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What to Do About Replacement Cycling Attacks on the Lightning Network

Posted about 1 month ago by LN+

Note: If you're primarily interested in actionable steps to protect yourself, jump to the end of the post.

A recently highlighted vulnerability in the Bitcoin Lightning Network is the "Replacement Cycling Attack", a sophisticated method that can be exploited to potentially cause a loss of funds for LN users. While this is a significant concern, don't fear that this marks the end of LN. This isn't the first time serious vulnerabilities have surfaced in Bitcoin or LN, and we will, in time, find ways to mitigate the risks. This post aims to break down the nature of this vulnerability and offers guidance on mitigating the risks. If you find any inaccuraccies, please contact me or post a comment, so I can fix it ASAP.


The Basics

  • Bitcoin Mempool: Think of the mempool as a waiting room for Bitcoin transactions. Before a transaction is added to a block and confirmed, it waits here. The mempool has limited space, and transactions compete to get in, primarily through fees.
  • Replace-by-Fee (RBF): This rule in Bitcoin allows a user to replace their transaction in the mempool with another that has a higher fee. It's like raising your bid at an auction.

The Attack in Detail

  1. Two-Channel Setup: To initiate the attack, the attacker needs to open two channels with the victim and then route a payment through them. It's not an easy task, but it's a foundational step.
  2. Playing the Replacement Game: Using RBF, the attacker continuously replaces transactions in the mempool, ensuring the target's transactions never confirm.
  3. Collusion Aspect: Alice and Carol, two parties, could collude against Bob (the victim). For instance, while Bob is routing a lightning payment from Alice to Carol, the attackers broadcast two low-fee transactions, the "cycle parent" and "cycle child", which are seemingly unrelated to the lightning channel. This forms the basis for a more complex attack.
  4. The Cycle: As soon as Bob's htlc-timeout transaction appears in the mempool, the attackers use an "htlc-preimage" transaction that spends both the HTLC output and an output from the cycle parent. This effectively replaces Bob's transaction. The attackers then initiate a replacement cycle ensuring Bob's transactions never stay in the mempool. If executed successfully, this can lead to Bob losing the entire value of the payment.
  5. Outcome: The target's transactions either get delayed or never confirm. In the Lightning Network context, this can cause fund loss.

Concerns for the Lightning Network

LN functions with contracts that have time constraints. If these contracts aren't confirmed timely due to such attacks, it can lead to scenarios of lost funds.
The attack doesn't require massive resources but demands a sound understanding of Bitcoin and the LN, making it a real threat.

Solutions and Mitigations

  • Aggressive Rebroadcasting: By continuously broadcasting their transactions, users can escalate the cost for the attacker. This makes the attack more expensive and less appealing.
  • Local Mempool Monitoring: By actively tracking their transactions in the mempool, users can detect suspicious activities and take preventive measures.
  • Adjusting Time Parameters in LN: Fine-tuning certain time-related settings in the LN can reduce susceptibility to these types of attacks.
  • Presigned Fee Multiplier for HTLC Spends: One proposed solution is to modify the HTLC scripts so both parties can only expend the HTLC through presigned second-stage transactions with a fixed SIGHASH_ALL. This stops the attacker from adding inputs to their presigned transaction, effectively thwarting replacement cycling attacks. To cater to the needs of fee bumping, a sequence of presigned transactions with incrementing fees can be established. This can employ a multiplier system starting with smaller multipliers and transitioning to larger ones as needed.
  • Fee Ranges with Presigned Transactions: By pre-signing a series of replacement transactions that increment the fee at each step using a set multiplier, users can ensure efficient fee management. For example, beginning with smaller multipliers (1.1, 1.2, 1.4) and then transitioning to more significant increments (1.8, 2.6, etc.) can ensure minor bumps for small adjustments and major bumps when aggressive strategies are necessary.
  • Commitment Transactions with HTLC Removals: As fees rise, commitment transactions can be modified to exclude HTLCs, especially when an HTLC's value is less than the required mining fees.
  • Deducting Fees from Different Party's Outputs: This strategy involves both parties authorizing each other to broadcast transactions with increasing fees. The additional fees can be deducted from their respective outputs, facilitated by traditional multisignature setups.

Short Term Mitigations

  • Lower the HTLC Max Setting: By decreasing the maximum setting on channels that aren't fully trusted, users can minimize the potential loss due to an attack.
  • Curate Nodes for Channel Opening: Users should be selective and cautious about the nodes they establish channels with, minimizing exposure to potentially malicious nodes. Be sceptical with brand new nodes opening very large channels. Here on LN+, users can assess the reputation of nodes based on the number of positive ratings they've received.
  • Adjust your CLTV Delta Setting: If your node's CLTV delta setting is below 144, consider increasing it. This gives transactions more time to be confirmed on the blockchain, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Stay Updated with Software Mitigations: Always keep an eye out for software updates that include security improvements. For instance, LND 0.16.1, which was released six months ago, already incorporated mitigations by elevating the default CLTV delta delay.


The "Replacement Cycling Attack" emphasizes the importance of continuous research and vigilance even when it comes to technologies that have been around for years. Live by the motto: Don't trust, verify.

