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There's a lot of talk about using lightning to scale Bitcoin by allowing payment channels, But Bitcoin has a lot of properties that don't easily translate to Monero.

The primary concern for me seems to be that opening a payment channel itself would leak info, I.P. address, send address to the processor, I2P can fix the IP address issue, but leaking send address could allow processors to censor tx's.

Is my thinking correct? is there something I'm missing, how can Monero maintain it's permissionless and fungible nature using payment channels.

To be clear, I'm not talking about on just blockchain privacy, my problem is how can we insure privacy off the chain as well, opening a payment channel implies off chain communication via lightning, In a Alice <-> Bob <-> Eve payment channel the assumption is that Bob pays Eve on Alice's Behalf, but that implies all 3 parties required to share info off chain about amounts, receiver, etc.

  • I have no good info to answer this, but Monero will soon have one off addresses, such that a recipient cannot tell that two different addresses are from the same account. So you can always make another address and use that. – user36303 Sep 14 '17 at 19:31
  • Opening a payment channel should not necessarily leak addresses - should be hidden just like they are with existing Monero payments. – Jonathan Cross Oct 22 '17 at 21:31
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Note that the Lightning Network spec is still in flux with compatibility only for Bitcoin and Litecoin currently being developed. Monero is not compatible with the Lightning Network (lacks script support, has different timelock model, multisig works differently, etc), therefore this question makes little sense today.

That being said, the Lightning Network protocol (for Bitcoin) will enable Onion Routing which will help aleviate the IP address concern.

Subaddresses should aleviate the concern about addresses being "leaked" as they can be single-use.

There is some concern about how a long-lived payment channel might allow greater passive surveillance (transaction correlation) than is currently possible in Monero's on-chain transactions, so we'll have to see how this unfolds.

Note: if you are interested in something "like" Lightning then that may be feasible in the near future. Still, none of this is currently the focus.

  • Subaddresses are the "wrong way", if I wanted to donate to wikileaks, getting wikileaks to generate for me a secret subaddress is impractical. – Daniel Hill Sep 20 '17 at 3:30
  • Hmmm... okay, I think I see what you mean... Subaddresses make sense for one-off donations, but in the context of Lightning, the efficiency gains come from maintaining long-lasting channels (which could hypothetically use a subaddress). It would be inefficient to create a new channel for each donor. Then again you do have the significant benefit that LN transactions are only visible to the payor and payee and are not recorded on the blockchain. – Jonathan Cross Sep 20 '17 at 12:31
  • Wikileaks doesn't really need subaddresses, that's not the use case for them. If they publish only 1 address and you send multiple times to it, nobody will be able to tell that you sent to wikileaks or that those multiple TXes were sent to the same destination. Subaddresses help your privacy only when you're asking to be paid at different places and don't want someone to know where else you asked. Actually receiving was already protected to begin with (stealth addresses) and nobody can tell if you ever received something to a given address (unless you disclose the view key). – JollyMort Oct 20 '17 at 8:46
  • @JollyMort Thanks for the clarification, makes sense. – Jonathan Cross Oct 22 '17 at 21:07
  • @daniel-hill The "wikileaks donation" use case seems to be a non-issue because payments to the stealth addresses cannot be identified on the blockchain. I believe the same should hold true for Lightning transactions which happen over a channel established through on-chain multisig transaction. Subaddresses might make sense if you as an individual are receiving money from different parties over Lightning and do not want those parties to realize the money is going to the same "you". You'd probably need a separate channel for each subaddress it seems. – Jonathan Cross Oct 22 '17 at 21:28

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