On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for Off-Chain BTC

On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for off-Chain BTC

This week an individual revealed he had completed the first trustless swap by trading on-chain bitcoin cash (BCH) for off-chain bitcoin core (BTC) using Alex Bosworth’s submarine swap protocol.

Also read: Illegal Activity No Longer Dominant Use of Bitcoin: DEA Agent

On-Chain Bitcoin Cash Submarine Swapped for Off-Chain BTC

The decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin cash (BCH) was traded over the Lightning Network this week for off-chain bitcoin core (BTC). According to an individual on Reddit named u/Darkdeepths, he says he’s been fortunate to see Bosworth’s submarine swap testing and decided to test the protocol himself. The submarine swap protocol is an atomic on-chain and off-chain trading platform created by Bosworth that allows a person to use on-chain funds to pay for an off-chain Lightning invoice. Users can test the protocol with testnet coins and the process was recently used by Jason Wong for an on-chain litecoin (LTC) transaction traded for an off-chain BTC transaction. The Reddit user Darkdeepths decided to utilize bitcoin cash for the experiment two days ago.

On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for off-Chain BTC
Darkdeepths BCH for BTC submarine swap.

“I’m trustlessly swapping On-Chain BCH for Off-Chain BTC,” explains Darkdeepths. “I am fortunate enough to get a look at some of the cool submarine swap technology that Alex Bosworth is building — I decided I wanted to test turning some of my on-chain BCH to Lightning Network BTC.”

I created a Lightning wallet on Moneni.com and generated the Lightning invoice there. Alex already had channel capacity, so all I needed to do was enter the invoice and pay the script that he provided. His service also returned a payload with a redeem script and a block height after which I could claim a refund (in case things went south).

On-Chain BCH Used in a Submarine Swap for off-Chain BTC
Concepts like Plasma and Atomic Swaps have become more popular over the last year.

Atomic Swaps and Plasma Trading May Invigorate the Concept of Decentralized Exchanges

A few Bitcoin Cash proponents seemed to like the idea that on-chain BCH was swapped trustlessly for off-chain BTC. Darkdeepths experiment was a top post on the bitcoin-cash focused forum r/btc on August 9. Furthermore, Darkdeepths said he may try to reverse the process during his next test.   

“It was pretty exciting executing the swap with real assets,” Darkdeepths says.   

Thinking of trying the reverse soon (requesting BCH-on-chain for my BTC-on-LN). should work when the swap is initiated from either side of the trade.

Ideas like these make it possible for people to realize the possibilities of trustless trading and truly decentralized exchanges. Ideas like atomic swaps, and plasma are making it possible for traders to swap cryptocurrencies without a third party involved and many decentralized exchanges are basing their models on some form of cross-chain swaps.

What do you think about the individual who successfully swapped an on-chain BCH transaction for some off-chain BTC? Do you think concepts like these will be helpful for decentralized exchanges? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Alex Bosworth’s Submarine Swap site. 


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Bitcoin Price Must Hit $213,000 to Become Viable USD Replacement: UBS

Even after weathering a bear market that wiped out more than 60 percent of the flagship cryptocurrency’s value, the bitcoin price continues to trade at a mark far above what its critics thought it could ever reach. Nevertheless, it still has a long way to go if it hopes to supplant the U.S. dollar or

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Litecoin Price ‘Massively Discounted’: Cryptocurrency Analyst

Supporters of litecoin often tout the sixth-largest cryptocurrency as “silver to bitcoin’s digital gold,” but one cryptocurrency says it’s also a diamond in the rough. Writing in an eight-page report published on Tuesday, eToro senior market analyst Mati Greenspan argues that the litecoin price is trading at a “massive discount to what it should be … Continued

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HTC ‘Exodus’ Blockchain Phone To Support LTC, Lee to Advise Project

HTC 'Exodus' Blockchain Phone To Support LTC, Lee to Advise Project

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin (LTC), has been announced as an adviser to the development of HTC’s “Exodus” blockchain phone following Mr. Lee’s recent tweet that stated he had met with the HTC team and that the Exodus phone will natively support LTC.

Also Read: Football Team in Gibraltar to Pay Its Players in Cryptocurrency

Charlie Lee Announces that HTC’s Blockchain Phone Will Support LTC

HTC 'Exodus' Blockchain Phone To Support LTC, Lee to Advise ProjectOn the 30th of July, Litecoin’s creator, Charlie Lee, took to Twitter to announce that HTC’s upcoming blockchain phone, Exodus, will feature native support for LTC. First announced in May, HTC claims that the Exodus will be “the world’s first native blockchain phone dedicated to decentralized applications and security.”

