Critical Security Flaw Hits Bitcoin Lightning Network As Growing Pains Mount
The Bitcoin Lightning Network is going through some growing pains.
An Australian coder recently revealed a significant security flaw in the layer 2 scaling solution, which is designed to boost the speed and lower the cost of Bitcoin transactions. The issue, which could cause users to lose their funds, has been fixed and individuals and organizations that power the network are now being urged to update their software.
The exact nature of the security loophole has not yet been revealed, in order to give people time to install the update.
— TheRustyTwit (@rusty_twit) August 30, 2019
Meanwhile, the total capacity of the network – which is one metric indicating its level of adoption – has declined from 1,098 BTC on May 10th to its current number of 836 BTC, according to Bitcoin Visuals.
Questions about the Lightning Network’s incentive structure also emerged two months ago when a node operator indicated on Reddit that he has yet to turn a profit for helping to power the network.
“…the earnings on commissions in the network are now meager. On commissions, I earn 5,000-10,000 sats per day. It’s $0.40 – $0.80. It’s $20 in month maximum…
I spent, probably, more than one thousand dollars. Therefore, no earnings now.”
Lightning Network proponents say it’s still early days for the promising technology. Blockstream’s chief strategy officer Samson Mow tells cryptocurrency prime dealer SFOX that he believes it will play a pivotal role in the adoption of BTC as a mainstream method of payment.
“But yeah, going back to the point, [Bitcoin] is not good for everyday use because you shouldn’t be making payments with it. You should be making payments over the Lightning Network because that is instantaneous and almost free.
That’s what it was designed for. Everything is designed for a different purpose. Bitcoin was designed for settlement and wealth transfer…Lightning was designed for fast payments and cheap payments.”
In addition, Bitcoin author Andreas Antonopoulos recently revealed he’s writing a new book called “Mastering Lightning Network” as an educational resource for people who are interested in building on the technology.