Lightning Network Warning: Please Don't Lose Money, Learn from My Recklessness

TL;DR: “Please don’t lose money on lightning network.. learn from my recklessness.. This video is not saying LN is a bad idea, just be careful. These are the things I learned that you might not know,” posted self-described Lightning Network (LN) enthusiast, Michael Tidwell. LN has been touted for years as Bitcoin Core’s (BTC) solution to the issue of scaling. In recent weeks, it has gained some attention, but more users are finding LN clunky, hard to use, and worse.

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Please Don’t Lose Money Using Lightning Network

‏”I was being reckless and got rekt, like riggidy, riggidy rekt. It’s kind of upsetting, but I’ve kind of gotten over it, just moving forward now,” Tidwell began his video. He admits to using a Casa Node, but doesn’t blame the company at all because they did warn users. Tidwell also acknowledged the version of LND he was using might not be around in the future.

Refreshingly, he characterizes problems as mischaracterizations he had, and chief among them was channel duration. It seems he was under the impression channels would be closed after a certain number of transactions. He now assumes how even if both parties abandon an LN channel, it might stay open forever.

Lightning Network Warning: Please Don't Lose Money, Learn from My Recklessness

The two dozen word seed, a security practice normally attributed to wallets as backup phrases for recovery, seemed to be completely ineffective during an LN crisis. According to Tidwell, they cannot be used in an effort to recover BTC. Indeed, other LN fans have posted warnings about how different a seed phrase is for the LN tech in this regard.

Tidwell also described as a shock the fact peers cannot “rescue” BTC by simply closing channels. He explains how opening a node and funding it with BTC, and then something happens to the node through corruption, for example, even working with LN partners offline to force-close the channel doesn’t recover lost BTC. And there’s more in this quick, detailed warning video. Broadcasting an old channel was particularly telling, as another example, because of the ease with which such a mistake can happen. He hopes honest peers on a channel and innovations will mitigate against future disasters, but one conclusion anyone can make after watching: Lightning Network has a long, long way to go as a solution to anything.

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