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Analyzing the Bitcoin Lightning Network: Top Nations

Posted about 1 month ago by LN+

The decentralized world of Bitcoin and its off-chain scaling solution, the Lightning Network, has taken the world by storm. One of the ways to gauge its acceptance is by examining the number of Lightning Network nodes across different countries. By understanding the distribution, we can grasp a better picture of adoption rates and regional tendencies. Here, we'll delve deep into the data to unveil patterns and insights.

This data is collected from nodes with public IPs from 1ML. The total network is significantly larger if we could include nodes running over Tor. It's also important to note that a resident of one country may run their node in a different geographic location. Regardless, the data provides a rough indication of the state of affairs.

Top 5 Countries by Node Count

  1. United States: 1,332 nodes
  2. Germany: 488 nodes
  3. France: 331 nodes
  4. Canada: 304 nodes
  5. Netherlands: 119 nodes

It's evident from the data that North America leads by a significant margin in terms of absolute node count. European countries, particularly Germany, France, and the Netherlands, are also prominently represented, suggesting a strong European interest in the Lightning Network.

Top Countries by Node Count

Top 5 Countries Adjusted for Population

To gauge relative adoption, we must account for population size. By evaluating nodes per million people, we can identify countries with a disproportionate interest in the Lightning Network compared to their size. I excluded smaller countries, as their limited population can lead to unreliable data.

  1. Iceland: 41.90 nodes/million
  2. Singapore: 10.29 nodes/million
  3. Switzerland: 9.35 nodes/million
  4. Finland: 8.28 nodes/million
  5. Canada: 7.81 nodes/million

While Iceland takes the crown, it's crucial to note that it has a relatively small population, which may allow for such high numbers with fewer nodes. However, this doesn't negate the country's keen interest in Bitcoin's scaling solution. The appearance of Singapore and Switzerland on this list suggests these nations' roles as global finance and tech hubs.

Countries by Node Count and Nodes / 1M People

Other Noteworthy Observations

Asian Discrepancy: Japan and South Korea, often considered tech-forward nations, show surprisingly low nodes per million (0.60 and 0.17 respectively). This might suggest a cultural or regulatory hurdle, or perhaps other technologies and financial solutions are more prominent.
Emerging Economies: It's interesting to note countries like Brazil and China, with vast populations, showing a low adoption rate. As these nations are known for their rapidly growing tech sectors, it would be intriguing to monitor how these figures change in the coming years. It's important to highlight that, according to anecdotal data, numerous node operators in emerging economies utilize Tor, and thus, they aren't reflected in the numbers provided above.

Dark Horse: North Korea's appearance on the list is surprising, given its geopolitical situation and strict regulations. While the node count isn't high, the fact that it's on the list at all is noteworthy. It is also possible that this result is a fluke of data collection.

What's Next?

The Lightning Network's adoption is spreading worldwide, with specific nations spearheading the movement. As with any technology, its acceptance and implementation are influenced by regional, cultural, and economic factors. As Bitcoin and the Lightning Network progress, it will be intriguing to observe the changes in these numbers and identify which countries emerge as the frontrunners in this decentralized financial revolution.

Short-term predictions for the next 5 years:
  • Custodial LN wallets, such as Wallet of Satoshi and Speed Wallet, will see increased adoption, and this increased userbase will not be reflected in node count.
  • For some time, corporate adoption will largely come through custodial services like OpenNode and Speed. Consequently, this surge in corporate adoption may not significantly impact the node count.
  • With the launch of Taproot Assets and the introduction of stablecoins on Lightning, countries like Turkey will significantly boost their Lightning adoption.
  • With the rollout of user-friendly Lightning node solutions like Umbrel Home and Start9's Servers, we can expect a noticeable uptick in hobby node operations in developing countries.
  • Lightning Network implementations are becoming more streamlined and faster, making it feasible for even legacy devices. This will enable individuals, especially in South American countries, with modest means to run nodes for their small businesses and personal needs.

Long-term predictions for the next 10 years:
  • Millions will operate Lightning nodes on their mobile devices. These won't be full nodes but rather pruned nodes, depending largely on external servers to strike a balance between privacy and decentralization. If we include these streamlined nodes, we might see a total of 1 million nodes.
  • The Lightning Network will also operate on Liquid, with submarine swaps allowing people to seamlessly pay Liquid LN invoices using Bitcoin LN nodes, and vice versa. Liquid LN will come in handy in scenarios necessitating frequent and economical channel management.
  • While stablecoins will remain relevant, Bitcoin will begin to dominate in many contexts, negating the need for the complexity and custodial nature of stablecoins.
  • Custodial LN wallets will persist but will likely be reserved for minor amounts, akin to pocket money for children. In contrast, salaries will predominantly be disbursed to self-custody wallets.

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Further Minor Updates to the Liquidity Pool

Posted about 1 month ago by LN+

On the heels of the recent LN+ pool updates, I just released some more improvements:

Enhanced Node Search and Filtering in the Liquidity Pool
Responding to feedback from node operators, we've introduced new search and filtering options in the Liquidity Pool. Now, you can easily filter nodes based on your intended channel size and the required connection type, whether it's Clearnet or Tor. Additionally, locating specific nodes has become more straightforward — simply search using their alias or pubkey.

Set Your Desired Channel Size
You can now specify your preferred minimum lightning channel size using the "Required Minimum Channel Size" field in your account settings. This determines the smallest channel size you're willing to accept on LN+. In the Liquidity Swaps section, only swaps exceeding your set minimum will be displayed. Meanwhile, in the Liquidity Pool section, other node operators can't propose offers that fall below this threshold. This limit is also prominently shown at the top of your node profile.

