Friday, December 9, 2022
 

Lightning Network Has Huge Channel Jamming Problem

  • The Lightning Network might be having a channel jamming problem.
  • Channel jamming makes forwarding payments almost impossible.
  • This means that one of the solutions to jamming on the LN lies in this protocol.

The Lightning Network might be having a channel jamming problem. At the moment, developers are hard at work figuring out ways to brainstorm potential problems and test their solutions for certain shortcomings of the Lightning Network.


How jamming affects the ability of LN to forward payments (Source: Bitcoin Magazine)

Channel jamming can be described as a denial-of-service attack that allows a nefarious actor or actors to prevent routing nodes from forwarding payments within a channel. In other words, channel jamming makes forwarding payments almost impossible. In turn, this increases the amount of failed payments and thus reduces the reliability of the Lightning Network.

Although many deem the Lightning Network to be very promising, it is still important to acknowledge its shortcomings so that solutions can be found for them as the Network expands and evolves.

According to research done by BitMEX in 2021, the opportunity of slot-jamming any payment channel in the network depends on the slot limits, which are derived from the LN protocol. This means that one of the solutions to jamming on the LN lies in this protocol.

The protocol can be changed to allow more than 483 concurrent payments over the same channel. This can be achieved by either modifying the LN on-chain transaction structure via nesting or by modifying the underlying Bitcoin layer to support LN-related transactions with more than 483 inputs.

Although fully mitigating channel jamming while preserving the permissionless nature of the LN is very difficult, there are still ways to make the attack as hard as possible.

  • The Lightning Network might be having a channel jamming problem.
  • Channel jamming makes forwarding payments almost impossible.
  • This means that one of the solutions to jamming on the LN lies in this protocol.

The Lightning Network might be having a channel jamming problem. At the moment, developers are hard at work figuring out ways to brainstorm potential problems and test their solutions for certain shortcomings of the Lightning Network.


How jamming affects the ability of LN to forward payments (Source: Bitcoin Magazine)

Channel jamming can be described as a denial-of-service attack that allows a nefarious actor or actors to prevent routing nodes from forwarding payments within a channel. In other words, channel jamming makes forwarding payments almost impossible. In turn, this increases the amount of failed payments and thus reduces the reliability of the Lightning Network.

Although many deem the Lightning Network to be very promising, it is still important to acknowledge its shortcomings so that solutions can be found for them as the Network expands and evolves.

According to research done by BitMEX in 2021, the opportunity of slot-jamming any payment channel in the network depends on the slot limits, which are derived from the LN protocol. This means that one of the solutions to jamming on the LN lies in this protocol.

The protocol can be changed to allow more than 483 concurrent payments over the same channel. This can be achieved by either modifying the LN on-chain transaction structure via nesting or by modifying the underlying Bitcoin layer to support LN-related transactions with more than 483 inputs.

Although fully mitigating channel jamming while preserving the permissionless nature of the LN is very difficult, there are still ways to make the attack as hard as possible.

 

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