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How do receivers open incoming channels while network is highly unbalanced? #400

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azhmur opened this Issue Mar 24, 2018 · 3 comments

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@azhmur
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azhmur commented Mar 24, 2018

From my understanding in current state of specification, sender lock his money in channel and also will pay all fees on parent chain. If someone (e.g. online store like bitrefill) want mostly receive money (and move them out via parent network, because he actually need fiats to cover his expenses) he can't open receiving channels for himself.

So he have to go to some hub node and ask him to open channel? But what if flow is constantly unsymmetric. This channel will be extinuguished, and incoming channels for the hub also. All this "please open channel in my direction and lock your money inside it" requests on email looks like 17th century banking. (i haven't found special messages in protocol for such requests)

In mature network fees, should help maintain balance. But in current state for receiver hard to maintain enough input channels as far as he should ask someone do it for him.

In theory hubs/banks running competive fees should cover this task, but as far as they don't know state of other channels it is hard for them to understand network balance.

@azhmur azhmur changed the title How receivers open incoming channels while network is highly unbalanced? How do receivers open incoming channels while network is highly unbalanced? Mar 26, 2018

@ZmnSCPxj

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ZmnSCPxj commented Apr 25, 2018

and move them out via parent network, because he actually need fiats to cover his expenses

My understanding, already exists some teams, who intend to integrate Lightning with popular exchanges. So not need to move them out via blockchain, can send by Lightning the Bitcoin received by Lightning, and get to exchange and get fiat immediately (more quickly than by blockchain).

Thus receive capacity continuously becomes replenished by a system like this: on receive, send to exchange immediately, convert to fiat.

Exchanges supporting Lightning directly would have an advantage early on during this stage. Further, arbitrageurs will want to use Lightning for quick transfer between exchange, so, this will also quickly transfer Bitcoin back when money is exchanged for fiat.

@n1bor

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n1bor commented Apr 27, 2018

@azhmur - take a look at https://testnet.lightningconductor.net/ makes it trivial to re-balance any channel. i.e. can use this website to add/remove balance from a channel and convert into BTC.

@lsching17

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lsching17 commented Mar 6, 2019

The problem of difficult to replenish incoming capacity is crippling lightning network.

Imagine being a new merchant with a new node, he cannot receive payment unless:

  1. keep buying incoming capacity from large node -> which means high fee for customer
  2. advertise and beg for incoming capacity online -> which effectively de-anonymize the merchant and invites attackers. They can estimate the business capital by total channel capacity.

Hopefully, it will be great if developer could address this issue soon, e.g both-side funding channels, and setting it as default.

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