Timed Release of Locked Liquidity Credits
Liquidity Pool Offers, also known as Credit Transactions, have a set validity period. During this period, liquidity credits remain locked to prevent any double allocation of these credits. Moving forward, the transaction will automatically time out after 5 days during the approval process and 10 days during channel confirmation. This ensures that any locked liquidity credits are released. For your convenience, each transaction page now includes a timer, displaying the time remaining to move to the subsequent step.

Extended Node Highlighting to the Liquidity Pool
Previously, node highlighting was exclusive to the Node Explorer. We've expanded this feature to the Liquidity Pool. This means highlighted nodes are now prioritized and appear at the top in both sections.

Discover Nodes Randomly in the Pool
To enhance node discovery within the Liquidity Pool, we've introduced a section below the highlighted nodes. This section showcases nodes selected at random from the pool, ensuring every node gets an opportunity to be featured on the pool's front page.

Track Your Liquidity Credits in Real-time
Head over to the Stats page, where you can now monitor your available liquidity credits anytime.

Earn a Badge for Participating in the Liquidity Pool

Nodes that successfully complete a Liquidity Pool Credit Transaction are now rewarded with a special "Liquid" badge on their profile.

Website Enhancements for a Better User Experience
I've revamped the main navigation to ensure a seamless experience across various screen sizes. Additionally, I've optimized the page sizes for faster loading times. In this update, I've also prioritized enhancing site accessibility.

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Taproot Assets on Mainnet: A Brief Overview

Posted about 1 month ago by LN+

Lightning Labs announced the release of Taproot Assets on Bitcoin's mainnet, signaling a transformative phase for Bitcoin. This release enables the issuance, management, and exploration of assets like stablecoins on the Bitcoin blockchain, ensuring forward compatibility. The integration of Taproot Assets aims to make Bitcoin a multi-asset network, thus leveraging its core values. With the support of the Bitcoin developer community, the protocol has undergone significant enhancements, with its focus now shifting towards incorporating multi-asset functionality on the Lightning Network. The ultimate goal is to provide global users with a seamless, secure, and efficient transaction experience, thereby reinforcing Bitcoin's potential as the global routing network for internet money. Read a quick summary on the current state of Taproot Assets.


  • Taproot Assets has released its mainnet alpha, marking a significant milestone for Bitcoin.
  • This release allows for issuing, managing, and exploring stablecoins and other assets on the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • It also ensures forward compatibility, meaning no further breaking changes to the protocol affecting mainnet assets.

Key Features

  • With Taproot Assets v0.3, Bitcoin can now operate as a multi-asset network while maintaining its core values.
  • The release envisions global currencies being issued as Taproot Assets, with foreign exchange transactions settling instantly over the Lightning Network.
  • The Lightning Network will play a pivotal role, routing Taproot Asset transactions without intermediaries, thereby leveraging Bitcoin's existing liquidity and secure foundation.

Developer Tools & Support

  • Taproot Assets daemon is now available in the recent Polar release and litd v0.12.
  • While the release is for the mainnet, it's in alpha, implying that community testing for bugs is anticipated.
  • For a comprehensive understanding of Taproot Assets, one can delve into the Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) and official documentation.
  • Taproot Assets v0.3 includes:
    • Enhanced asset issuance APIs for better mainnet functionality.
    • New asset-burn APIs to manage asset redemptions.
    • Asynchronous receive functionality for on-chain transactions.
    • Introduction of Multiverse mode for Universes.
    • Improvements in scalability, security, and overall developer experience.

Community Involvement

  • The Bitcoin developer community has been instrumental in providing feedback, testing the software, and creating products for the end-users.
  • During its testnet phase, nearly 2,000 assets were minted, with nodes syncing with the Universe server over 420,000 times.
  • Developers can further explore Taproot Assets by downloading the daemon, reviewing the API documentation, and reading the getting started guide.

Global Demand for Stablecoins

  • The demand for stablecoins, especially in emerging markets, has surged, primarily due to their superiority over local currencies.
  • Stablecoins provide a better user experience in terms of accessibility, custody, and global utility, making them more attractive than local currencies suffering from high inflation rates.
  • Taproot Assets aims to introduce stablecoins to Bitcoin wallets, further promoting Bitcoin adoption globally.

Future Goals

  • The ultimate goal for Taproot Assets is to make the Lightning Network multi-asset capable.
  • The focus will shift towards providing stablecoin support on a global scale, allowing users to transact in their preferred currency via the Lightning Network.
  • Two essential features, unannounced Taproot channels and the Taproot Asset Protocol channels specification, have been released, paving the way for multi-asset functionality on the Lightning Network.

In essence, the release of Taproot Assets on the mainnet signifies a transformative phase for Bitcoin, enabling a more versatile and scalable multi-asset network. With community support and continuous enhancements, Bitcoin's potential as the global routing network for internet money is poised to be realized.

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From Zero to Lightning: A Step-by-Step Guide to LND Node Setup in Just 15 Minutes

Posted about 1 month ago by LN+

In this video by Lightning Labs you can see how quickly you can get an LND Lightning node up and running. The stack is built on a fresh LunaNode M2 Ubuntu instance. which only costs about $7 per month. The entire process without any cuts in the video takes about only 15 minutes, which is impressive given it results in a fully functioning Bitcoin and Lightning Cloud node that is ready to send Bitcoin transactions and open lightning channels.


