Bitcoin Q&A: Lightning, full nodes, and miners

Bitcoin Q&A: Lightning, full nodes, and miners


[AUDIENCE] One comment [you made], which I loved…
you said Lightning was a bit like proof-of-stake.
I just wanted to know, how does everything
feed into that? How will things change?
…with those questions presented again. Sorry, babbling.
[ANDREAS] That is something I said in the past.
[What I meant] is, the Lightning Network involves doing
local validation of the same consensus rules as Bitcoin.
But you earn fees by committing funds into a channel,
which sounds very much like proof-of-stake to me.
It represents a tremendous opportunity for
users who want to run a Bitcoin full node.
It takes quite a lot of commitment in
data storage, CPU, RAM, and bandwidth.
Not many people do that. There are probably five
to fifteen thousand users [running full nodes].
You are running one right there, I am running one as well.
Great. How many people here are running a full node?
Ten people, wow. Go Singapore! [Laughter]
It takes a commitment in resources
and you don’t get paid to do this.
How many of you would run a full node if you could
also run a Lightning node, commit some bitcoin,
and earn fees? Now you see… about twenty people.
Clearly, incentives matter. Lightning is one way we
can incentive [people to] run fully validating nodes…
and full archive nodes.
Potentially, this could be a really
important development in Bitcoin.
I am very much in favour.
You would think that miners, who run full validating
nodes to collect transactions [from the mempool],
would look at the Lightning Network and think,
‘We could earn more fees by running
Lightning on [existing] infrastructure.’
‘We could extend into this space and be “hubs”
for payments.’ Why are they not doing that?
Because running Bitcoin and Lightning nodes
[at that scale] would require software maintenance,
system administrators, and security professionals.
[They need to worry about] configuration,
upgrades, and all kinds of things.
You can’t simply pay someone to rack and mount
hardware [for that purpose]. It is an alien world.
It is not better or worse, it is just on the other side
of that culture divide, which explains why miners…
aren’t jumping up and down saying,
“Yeah, I want to run Lightning!”
“We are best-positioned to be running hubs.”
It is not the same as racking mining hardware.

6 thoughts on “Bitcoin Q&A: Lightning, full nodes, and miners”

  1. I always take something away from Andreas's videos. Always insightful. I honestly hadn't thought about miners resisting moving into software.

  2. Hey everybody and Andreas. i don't quite understand what's a lightning or a full node, could anyone explain a little?

  3. So let's review what he just said:
    People are going to run full nodes, validate transactions and be compensated for BOTH by putting up collateral on a Lightening Network, an equivalent of Proof of Stake. But will who validates your transaction be random? No. It will be trusted. Will there be protocol level security for double-spends to be discarded? NO. There's a dozen questions that poke holes in this approach to "Fast Transactions" and Lightening Network will have to answer the SAME issues that Proof of Stake has. It begs the question – WHY NOT decentralize this process in a secure method integrated INTO Bitcoin Protocol, not a "side protocol"?
    There's a Cryptocurrency that has taken Bitcoin Core and IS DOING THIS on a Protocol Main-Net Level – everyone who runs full nodes also has authority to be a Validator, and the Validation is Random amongst ALL nodes based on "Bitcoin" stored in Nodes. (much more secure than Lightening Networks). Add to that, they created a layer of Nodes with larger amount of collateral that Instantly Verify Transactions – and are used for Double Random Validation of each Block. This answers the security issues of Lightening Network, while ON CHAIN creating a totally decentralized, far more secure, Protocol Level way of running Bitcoin equivalent of Lightening Network, but doing it AS Bitcoin, not on a side chain.
    Why not incorporate Lightening Network on a Protocol Level?
    This is what PIVX IS DOING. It's doing what Bitcoin pretends to do in the future with Lightening, but on a Protocol, much more secure, and totally decentralized method.

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