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Anti-fragility: Single Lightning Transaction Sends Network into Turmoil

CoinDesk | Frederick Munawa | Nov 2, 2022

Lightening network - Anti-fragility:  Single Lightning Transaction Sends Network into TurmoilA Twitter user by the name “Burak” (@brqgoo) sent a large swath of the Lightning Network into turmoil on Tuesday morning, when he allegedly created a non-standard Bitcoin transaction that prevented users from opening new Lightning channels (connections between Lightning nodes).

  • Anti-fragility:  Burak’s shenanigans disrupted a good chunk of the Bitcoin and Lightning ecosystems. Nevertheless, one could argue the community’s anti-fragility was on full display. Core Lightning (CLN) nodes that rely on Bitcoin Core, the most popular implementation of Bitcoin, were unaffected (although this seems to have been by design). Additionally, the bug Burak exploited was quickly patched (thanks to Elle Mouton and Oliver Gugger).
  • Bug handling going forward: Burak’s actions not only sparked lively exchanges on Twitter, but also raised a key question – how should the Bitcoin community handle similar exploits in the future?

See:  Lyn Alden Analysis: A Look at the Lightening Network

  • “It's always hard to prepare against a novel bug. I guess more review and bug bounty programs for responsible disclosure may help.” Pickhardt weighed in.
  • “However, as I understand, Pieter Wuille thinks there may sometimes be a risk in fixing bugs, as that may raise awareness and attract potential malicious actors in the transition phase while nodes update."
  • It'd be reasonable to assume that exploiting this needed cooperation from miners (or ones with non-standard mempool/relay policy at least), making it harder to pull off. And fixing this one-line without raising suspicion is hard,” Wuille tweeted.

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