  1. Update Ubuntu
  2. Install Litd (Lightning Terminal): For managing your lightning node
  3. Connect to Neutrino backend and Sync with the Bitcoin blockchain
  4. Create LND wallet: To manage your lighting channels
  5. Setup passwords and generate seed
  6. Connect to Terminal Web by Lightning Labs and Fund wallet
  7. Using Lightning Pool by Lightning Labs: To buy and sell lighthing channels


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Swapping Between On-Chain Bitcoin, Lightning, and Liquid with Boltz

Posted about 1 month ago by LN+

Boltz Exchange Overview

Boltz Exchange is an innovative platform that serves as a bridge between various layers of Bitcoin. It offers a non-custodial method to swap bitcoin across these layers, ensuring that users maintain full control of their assets throughout the exchange process. This article delves deeper into the features and benefits of using the Boltz Exchange.

Non-Custodial Nature

One of the standout features of Boltz Exchange is its non-custodial nature. Unlike traditional exchanges where users have to deposit their assets into an exchange wallet, Boltz ensures that users remain in full control of their bitcoin throughout the entire swap process. This is particularly beneficial for those who prioritize privacy, security and want to minimize the risks associated with centralized exchanges.

Multi-Layer Functionality

Boltz Exchange operates across different layers of Bitcoin, including:
  • Mainchain ⚓️: This is the primary blockchain layer where all bitcoin transactions are recorded.
  • Lightning Network ⚡️: A second layer scaling solution designed to facilitate faster and more efficient bitcoin transactions.
  • Liquid Network 💧: Another second-layer solution, the Liquid Network offers increased privacy and faster settlement times for traders and exchanges.

With Boltz, users can effortlessly switch their assets between these layers, allowing them to take advantage of advanced financial products or manage the liquidity of their lightning channels.

Privacy and Security

Boltz places a strong emphasis on user privacy. The platform is built with a "privacy-first" approach, ensuring that users' personal and financial details remain confidential. Additionally, the non-custodial nature of the exchange means that users' funds are secured with cryptography, minimizing the chances of unauthorized access.

Speed and Efficiency

Boltz leverages second-layer scaling technologies like the Liquid and Lightning Network. These technologies allow for faster transaction speeds and reduced fees, making the exchange process swift and efficient. This is particularly useful for traders and individuals who require quick asset transfers without the lengthy wait times often associated with traditional exchanges.

Boltz UI

User-Friendly Interface

While Boltz offers advanced features and technologies, it remains user-friendly and accessible. The platform is designed to cater to both beginners and experienced traders, ensuring a seamless and intuitive swapping experience.


Boltz Exchange is at the forefront of bitcoin swapping technologies, providing users with a secure, efficient, and user-friendly platform to switch between different layers of Bitcoin. Its non-custodial nature, combined with its commitment to privacy and speed, makes it a top choice for those looking to optimize their bitcoin trading and management experience.

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SATSLINK: A Fusion of Technologies for Bitcoin and Lightning Network Applications

Posted about 1 month ago by LN+

In an ever-evolving technological landscape, the SATSLINK emerges as a beacon, skillfully integrating a range of technologies into a compact, sophisticated, and secure design. Tailored for high-security scenarios, it's an ideal tool for crafting applications related to Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

Amid a sea of tech innovations, Coinkite's SATSLINK stands out as a groundbreaking device poised to redefine the boundaries of communication and bitcoin finance. Meticulously crafted with state-of-the-art features, this device sets the stage for a revolutionary intertwining of modern communication tools and Bitcoin's Lightning Network.

SATSLINK's Specifications

At the heart of SATSLINK is the potent ESP32-S3 CPU, clocked at 240Mhz, and complemented by 512k of RAM and 8M of flash storage. The 320x240 color LCD offers vibrant displays, while the full QWERTY keyboard ensures responsive data entry.

For those seeking unparalleled connectivity, SATSLINK doesn't disappoint. It supports both Wifi (2.4Ghz) and Bluetooth, and integrates the ESP-Now protocol for seamless device-to-device radio communication. Modern digital interactions are a breeze with its NFC tag emulation and dedicated QR scanner. Other notable features include the RGB light indicator for incoming messages, and the inclusion of the secure Infineon Trust-M element that offers an unwavering private key storage solution.

Powering SATSLINK is a breeze, with options ranging from 3 AAA cells to a USB-C port. Additionally, tech enthusiasts will revel in the microSD slot, expansion GPIO, and serial port designed for hacking or debugging endeavors. Its robust plastic enclosure ensures longevity, and the device's open-source foundation, rooted in Micropython, beckons a realm of endless innovation.

How does SATSLINK fit in?

How SATSLINK Augments the Bitcoin Lightning Network Ecosystem

SATSLINK, brimming with features, is poised to bolster the Lightning Network's prowess. It presents the potential to remotely connect with bitcoin nodes, be it at one's home, office, or even the cloud. Key highlights include:

  • Security: The Infineon Trust-M secure element stands as a bastion for private key storage pertaining to your Bitcoin node.
  • Remote Node Management: Harnessing SATSLINK's multifaceted communication mechanisms will help Lightning Network node management, especially in regions with limited internet access.
  • QR Payments: The embedded QR scanner in SATSLINK paves the way for streamlined Lightning Network transactions and instantaneous payments.
  • NFC-Enabled Payments: Transact with ease, courtesy of SATSLINK's NFC tag emulation, which propels contactless Lightning Network payments.

