[Lightning-dev] LN without SegWit: less efficient or less secure?

Andrés G. Aragoneses knocte at gmail.com
Sat Jan 14 10:17:40 UTC 2017

Hi there,

Seems like the list is a bit dormant these days.

Is it because of the low chances of SegWit activation given that it stalled
at ~26%?

On this topic, I would like to ask about the feasibility of LN without
SegWit, given these circumstances.

Some has been said in the past, I've been reading through the archives. But
in them, everybody seemed overly enthusiastic about the activation of
SegWit (maybe given that OP_CLTV and OP_CSV activated without hassle).

I also stumbled across some notes about a talk on this topic ("BIPs
necessary for lightning"):
In it, the 3-levels of LN are explained, level 1 with OP_CLTV, level 2 with
OP_CVS and level 3 with SegWit+SigHash new opcodes.

That link, the level I'm interested in (2), seems to only highlight about
how inefficient would be compared to level3. However, Joseph Poon has been
quoted also mentioning "security" problems involved in level2 vs level3:

"...while aspects of Lightning are possible without the fix, the technology
would be far less secure without it"

This contrasts to what is said in this other article:

"[level3] would allow users to outsource channel monitoring, which means
they won’t have to constantly keep an eye on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Meanwhile channels could be kept open longer and closed quicker. It would
offer a better user experience overall”.

Which one is more accurate? Is the security problems only related to having
to watch the blockchain? If yes, why cannot one outsource this job to a
server (e.g. the hypothetical server of your light-wallet) in level2?

Thanks in advance for any clarifications,

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