Exploring the Centralization Risks of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

For the vast majority of Bitcoin Core contributors, the Lightning Network is viewed as the best option for scaling Bitcoin to many millions of new users. But the system has not yet been implemented on the Bitcoin blockchain, which has left many to wonder whether it is wise to put so much hope and reliance behind an untested solution.

At a recent event at the Coinbase offices in San Francisco, Lightning Network creators Joseph Poon and Tadge Dryja gave a presentation on their design for scaling Bitcoin via a generalized network for payment channels. During their talk, Dryja and Poon responded to concerns from the audience about how the Lightning Network may eventually become somewhat centralized via so-called supernodes.

Some Nodes Will Be Better-Connected Than Others

Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam brought up the issue of supernodes during the Lightning Network presentation, and Poon responded to this concern, stating:

“I think there will be [some nodes] more-connected than others. It’s important to make the nodes non-identifiable and easily interchangeable. When it comes to highly-connected nodes, it’s not infinitely cheap. It’s not going to be supernodes similar to BitTorrent or Skype peers (the

Read more ... source: TheBitcoinNews