Beyond Bitcoin

  • Decentralized Communication: Leveraging the ESP-Now protocol, SATSLINK can relay decentralized messages, mitigating reliance on centralized ISPs.
  • Open-Source Potential: SATSLINK’s open-source Micropython infrastructure invites custom applications, catering to a diverse range of communication needs.
  • Portable Convenience: The device's pocket-friendly design, combined with a range of communication tools, makes it a must-have for tech aficionados on the move.

I eagerly anticipate the innovative solutions Bitcoin developers will devise, transforming this device into an indispensable and exhilarating tool.

You can reserve a SATSLINK for $189.99, and yes you can pay with Bitcoin.

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Batch Opening Channels on the Lightning Network with LN+: A Deep Dive

Posted about 2 months ago by LN+

Bitcoin has seen an exponential increase in adoption since its inception in 2009. With this rise, the network has faced challenges, particularly in scaling and managing the increasing number of transactions. Enter batching, a technique that has proven effective in addressing these challenges. In this post, I'll delve into the benefits of batching transactions in Bitcoin and explore how this concept can be applied to the Lightning Network, especially within the context of LN+.

Why Batching Transactions in Bitcoin is Beneficial

Reduction in Transaction Fees
When sending Bitcoin, users pay a fee to miners for processing and confirming their transaction. The fee is typically calculated based on the data size of the transaction. By batching multiple transactions into one, the overall data size for the combined transaction is reduced, leading to lower fees.

Efficient Use of Block Space
Each block on the Bitcoin blockchain has a size limit. This means that only a certain number of transactions can be included in each block. By batching multiple transactions into a single one, users can more efficiently use the available block space, allowing for more transactions to be confirmed within the same block.

Batching is a practical solution to Bitcoin's scalability challenges. By reducing the number of transactions that need to be processed and confirmed, batching helps the network handle a higher volume of transactions without requiring significant changes to its underlying protocol.

Reasonable Limits to Batching

While batching offers numerous benefits, it's essential to be aware of its limitations:
  • Privacy Concerns: Batching multiple transactions can potentially reduce the privacy of the participants, as multiple transfers are visible within a single transaction.
  • Complexity: Implementing batching requires changes to wallet software and can complicate transaction tracking.
  • Optimal Size: There's a trade-off between the number of transactions batched and the savings in fees. After a certain point, adding more transactions to a batch may not yield significant savings.

Batching and the Lightning Network: Opening Channels Efficiently

Just as transactions can be batched on the Bitcoin network, multiple channel openings can be batched into a single on-chain transaction on the Lightning Network.

While the concept of batching channel openings is promising, it comes with its set of challenges:
  • Coordination: Batching requires coordination between participants, which can be complex. But we can help with this on LN+, just read further!
  • Liquidity: Batching multiple channel openings might require more substantial initial liquidity, which might not always be feasible for every participant.
  • Potential Delays: If one channel in a batched transaction faces issues, it might delay the opening of other channels in the batch.

How Much Batch Opening Saves You

Bitcoin transactions are made of 4 parts:
  1. Transaction overhead (version, locktime, etc.): ~11 vB
  2. Input (at least one or more): ~67 vB
  3. Output (at least one or more): ~31 vB
  4. Change output: ~31 vB
Total: ~140 vB.

To compute transaction costs in Satoshis, multiply the transaction size (in vB) by the fee rate you're prepared to pay to record the transaction on the blockchain. For instance, if the fee rate is set at 10 sat/vB, a transaction of 140 vB will cost 1,400 Satoshis. Naturally, if there's more than one input, the cost will rise.

When opening multiple channels simultaneously, the transaction's overhead and input remain constant, but the number of outputs increases. As a result, the cost per output begins to decrease significantly. Refer to the provided table and chart, which outline the costs associated with various numbers of outputs (or simultaneous channel openings).

Fee Savings in Optimal Conditions

Fee Savings / Number of Channels Open in a Batch

From the data, it's evident that batching even two channels offers nearly 40% in savings. This efficiency climbs, reaching up to 74% when batching 20 channels. The sweet spot for practicality versus savings seems to fall between opening 3 to 6 channels at once. However, remember that these savings are under optimal conditions where only one input is used. In practice, especially when opening numerous channels, multiple inputs might be necessary, and the actual savings could be slightly lower. This variation is represented by the yellow shaded region in the chart.

How to Find Nodes to Open Channels to with LN+

There are several ways to find nodes to open to depending on your goals, such as payment reliability or earnings from routing. However to minimize your channel opening fees you should join LN+'s Liquidity Pool, where you can offer to open channels to nodes and in return you will earn liquidity credits that you can spend on receiving channels from other nodes. In result, you will not only save fees on batch opening, but also you will double the amount of channel capacity through the pool.

Here is what you do step by step:
  1. Get your LND lightning node.
  2. Get sufficient funds ready.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the tool called BOS (Balance of Satoshi).
  4. Go to the Liquidity Pool.
  5. Find several nodes you want to open channels to.
  6. Click 'Open Channel' on the node cards to create a credit transaction, which is an offer to open a channel.
  7. Wait until 3+ nodes accept your offer.
  8. Open all channels in a batch with BOS: read instructions.