Mr. Lee posted: “Met the HTC Exodus team last week and was really excited to hear the phone will support LTC and Lightning Network on Litecoin natively! I will be an advisor as I see having a secure crypto phone that makes LN simple is needed for mass adoption.”

The official Twitter account of the HTC Exodus confirmed Mr. Lee’s claims, replying to the Tweet with “One small step for @SatoshiLite. One giant leap for blockchain. Team @HTCExodus, @philchen913 @htc are honored to have Charlie Lee to join as our advisor.”

HTC Bullish on Blockchain and Crypto

HTC 'Exodus' Blockchain Phone To Support LTC, Lee to Advise ProjectEarlier this month, HTC indicated that the Exodus would be made available during Q3 of 2018. Phil Chen, the chief crypto officer at HTC, claimed that the company has already received “tens of thousands” of reservations globally.

Mr. Chen also shared his optimism regarding the outlook for the virtual currency and distributed ledger technology industries, stating: “Every 10 years, we see shifts [in technology],” he said. “We think that crypto and blockchain will be the next shift.”

“At some point, we’ll do our own utility token,” Mr. Chen added.

Distributed Ledger Technology Expected to Reshape Telecommunications Industry

HTC 'Exodus' Blockchain Phone To Support LTC, Lee to Advise ProjectAt the start of the month, a report published by Research and Markets claimed that distributed ledger technology will add nearly $1 billion to the global telecommunications industry within the next five years.

HTC is not the only company preparing to launch a blockchain phone in coming months, with Sirin Labs’ “Finney” expected to arrive in November. The Swiss firm raised $157.8 through an initial coin offering (ICO) – at the time comprising the fourth largest to ever take place.

The third largest handset maker in the world, Huawei Technologies, has also expressed interest in entering the blockchain phone industry – with reports from March indicating that the company was in discussions with Sirin regarding the licensing of the company’s SIRIN OS operating system.

Do you think that so-called blockchain phones will have a significant impact on the telecommunications industry? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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A Look at What It Was Like to Operate the Lightning Network’s Largest Node

A Look at What It Was Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node

About two weeks ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on one guy who controlled the Lightning Network’s (LN) biggest node when he commanded 49 percent of the total funds held within the network. Since then, Andreas Brekken, the owner of the blockchain review website Shitcoin.com, wrote four reviews about his node that held 35.24 BTC and his daily experiences using the LN protocol.

Also Read: Market Caps for Privacy-Centric Currencies Have Dropped Significantly

Compiling a Lightning Network Node

The Lightning Network is a second layer payment protocol that many people believe can solve Bitcoin Core’s (BTC) scalability problem. The reason for this is because the LN system works on top of the BTC chain and because of this factor there would be fewer on-chain transactions. Essentially the system comprises a great number of participating nodes that can send transactions through bidirectional payment channels. Alongside this, there’s been a ferocious debate over the years because people have touted LN as the solution for BTC’s congested mempool, even though the network is very much in its infancy.

Just recently we reported on the owner of Shitcoin.com, Andreas Brekken, when he initially freaked everyone out with a couple hundred grand worth of BTC sitting within his LN node. Both the BTC and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) communities had discussed the subject heavily during the first few days, and Brekken’s story made headlines in multiple news publications and podcasts. Since then Brekken wrote four reviews about his experience being the largest node on the Lightning Network. In Brekken’s first review “Lightning Network #1 Can I Compile and Run a Node,” the review gives some comprehensive insight to successfully installing and configuring the ‘lnd’ protocol. The author notes that the ‘autopilot’ feature helps establish a connection and provides funding to the payment channels.

A Look at What Its Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node
Brekken compiling lnd, bitcoind, and bitcoin core.

A Look at What Its Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node

Brekken explains there are a few reviews online that detail the Lightning Network’s probability of finding routes, but people who experience issues may be making a simple error. Furthermore, even though the installation process took a lot of time because it requires compiling a BTC full node installation, Brekken details the process was fairly simple to configure.

“Writers critical of Lightning Network claim the probability of finding routes between two random nodes is very low for amounts over $10. I suspect this is because they are choosing random nodes and not peering properly,” Brekken explains.

Compiling, installing, and running Lightning Network Daemon, lnd, was straight forward. I look forward to using payment channels for sending and receiving bitcoin.  

A Look at What Its Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node
Brekken makes headlines for being the largest LN node.

