know these people.... So... we question.I think there wer three different groups that merged together in first three years, that had similar objectives. Because the code was in different language. There was python, C code and then eventually golang and the golang code became the basis for the current codebase.
With the price up 35x in about 1 year, is it not now time to cool the run up and release another ICO? At what amount of coins released and what procedure?I think the Skycoin price has been doubling every 40 days, for as long as I can remember. However, it will still be years before it is in the top 20, its still a long way to climb. It took bitcoin years to go from 0 to $1, even though it was growing at 1% per day the whole time for six years.
best would be a totally open source and publicly audited manufactured system on a chip for the nodes to prevent any backdoors.we are going to use arm
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