Example command:
bos open pubkey1 --amount 1000000 pubkey2 --amount 3000000 pubkey3 --amount 4000000
Once you enter the command and hit enter, it will ask the onchain transaction fee you want to set and also if you want to use your internal LND wallet for funding the transaction.

If you're running on Umbrel, check out the LndBoss app, which is a GUI version of BOS.


Batching has emerged as an effective solution to some of Bitcoin's scalability and cost challenges. While it brings numerous benefits, it's essential to approach it with a nuanced understanding of its limitations. As the Bitcoin ecosystem continues to evolve, techniques like batching will play a crucial role in ensuring that networks like Bitcoin and the Lightning Network remain efficient, scalable, and cost-effective.

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The Lightning Network: A Glimpse into 2023's Soaring Growth

Posted about 2 months ago by LN+

The Lightning Network, a second-layer solution to Bitcoin's scalability challenge, has shown exponential growth in 2023. Here's a comprehensive review of its performance, based on a detailed report by River:

Transaction Volume: A Staggering Leap

  • Transaction Count: An estimated lower bound of 6.6 million routed Lightning transactions was recorded in August 2023. This figure could be just the tip of the iceberg due to the inherent privacy features of the Lightning Network.
  • Growth Rate: A mind-blowing 1,212% growth was observed since August 2021, where the transaction count was 503k. This growth defied the odds, even in the face of a 44% drop in Bitcoin's price.
  • Transaction Speed: The Lightning Network processed an average of 2.5 transactions per second (TPS), outpacing Bitcoin's on-chain average of 4.4 TPS and marking a significant leap from the 0.2 TPS recorded in August 2021.

Estimated Growth between 2021 and 2023

Dominant Use Cases

Gaming, social media tipping, and streaming have emerged as the key use cases, accounting for 27% of the transaction growth on the Lightning Network.

Financial Metrics: On the Rise

  • Routed Amount: The Lightning Network publicly routed around $78.2 million, utilizing 5,000 BTC in capacity in August 2023.
  • Annual Volume: This translates to a whopping $936 million in annual volume, utilizing $133 million in capacity. The activity on the Lightning Network even outpaces Bitcoin's on-chain velocity.

Expanding the Utility of Bitcoin

With an average transaction size of 44.7k satoshis (equivalent to $11.84), the Lightning Network proves its worth by facilitating low-value payments that would otherwise be unfeasible on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Lightning Network Industry 2023

User Adoption: A Growing Force

  • Monthly Active Users: An estimated 279k to 1.116 million users were actively transacting on the Lightning Network as of September 2023.
  • Wallet Downloads: A staggering number of Lightning-compatible wallets, between 1.8 to 3.7 million, were downloaded, indicating the rising interest and adoption of this technology.

The Global Picture

The Lightning Network is witnessing a more global and evenly distributed activity pattern, a refreshing change from the previous year.

Industry Dynamics

  • Steady Infrastructure: The number of nodes, channels, and capacity on the Lightning Network has remained consistent.
  • Funding: A hefty sum of $530.93 million was funneled into 39 Lightning companies between 2018 and 2022, with $428.46 million raised just in 2022.

River's Performance

River, a significant player in the Lightning Network ecosystem, reported a 99.7% success rate for its Lightning payments in August 2023 across 308k transactions.

Looking Ahead

The Lightning Network's future seems promising with more exchange adoption, technical upgrades, and the interest of non-Bitcoin businesses.

In conclusion, the Lightning Network is not just a promising solution but a rapidly evolving ecosystem driving Bitcoin's utility to new heights. The data from 2023 underscores its increasing importance in the cryptocurrency space.

Download the detailed report

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BitVM: Ushering in a New Era of Bitcoin Computations

Posted about 2 months ago by LN+

Are you ready for something groundbreaking in the Bitcoin universe? Well, guess what? There's a new game-changer in town, and it's called BitVM. Let's dive right into what this means for all of us.

The Basics of BitVM

Imagine being able to perform Turing-complete contracts on Bitcoin without altering any of its consensus rules. Sounds like a dream, right? But with BitVM, this dream is a reality! Here's how it works:

  • Instead of running computations on Bitcoin, they're verified. Think of it like the optimistic rollups you might've heard about.
  • A user (called the prover) claims a particular function's outcome. If they're bluffing, another user (the verifier) can swiftly call them out with a fraud proof and even penalize them.
  • The magic? ANY computable function can now be verified on Bitcoin.

Why is this a Big Deal?

You might be thinking, "Cool, but why should I care?" Here's why:

  • Off-chain Efficiency: Large programs can be committed off-chain, using methods like the Taproot address. This means a lot of work happens off the ledger, but the footprint on Bitcoin's chain remains tiny.
  • Stealth Mode: Parties can perform complex, stateful computations without leaving any trace in the chain. Only if there's a disagreement will there be a need for on-chain execution.

Endless Possibilities

With BitVM, Bitcoin's smart contract capabilities are no longer just basic operations. The doors are now wide open:

  • Games: Imagine playing Chess, Go, or Poker, all verified on Bitcoin.
  • Bridging Chains: It might become feasible to connect BTC with other chains.
  • Prediction Markets & Novel Opcodes: The sky is the limit with what could be achieved!

Understanding Bitcoin's Limited Instruction Set

For those well-versed in Bitcoin's intricate workings, you'll recall that its smart contract capabilities were intentionally designed to be limited. But why?