Shitcoin.com Becomes the Lightning Network

In part two of Brekken’s review, he says maintaining a payment hub is becoming stressful and routing doesn’t make that much money. “When I started writing the review the total capacity of the Lightning Network was slightly over 20 BTC (around $130,000) — I decide to shake things up,” Brekken notes. “Reactions to my experiment on social media are mixed. The increase in capacity of the Lightning Network is celebrated by some.”

A Look at What Its Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node
Brekken’s Shitcoin.com node held 35.24 BTC.

“My Lightning Network node has established over 200 payment channels with 250 peers. The node capacity is exceeding 40 bitcoin. The month_fee_sum comes to 4289 satoshis, or 0.00004289 bitcoin ($0.31). I also wonder how any payments have been routed,” he adds.

The node has routed 260 payments for other users, averaging a profit of $0.0012 USD per transaction. I doubt that this will cover the costs of running the node, but leave the node running for now.

LN Impractical Even for Highly Technical Users

Brekken’s third review, called “Lightning Network #3 Paying for Goods and Services,” shows his experiences sending payments through the network. First Brekken heads over to a website called Satoshitweet to pay a small microtransaction for a posted tweet on the platform. However, after clicking the ‘Pay 2020 satoshis’ to tweet button he gets an error. “I click the button a few more times — The error remains the same — I look in the Google Chrome network inspector and SatoshiTweet is returning a generic 500 Internal Server Error response.”

The review then discusses trying to use an LN-based dice game called ‘Lightning Spin’ but Brekken has issues with the site glitching and invoices changing rapidly. After resetting his browser and getting a stable invoice Brekken sends some funds. “The payment will be sent through two hops and pay 1800 msats (0.00000002 BTC or 0.000135 USD). Back in the web browser the spin has been detected and I have won 400,000 sats (0.004 BTC or $30 USD).”

A Look at What Its Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node
Brekken wins $30 bucks on Lightning Spin.

After playing around with Lightning Spin, Brekken tests out various other LN web portals like the Blockstream store, Bitrefill and Satoshi’s Place while experimenting with both the Eclair and Zap wallets. Minus an order for Reddit Gold on the website Bitrefill and Brekken’s win on Lightning Spin, most of the attempts had errors. Brekken concludes in his third review:

Sending payments using the Lightning Network is cheaper than the regular Bitcoin network, but suffers from routing errors and wallet bugs that make it impractical even for highly technical users.

A Look at What Its Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node
Shitcoin.com makes its mark on the pixel site Satoshi’s Place.

Stressing Out About a Possible Lightning Network Exploit

Brekken wraps up his final review in his Medium article called, “Lightning Network #4 What Happens When You Close Down Half of the Lightning Network Capacity?” Brekken says operating the largest nodes within LN was fun, but also “terrifying” at times. Brekken’s node has routed 389 payments in total which added up to a profit of USD$0.34 cents. But a portion of the funds didn’t come from routing as Brekken notes, “I suspect the increase is mostly from the recent increase in bitcoin’s price.” Brekken also tries to close the connected channels manually but ran into some more errors making some channels unable to close.

A Look at What Its Like to Operate the Lightning Network's Largest Node

So Brekken ‘force closed’ all his channels unilaterally which locks up his funds until a predetermined amount of time ends. “The amount of time the funds are locked up depends on the channel policy — This policy is negotiated when the channel opens. Most channels will release the funds to me in between 1440 and 20180 minutes,” Brekken emphasizes.

The Shitcoin.com owner concludes his fourth review by saying he looks forward to trying LN when it matures more and says that leaving funds on the network can be trying.   

“Running a large Lightning Network node has been quite stressful — An exploit such as we saw with heartbleed could allow an attacker to drain all funds from the node while I’m sleeping. It’s time to end the experiment,” Brekken concludes.   

Operating the largest node on the Bitcoin Lightning Network has been educational, frustrating, fun, and at times terrifying. I look forward to trying it again once the technology matures.

What do you think about Brekken’s reviews of the Lightning Network? Do you think the technology will help scaling issues? Or do you think the technology will be centralized and not efficient enough to help with scaling? Let us know what you think about Brekken’s reviews in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Bitcoin Exchange Guide, Twitter, Shitcoin.com, and Andreas Brekken. 


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One Guy Controls the Lightning Network’s Biggest Node

One Guy Controls the Lightning Network's Biggest Node

BTC supporters were elated to discover recently that the Lightning Network’s (LN) capacity had spiked by 216 percent in just one day. Some individuals suspected the Build on Bitcoin conference had sparked more LN interest. However, onlookers have found the spike was due to a single node created by the owner of Shitcoin.com. According to LN explorers, the node holds more than 49 percent of the Lightning Network’s total funds.

