Every day, Lightning Network developers continue on their mission to create a secure second layer protocol to advance Bitcoin adoption to the masses, not just at bitcoin casinos. As part of this strategy, the Lighting Network undergoes intensive Beta testing. This week, Blockstream co-founder, Matt Corallo revealed what he described as a potential Lightning Network attack vector.
Now, thanks to two years of R&D, developers are able to discover advanced bugs within the off-chain protocol. The revelation comes on the heels of another bug found weeks earlier.
Hash Time-Locked Contract
According to reports, The attack vector focuses on the network transaction mechanism. Specifically, the coding exploits a weakness in how users extract funds held within the Hash Time-Locked Contract or HTLC. These specially designed smart contracts are set up to require payment recipients to confirm transactions.
The HTLC accomplishes this task through the use of cryptographic evidence of payment. When the payment evidence is not received, you give up the ability to claim the payment. Unclaimed payments stay in the payment channel until the sender claims a refund. It's here where the potential bug arises. Specifically, the malicious coding denies the sender the ability to access this refund.
Possible Fixes – No Great Option Yet
Importantly, Corallo lists a variety of ways to fix the bug. However, he notes that none of them are ideal in the sense that all of them reduce efficiency on the network. Luckily, the developer described the issue as not very important because the peculiarity of the attack makes it not a very profitable venture for a potential attacker.
The developer behind the intuitive discovery is none other than long-time Bitcoiner and Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo. Corallo gained notoriety for his work in the fields of sidechain and Bitcoin extensibility technology. He has been a positive influence in the industry since its inception. Notably, Corallo is one of the most prolific bitcoin developers of all time.
Corallo In the News
Aside from his previous accolades, Corallo recently made headlines after he joined the Square Crypto team. Square Crypto is the division of payment processing giant Square. Discussing the hire, he spoke on the ability to work on more complex problems thanks to the close-knit format of the Square Crypto team.
Still, this is another bug that must be repaired before the Lighting Network is ready for mass adoption. After two years of intense Beta testing, the platform has made some significant advancements. Now users can enjoy a wider range of functionality. Importantly, this month, Lightning Labs released another update to their LN-protocol. The new version quadruples the amount of Bitcoin you can safely send across the network.
Matt Corallo Putting in Work
It's great to see so many talented individuals all focused on the common goal to simplify the Lighting Network and bring Bitcoin to the entire world. You can expect to hear more exciting developments as the Lightning Network wraps up its second year of Beta testing in the coming months.