  1. Security: A limited instruction set reduces the attack surface. Fewer operations mean fewer potential vulnerabilities, ensuring a robust and secure environment.
  2. Predictability: With fewer instructions, the behavior of the protocol is more predictable, reducing unexpected outcomes or network issues.
  3. Simplicity: Keeping it simple means fewer chances of bugs, making it easier for developers to understand, implement, and maintain.

BitVM's Role: Breaking Boundaries While Keeping the Fort Tight

BitVM, with its enhanced capabilities, might seem like it's challenging the core principles of Bitcoin's limited instruction set. But here's the twist: it's not. Here's how:

  • Verification Over Execution: BitVM doesn't execute complex computations on-chain. It merely verifies them. This distinction ensures that Bitcoin's chain remains as secure and predictable as ever.
  • Off-Chain Magic: Most of the heavy lifting with BitVM happens off-chain, preserving the simplicity and security of the Bitcoin protocol. Only in cases of disputes do we see on-chain action.

The Best of Both Worlds

With BitVM, it seems we're inching closer to achieving a sweet balance:

  • Maintain Bitcoin's Core Values: The benefits of a limited instruction set—security, predictability, and simplicity—remain intact.
  • Unlock New Possibilities: BitVM opens up a realm of possibilities previously thought to be out of reach for Bitcoin, from intricate games to bridging with other chains.

Challenges Ahead

While BitVM sounds promising, it's essential to understand its limitations. Currently, the model is restricted to a two-party system, involving a prover and a verifier. Both these parties require significant off-chain interactions. But with the pace of innovation in the Bitcoin realm, who knows what solutions the future holds?

In Conclusion

BitVM is shaping up to be a revolutionary step for Bitcoin, opening doors to possibilities we could only dream of. While there are challenges to overcome, the future looks bright, and the Bitcoin community has another reason to be excited!

To learn more, read the BitVM white paper!

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Taproot and the Bright Future of Bitcoin's Lightning Network

Posted about 2 months ago by LN+

The Bitcoin network has undergone numerous upgrades since its inception, but few are as significant as the introduction of Taproot. This innovation, designed to boost privacy, efficiency, and flexibility, has profound implications for the future of the Lightning Network. In this post, we'll explore Taproot and how it impacts Bitcoin's second-layer solutions.

What is Taproot?

Proposed in Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 341, Taproot is a cutting-edge upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol, driven by three primary motivations:

  1. Improved Privacy: Taproot ensures that on-chain, every transaction—whether a simple transfer or a multifaceted smart contract—appears identical. This uniformity masks transaction types, thus bolstering user privacy.
  2. Enhanced Scalability and Efficiency: By optimizing how transaction data is stored and retrieved, Taproot renders transactions faster and more cost-effective.
  3. Increased Flexibility: Incorporating the Schnorr signature scheme (via BIP 340), Taproot allows for intricate smart contracts on Bitcoin without disclosing unnecessary details.

How Does Taproot Impact the Lightning Network?

The Lightning Network, a secondary solution on Bitcoin, enables swift and affordable transactions. Even though Taproot doesn't modify the Lightning Network directly, it provides numerous indirect advantages:

  1. Economical Lightning Channel Transactions: Taproot's efficiency ensures that opening and closing Lightning channels are more affordable. When channels are initiated or concluded, they need to record transactions on the primary Bitcoin blockchain. With Taproot's optimizations, these transactions require less blockchain space, thus reducing fees.
  2. Privacy Enhancements: Traditionally, when Lightning channels were opened or closed, keen-eyed blockchain observers could spot them. With Taproot's standardizing transaction appearances, pinpointing these specific transactions becomes a daunting task. This level of discretion is a boon for privacy-focused Lightning users.
  3. Advanced Contractual Capabilities: Taproot's added versatility means that more intricate contracts can be integrated within Lightning channels. This expansion opens up an array of potential use cases for the Lightning Network.

In Conclusion

While Taproot isn't an upgrade exclusively for the Lightning Network, its enhancements to Bitcoin's primary layer have far-reaching implications that positively impact secondary solutions, like Lightning. By making transactions more private, cost-effective, and versatile, Taproot paves the way for a brighter, more robust future for the entire Bitcoin ecosystem.

Current State of Taproot on Lightning

Several Lightning implementations and node management tools announced their intention to support Taproot channels. Read the release announcements from LND, and RTL.

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Unlocking the Mysteries of Lightning Channel Settings

Posted about 2 months ago by LN+

When operating a Bitcoin Lightning Network node, you have the option to use either a command line interface or a user-friendly visual tool like Thunderhub. Regardless of your choice, it's essential to understand the various settings and flags associated with each lightning channel. In this guide, we'll delve into the columns found in the 'Channels' tab of Thunderhub, which are also prevalent in other similar tools, explaining their significance for node operators.

Before diving deep, it's crucial to grasp some foundational aspects of the Lightning Network. In the Lightning Network, payments between two parties take place off-chain, meaning they aren't immediately reflected on the Bitcoin blockchain until the channel concludes, either through closure or settlement. This off-chain approach allows for rapid, low-cost transactions by eliminating the need to record every transaction on the blockchain. However, for this system to work securely, the Lightning Network employs HTLCs (Hashed Time-Locked Contracts). HTLCs act as a safety mechanism, temporarily locking funds and offering a window during which these funds can be claimed or returned, depending on whether conditions are met. This locking mechanism leverages Bitcoin's scripting capabilities, especially the CheckLockTimeVerify (CLTV) function. Additionally, as payments traverse through various channels to reach their destination (routing), node operators can impose fees, making channel and fee management a vital component for effective Lightning Network operations.