Also read: Study Finds Cryptocurrency Rebalance Portfolios Outperform ‘Hodling’

Everyone is Talking About One Node That Holds More Funds Than 49% of the Entire Lightning network

One Guy Controls the Lightning Network's Biggest Node

There’s a new Lightning Network node on the block that has BTC supporters in a frenzy trying to figure out why one person has so much money on this nascent network. At the time of writing the so-called “≡ƒÆ⌐LN.SHITCOIN.COM≡ƒÆ⌐” holds 35.24 BTC or $220,000 USD at the time of writing. The node is operated by Andreas Brekken, the owner of Shitcoin.com who has detailed he plans on doing a review of the Lightning Network. Brekken’s Shitcoin.com reviews a wide variety of cryptocurrencies like IOTA, Tron, EOS, and Dash.

Brekken’s node is massive compared to the rest of the nodes across LN and on July 14 the node operator stated to his Twitter followers:

To make the Lightning Network truly decentralized, we must first become the Lightning Network.

One Guy Controls the Lightning Network's Biggest Node One Guy Controls the Lightning Network's Biggest Node

Supporters Afraid the Node May “Reduce People’s Trust in the Lightning Network”, While Some Are Using the Node for Routing, Even Though They “Don’t Trust the Guy” Operating It

Of course, LN supporters had a lot to say about Brekken’s node as some believed it was just an expensive marketing attempt for his review website. Some users even argued that Brekken might try to attempt some sort of “attack”.

One Guy Controls the Lightning Network's Biggest Node

“If he could somehow crash or reduce people’s trust in the Lightning Network, that would be a plus for his side,” explains one Reddit user. Oddly enough, one user explained that even though he didn’t trust Brekken, he’s been using the node for liquidity.

“I opened a channel with this node — it routes payments very well (loads of liquidity),” reveals another Reddit user.

I will not be receiving (only spending) via this channel as I don’t trust this guy — If you spend only — there is no need for watchtowers, or zero risk to your money.

All Eyes on One Node

Brekken hasn’t disclosed when his official LN review will be published or what type of testing he has been doing. Just recently he revealed how much money he’s made so far from routing, which turned out to be around $0.028 USD worth of BTC. It’s likely Brekken will follow through with a detailed review, but in the meantime, it’s safe to say many bitcoiners will be watching this node closely.

What do you think about the Shitcoin.com node on the Lightning Network? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, Recksplorer, and Shitcoin.com.


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CoinJoinXT: Using the Lightning Network to Hide Bitcoin Transactions in Plain Sight

There’s a common misconception among the general public that bitcoin is an inherently-anonymous currency. In fact, bitcoin offers users pseudonymity, and the privacy it offers is fragile at best. Though still masked from the average user, blockchain analysts can use powerful tools to sift through blockchain data and use it to identify the owners of

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Still Unsuitable for Large Payments, Research Suggests

A recent report published by cryptocurrency research firm Diar suggests that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a second-layer solution touted as the answer to the cryptocurrency’s scalability problem, is still unsuitable for large payments. According to the report, the network only ensures a 100 percent success rate for payments of $0.03 or less. The chance of successfully

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Bitcoin Airdrop and Azul App to Send Millions in Bitcoin to Venezuela

Bitcoin Airdrop

Can a Bitcoin Airdrop help the people of Venezuela? The country is considered one of the world’s most oppressive monetary states. Unfair practices implemented by its government to maintain control of its people has resulted in the following;

“severe shortages of medicines, medical supplies, and food have intensified since 2014, and weak government responses have undermined Venezuelans’ rights to health and food. Protesters have been arbitrarily detained and subject to abuse by security forces.” — as reported by The Human Rights Watch World Report in 2017.

But can cryptocurrency change all this? Developer John ...

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Mastercard Wins Patent for Anonymous Blockchain Transactions

Financial services giant Mastercard was awarded several new blockchain patents this week, continuing its trend of embracing distributing ledger research even as it expresses open hostility to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, one particular patent is raising eyebrows. The patent, awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, outlines a system that

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Looking Beyond the Lightning Network Hype: Every Day Users Experience Issues

Looking Beyond the Lightning Network Hype: Every Day Users Experience Issues

Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of headlines and new wallets created for the notorious Lightning Network — The second layer payment protocol that’s being touted as a solution to the BTC chain’s scaling issues. The project is in its very early stages as the technology is still in beta, but people are actually using the protocol on main-net with real funds. So far this technology still seems very far away, and some people looking beyond the hype are finding individuals and groups who are testing this second layer are running into problems.

