Bitcoin: 28% non-cooperative channel closures on lightning network were private
BitMEX Research’s previous data had stated over 60,000 non-cooperative channel closures took place on the Bitcoin’s lightning network. A non-cooperative channel closure takes place when a lightning network node initiates the closure of a payment channel without directly communicating with the node linked to the channel. BitMEX, in its recent research took an in-depth look into these closures to find that 28% of non-cooperative closures were related to private channels.
“This 28% figure may be a reasonable proxy for the total proportion of private channels on the wider lightning network.”
Such transactions are easily tracked and recognized and have resulted in cumulative spending of over 1,000 BTC. However, the persistent presence of these activities meant the privacy and scalability benefits of lightning are lower than expected, noted the report.
The current proportion of public vs private channel on the lightning network stood at 72.2% Public and 27.8% private.
BitMEX’s research had highlighted an expected number of 30,000 non-cooperative channel closures from the report. In some instances, the closure meant an attempt at stealing funds, known as the breach closure. If the attempted theft had been detected, a breach closure can be followed by a penalty transaction, however, such attempts were rare according to BitMEX.
“Our analysis shows that these penalty transactions are very rare. Only 0.30% of non-cooperative closures result in a penalty transaction or 0.22% by value.”
Even though public channels comprised 72% of the lightning network, they cannot be directly related to non-cooperative closures. With 895 bitcoin in the public channels according to txstats.com, the estimated lightning network capacity was at 1,240 BTC.