This week LN community came forward to shed some light on the apparent 4 Bitcoin lost by a channel operator. The latest findings point to a combination of factors including frustration and a lack of technical understanding as to the culprits. Interestingly, some in the Lightning Network community now question if the loss ever occurred at all, or if the news was part of a more sinister social attack.
The 4 Bitcoin saga originated after a channel operated posted on Reddit asking some channel related questions. Specifically, the user asks if it's possible to lose Bitcoin during a forced close. Other LN operators replied that it is a possibility if you force close your channel using an older invalid state. After hearing this unsettling news, the user then began to post about the loss of 4 Bitcoin.
Developers Step In – 4 Bitcoin Loss
Given the extraordinary amount of time and effort going into this second layer protocol, developers were quick to investigate the claim. After some initial research, it now appears that the user did, in fact, use a force close function, with an outdated valid state. Apparently, a power outage caused the user to force close from a backup that was a few days old. In turn, this action caused the breach. Unfortunately, the operator wasn't aware that force closing from older state could result in losses.
Pattern of Negligence? – 4 Bitcoin Loss
Further investigation showed that this wasn't the first time the user locked up multiple Bitcoin. These Bitcoin were also in unused channels and force closed simultaneously. Additionally, developers have warned users about placing large amounts of Bitcoin on the network during Beta testing stages. Just last month, developers again warned users about potential losses after the discovery of a bug which allowed users to steal channel balances under certain circumstances.
More Questions Remain
Notably, some in the Lightning Network community started to question the validity of the claim. Recently, a group of LN supporters on Twitter began their own investigation into the incident. These investigations concluded that the user must have crashed through multiple safety barriers in a fit of frustration. The final verdict was the user was in over his head and didn't know their actions were detrimental to their Bitcoins.
Crypto Stars Chime in
Zap wallet developer Jack Mallers reported that he found no evidence at all of the loss. His findings were confirmed by longtime Lightning Network developer, and the guy who discovered the bug last month, TheRustyTwit. According to a recent story, Rusty claims that it “Looks like lnd saved confused dudes ass” or “he just made it all up.” It's the later statement that spurred some talks of a broader conspiracy against the network.
4 Bitcoin Loss Conspiracy
Some in the LN community now want to know if the actions were truly from a confused user. Or, if it was all FUD meant to give the network more bad press. On Social media, a small portion of users even went as far as to blame their long-time rivals – the Bitcoin Cash team. While it is a possibility, Bitcoin Cash currently has its own problems to deal with. Namely, the network's security has fallen under question as of late due to dropped hash rates.
The 4 Bitcoin Saga Continues
For now, all parties continue their investigation into what really occurred that Saturday afternoon. As it stands for the average user, the Lightning Network still functions as promised and all the Beta testing safety precautions are still in place to prevent major losses such as this. Hopefully, the community will get more details of how, or if, the loss occurred in the coming days.