Will Lightning Help or Hurt Bitcoin Privacy?

Source : Will Lightning Help or Hurt Bitcoin Privacy?
Faster, cheaper bitcoin transactions? Check. But at what cost? For bitcoin users, many of whom were drawn to cryptocurrency for its promise of financial sovereignty, bitcoin is still synonymous with privacy. But the gap between the vision and the reality, in which user transactions today must be published to a globally distributed ledger , has long been one of the technology’s biggest points of controversy. “Bitcoin is Twitter for your bank account. Everything is public to everyone,” Ian Miers, the co-founder of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency zcash , told CoinDesk. Compounding matters, however, is that as bitcoin users get closer to gaining a whole new way to send transactions, powered by an innovation called the Lighting Network , concerns are spreading that privacy could degrade from its already imperfect state. On the surface, the idea might seem promising – because Lightning payments occur “off-chain,” the information isn’t included in the blockchain that all nodes store. But while there is no Lightning ledger so to speak, payments in the scheme are still broadcast across nodes within the network. Essentially, to ensure routing is always available, those using Lightning channels need to trust other network users to help relay transactions. Conceptually, this means […]
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