Amid the recent security vulnerability of the Lightning Network and claims made by Emin Gün Sirer, how reliable is the Lightning Network now?
Cornwell University professor and computer scientist Emin Gün Sirer said the controversial Lightning Network exposes both private payment details and routing information.
Sirer, who is an esteemed developer in the cryptocurrency industry, stressed on Twitter that the main flaw of the Lightning Network lies within its design that “fundamentally leaks” the said information.
Small, easily patched security vulnerabilities don't matter. LN fundamentally leaks private payment and routing information. https://t.co/XWVEVrKbpK
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) August 30, 2019
This came after Bitcoin lightning coder Rusty Russell revealed in a tweet last Friday that certain lightning projects may result in loss of funds because of certain security issues.
Russell advised users to upgrade the following lightning nodes to address the security issue:
- CVE-2019-12998 c-lightning < 0.7.1
- CVE-2019-12999 lnd < 0.7
- CVE-2019-13000 eclair <= 0.3
In a newsletter he shared, he said they will release full details in four weeks, tentatively on Sep. 27.
This security vulnerability is the latest issue to hit the Lightning Network, which is still in testing phase. But there are other concerns its developer should look into, and these are the declining adoption of the network and the small incentives node operators receive.
According to a report, over 9,200 Lightning Network channels have closed or disappeared since March 2019. There was also a significant 22-percent drop in the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) locked up on the network for payment purposes.
Additionally, a node operator shared on Reddit that he does not profit from operating Lightning Network nodes. But he intends to continue doing it as his own way of supporting the network.
The Lightning Network’s goal is to increase Bitcoin transaction speeds by creating another layer operating on top of the blockchain. Several companies and firms have activated nodes to bring the network into the mainstream.