Bitmex analysis on Lightning
According to one of the latest research that was conducted and published by Bitmex on the 15th of July 2019. There is a mechanism called “Justice Transactions”, that will punish any dishonesty from parties on the network while preventing them from stealing funds from other Lightning channels.
These Justice Transactions were identified through the representation of 2.22 bitcoins. The crypto exchange Bitmex went on to publish a third report that was base on the lightning network. Which was concerning the closures of lightning channels and it’s incentives that were designed to prevent any dishonesty coming from lightning nodes. As this can be done by broadcasting an earlier channel state via the network.
This kind of malicious activity or behaviour is preventable however, through the enablement of a defense system named “Justice Transactions. This involves the closure of the suspicious channel that is broadcasting the message. The loss of funds is also linked to the relevant bitcoin channels and can be punished under these circumstances.
According to the study there were justice channel closures, that were dating back to as far as December 2017. With data going up to 2019 and is identifying a total of 241 possible dishonest transactions corresponding to 2.22 bitcoins.
The Method used by the Exchange
This research was done using a basic research methodology, together with an alternative method that was developed by Lightning Labs. All these bitcoins were not stolen by thieves, but rather, the dishonest nodes punished the thieves by a high amount than they tried to steal. It’s seems as if though the users were trying to test the networks efficiency. As BitMEX itself was responsible for five transactions amongst the 241 transactions that was recorded.
The Lightning Network currently has 9,064 active nodes with 32,303 channels along with a network capacity of 896 BTC’s. This means that the Justice transactions make up about 0.7 percent of the current number of lightning channels.
In the future these justice transactions will play a vital role in the development of the Lightning Networks robustness, Scalability and reliability in payment systems. The Network channels have to be under constant monitoring for now. As less monitoring could increase the risk of the channels being taken over by thieves. Coinbase has recently implemented the lightning network for its users with this second layer solution for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.