Also read: Bitcoin and Mnemonics: The Art of the Secret Phrase 

Lightning Network Tipping Turns Out to be Not So Easy

For a while now in the cryptocurrency space people have been hearing about the Lightning Network (LN), new LN wallets, and areas on the internet that allow users to test the technology using both Bitcoin Core’s (BTC) testnet and mainnet. A percentage of individuals and cryptocurrency users have been using the second layer protocol on the main BTC network as there are 2,307 LN nodes today, and 5,036 open channels. According to statistics, the Lighting Network shows over $142,000 USD worth of BTC locked in channels or being used on the network right now. There has been a lot of noise about the using LN and posts can be seen on social media channels and forums almost every day with people demonstrating the LN protocol. However, even though there seems to be a lot of action on the pixelated graphics website ‘Satoshi’s Place’ people are experiencing lots of issues with this protocol and there are many LN problems without solutions.

Looking Beyond the Lightning Network Hype: Every Day Users Experience Issues
Lightning Network June 25, 2018.

For instance on a Reddit post stemming from the subreddit r/bitcoin called “Lightning Network Submarine Swaps,” shows an interesting interaction between two LN users. One user named ‘Windsok’ wants to tip another Reddit user with five bucks worth of BTC, and he asks the recipient to create an LN node and send him an invoice for $5 worth of BTC.

“Oh goody, a tip! You made me finally download and install a lightning node,” explains the hopeful recipient. “Now I’ve got it up and running and some funds in a channel for the first time — but, alas, I can only receive $5 via that channel once I’ve spent $5.”

The Common Answer to LN’s Problems: Custodial Services, Watchtowers, and Centralized Hubs

The problems get worse for the two as the invoice expires for the user trying to receive the money. Then he creates an invoice with a longer expiry which also has issues. But one problem observers took issue with was the fact that a new user must use some of the BTC on the LN network, before being able to receive funds. Further, the person trying to receive the BTC explains he never got the tip and users may have to utilize a custodial service to benefit from LN.  

“I never got the tip because his node couldn’t find a route to mine,” explains the user.  

Partly this is likely due to my node being often offline, as it is on my laptop. For tips and receiving small amounts I think laptop users like myself will need to use custodial wallets once they are available, and withdraw from them to a self-hosted node whenever we have an opportunity.

Looking Beyond the Lightning Network Hype: Every Day Users Experience Issues
An interesting post on trying to receive an LN tip.

Sorry This Channel Has Closed, Try Again Another Time

This isn’t the only time people are seen on the internet complaining about the LN protocol not working correctly. With a quick Google search, anyone can find lengthy studies about LN’s topology concerns, discussions about centralized hubs, watchtowers, and routing problems. For instance, downloading an LN node is a long process and for the non-technical people in the world, it is difficult and a hassle. Alternatively, using light client wallets like Eclair and others also have connection issues, and people are always losing access to their channels that are constantly opening and closing.

Looking Beyond the Lightning Network Hype: Every Day Users Experience Issues
Eclair wallet.

LN users using the ‘lnd’ client will find issues with Satoshi’s Place (SP) because SP uses ‘c-lightning’ and there are issues with incompatible fees. LN Nodes have difficulties finding routes so then some people recommend connecting to more centralized nodes like Yalls or Acinq’s nodes in order to find a route. And even with these methods channels close often, usually after 10-15 minutes and sometimes immediately.

Looking Beyond the Lightning Network Hype: Every Day Users Experience Issues

The problems and bugs revolving around LN most definitely begs the question — Will the Lightning Network provide a solution to network congestion if it happens again? When will LN help with the rising network fees? Some skeptics believe even from the current vantage point that this second layer protocol is way more than “18 months away,” and even further than that when it comes to non-technical users otherwise known as mainstream adoption. Even worse is the theoretical chance that LN could lead to significant centralization, and KYC/AML regulations because major hubs in this hub & spoke environment could end up being the very banks we tried to avoid.   


Images via Pixabay, reksplorer, Eclair wallet, and Reddit.


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Charlie Lee Talks Bithumb Hack, Bitcoin Price, and Lightning Network

Charlie Lee on CNBC

Charlie Lee on CNBC: Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin (LTC), chatted with CNBC about the recent Bithumb hack, Bitcoin price, and the Lightning Network.

Charlie Lee on CNBC: Bithumb Hack

The South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb was hacked earlier this week, with a total of USD $30 million in crypto being stolen. It was enough to shift the exchange from its sixth-place ranking for daily trading volume down to seventh. Along with the loss of crypto from the exchange, many cryptocurrencies’ prices plummeted from the resulting panic, including Bitcoin (BTC).

Lee explained that the ...

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