Bitcoin Lightning Network is Ripple

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David Watson

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Mar 4, 2017, 2:57:27 PM3/4/17
to Ripple Project
I don't know if any of you have researched but Bitcoins solution to transaction bottleneck is to implement the off-chain "Lightning Network". I read the white paper and slide presentation on it yesterday. It is Ripple essentially.

Two Bitcoin users agree to open a "bi-directional payment channel" locking say .5 BTC each into a cooperative channel. They then create Bitcoin transactions that don't get committed to main change to alter shares. As long as they keep agreeing mutually on new state (Alice .4 Bob .6 eg) no need to broadcast to chain. If either party wants to close channel they just broadcast most recent agreement to chain. If one party tries to cheat and broadcast out of date transaction to chain other party gets all the coin.

That's the ripple connection. Then they plan to have third party servers find paths between these bilateral payment channels to execute a payment across multiple hops using Hashed Timelock Contracts.

This is what this controversial Segregated Witness soft-fork drama in Bitcoin community is all about. They're solution to transaction problem is to put a Ripple network on top of the whole thing.

And from reading articles the developers are running into same hub/path liquidity issues that anyone who has studied ripple is familiar with.

It's supposedly slated to go live this year.

Giovanni Parra

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Jan 2, 2018, 6:36:55 PM1/2/18
to Ripple Project
Hello, David.

The only difference is that in Lightning, the IOUs are the cash -- they are redeemable even if the other party cheats, which means you can have trustlines with anyone and they cannot left without losing their money. In the classic Ripple, there's no real money involved, so you cannot keep an open "channel" (a trustline) with people you don't really trust.

Also, the failure model for Lightning is very dependent on the existence of the Bitcoin blockchain: if someone doesn't cooperate, they lose their funds because there's a timed contract that is enforced by this trusted third-party, the blockchain. Also, if someone wants to redeem an IOU they must publish the secret commit token to the blockchain, and so it becomes public. These two features are exactly the ones missing from http://ripple.ryanfugger.com/Protocol/BareCommitMethod.

If we could have then, we could have a decentralized and beautiful Ripple network. Maybe Lightning has opened the doors to us, if there's any insight there that helps us solve this old Ripple protocol problem I've not seen it yet, but will keep searching for it.

Something good that will happen, I believe, is that the Lightning Network, when implemented, will require an infrastructure of connections and ways to transmit messages between peers, path servers and software that would identify the best payment paths, also the familiarity people will get with the concept. A future classic Ripple network could reuse all that instead of having to create their own stuff.

Jorge Timón

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Jan 3, 2018, 10:25:35 AM1/3/18
to rippleusers
Well, lightning could be extended to support multiple assets, perhaps
from different chains. In project like elementsprojec.org one can
create chains were people can issue their own assets. These assets
could represent IOUs or other forms of credit.
With all that, lightning could support the old ripple use case of
transitive payments.
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Jorge Timón

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Jan 3, 2018, 10:26:19 AM1/3/18
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Sorry, typo in the link http://elementsproject.org/
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