Thunderhub Channels Tab Columns


  1. Active: Indicates whether the channel is active or inactive. An active channel means it can process transactions. If it's inactive for a long time, you should consider force closing the channel to ensure the funds are not lost if both ends of the channel happen to go offline.
  2. Private: If a channel is private, it's not announced to the entire Lightning Network. This means others cannot see it and make routing decisions based on its presence. Private channels do not participate in routing and thus, do not earn you routing fees. On the upside other nodes can't drain them either.
  3. Initiated: This denotes which party initiated the channel creation, whether it was you or your peer. This is important because the initiator pays the closing fees as well.


  1. Edit: Allows you to change certain aspects of the channel.
  2. Close: Enables you to close the channel, ending your connection and settling your balance on the main Bitcoin blockchain. When possible always close cooperatively. Only force close if the other node is offline for a long time, because force closing will lock the funds for a certain period of time.


  1. Peer: Displays the node with which you've established this channel.
  2. Capacity: The total amount of Bitcoin that this channel can handle.
  3. Block Age: Shows how many blocks have been added to the Bitcoin blockchain since this channel was opened.
  4. Channel Age: Displays the actual time duration since the channel was opened. Older channels are more trusted by certain routing algorithms and they are also a source of pride for some lightning network operators proving the thesis that channels can stay open for a long time moving funds back and force hundreds of times.
  5. Past States: Indicates the number of times the channel's state has been updated. This includes successful and unsuccessful attempts to route. The larger the number the more space the channel takes on your disk. Some lightning network operators like to close channels that have accumulated a huge amount of past states (ex. 1,000,000+).


  1. Local: Amount of bitcoin on your side of the channel. This is how much you can spend from it.
  2. Remote: Amount of Bitcoin owned by your peer in this channel. This is how much you can receive on it.
  3. Percent: Represents the proportion of the channel's capacity that you own.

Pending HTLC

  1. Total HTLC: The number of Hashed Time-Locked Contracts currently pending. Every time you pay, receive, or route you create an HTLC contract.
  2. Total Sats: Total amount in Satoshis that's in pending HTLCs.
  3. Incoming HTLC: Number of incoming pending transactions.
  4. Incoming Sats: Amount in Satoshis of incoming pending transactions.
  5. Outgoing HTLC: Number of outgoing pending transactions.
  6. Outgoing Sats: Amount in Satoshis of outgoing pending transactions.


  1. Online: Shows how long your channel peer has been online.
  2. Offline: Shows how long your channel peer has been offline.
  3. Percent: Percentage of time the peer has been online. The higher the better.


  1. Sent: Amount you've sent through this channel.
  2. Received: Amount you've received through this channel.
  3. Percent: Represents the proportion of the channel's activity. Over time, this value closes in on 50%.

My Fees

  1. Rate: The rate at which you charge fees for transactions processed through your channel. Node operators often play around with this value to find the most optimal number where they can earn the most amount of fees.
  2. Base: A fixed amount of fees you charge for any transaction regardless of its size. Many node operators like to set this to zero, to encourage routing algorithms choose this channel for routing smaller amounts.

Partner Fees

  1. Rate: The rate at which your partner charges fees for transactions processed through your channel. You can't change this, it's up to your partner.
  2. Base: A fixed amount your partner charges for any transaction. Also up to your partner.


  1. Max: The maximum amount in Satoshis your partner is willing to lock in a single HTLC.
  2. Min: The minimum amount in Satoshis your partner is willing to lock in a single HTLC.

Partner HTLC

  1. Max: The maximum amount in Satoshis your partner is willing to lock in a single HTLC.
  2. Min: The minimum amount in Satoshis your partner is willing to lock in a single HTLC.


  1. Balance: A visual representation of the channel's balance between you and your peer.
  2. Proportional: Same as above but the scale is comparatively shown to other channels.
  3. Activity: A visual representation of the transaction activity on this channel. The higher the number the more active the channel and thus likely generates more earnings for you through routing.


  1. Details: Gives you a button to be able to adjust many of the settings above and also the value CLTV Delta.

CLTV Delta (CheckLockTimeVerify Delta) is a term used in the Lightning Network context. It represents the number of blocks between when a commitment transaction is confirmed and when the HTLC (Hashed Time-Locked Contract) output becomes spendable.  The CLTV Delta is a safety margin. It ensures that if there's a need to close a channel and submit the transaction to the blockchain (for example, in the event of a dispute), there's sufficient time to do so before the HTLC expires. This is crucial for the Lightning Network's security. If the CLTV Delta is too small, there's a risk that a transaction might not be confirmed in time, which could result in loss of funds. Therefore, node operators on the Lightning Network often set a CLTV Delta of several blocks to ensure there's enough time for transactions to be processed in worst-case scenarios.

Understanding these settings and terms gives you a better grasp of how the Lightning Network operates and helps you manage your channels more effectively. Whether you're routing payments for others or using the network for your transactions, it's essential to be aware of what each setting signifies. Always remember to monitor and adjust your channels to ensure smooth transactions and maintain good relationships with your peers. Happy Lightning Networking!

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