Massive multi-signature transaction briefly crashes Bitcoin’s Lightning network

The experimental nature of the Lightning Network, a layer 2 network built on top Bitcoin Allowing faster transactions with lower fees, is one of the reasons why developers have warned users to risk large sums when sending and receiving money.

The warning now makes more sense after a Bitcoin developer decided to test the limits of the network by creating a complex transaction with multiple signatures (multi-signatures) that eventually brought LND, a Lightning Network app developed by Lightning Labs, to a short halt.

Lightning Network users typically open channels with a simple 2-by-2 multi-signature setup, where two signatures are required to spend money.

What Burak Keceli, founder of Bitmatrix, did was create 998 out of 999 multisig transactions for LND’s Bitcoin full-node application called BTCD, which means that 998 private key signatures are required to authenticate the transaction – a very complex and unusual task in itself.

Bitcoin Lightning Network Synchronization Issues

Although the transaction, which cost the developer $4.90 in fees, was accepted by testnet block producers and split into a main Bitcoin block, it confounded the method LND uses to calculate the latest Bitcoin block.

as such explained By Olaoluwa Osuntokun, CTO at Lightning Labs, “Because of this error, LND was unable to parse a new block, but could continue to forward as usual,” rejecting all requests to open new channels because LND realized that its internal wallet was out of sync with the chain.

After many users took to Github to complain about being unable to access the network due to a sync issue, the developers at Lightning Labs eventually identified and released a new fix, which is now available as LND v0.15.2.

Although it was successfully resolved, the case also shows that the development of the Lightning Network is still in progress and many things will need to be fixed before the protocol can be considered stable enough.

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