, 2022-12-27 19:00:00,
This is an opinion editorial by Shinobi, a self-taught educator in the Bitcoin space and tech-oriented Bitcoin podcast host.
Channel jamming is one of the most threatening outstanding problems with the Lightning Network. It presents an open mechanism to denial-of-service attack nodes on the network to prevent them from routing, losing them money while their liquidity is locked up and unable to forward payments that will earn them fees. An attacker can route a payment through other nodes from themselves to themselves, and refuse to finalize the payment. This makes that liquidity useless for forwarding other payments until the hashed timelock contract (HTLC) timelock expires and the payment refunds.
Last month, Lightning developer Antoine Riard proposed a formal specification for a solution to this problem. In August, Riard and Gleb Naumenko published research looking at the general problem itself, as well as a number of different solutions that could be used to mitigate or solve it. One of those proposed solutions was a form of anonymized credentials that nodes could use to build a sort of reputation scoring system for users routing payments through them without having to dox or associate that reputation with a static identifier that would negatively impact peoples’ privacy. This solution has now become the formal protocol proposal made by Riard last month.
Inside The Channel Jamming Mitigation Proposal
The core of the idea is a Chaumian ecash token. These are centralized…
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