Network Lightning Network was more centralized than it seemed

Lightning Network should be the next big step in the development of Bitcoin. Earlier this month a group of academics from Switzerland, France, Italy and Canada issued a report on the study of the features of LN. In practice, the network is much more centralized than it was considered previously.

Analysts said that the LN is further away from the ideals of decentralization, which first promoted the network. In fact, 10 percent of the nodes Lightning Network includes 80 percent of all bitcoins in payment channels.

Text topic: What is Lightning Network. A detailed user manual.

Decentralization is again under threat

In the published document, titled “Lightning Network, the second path towards centralization of the Bitcoin economy” authors: Christian Decker, Jian-Hong Lin, Kevin Primicerio, Tiziano Squartini and Claudio the Tesson claim that the network is “evolving towards a more centralized architecture.”

Lightning Network has a high Gini coefficients, when it comes to centralization and distribution of wealth. And this figure only increases with the advent of the new node LN. According to primary observations, the Gini index for each node in the network exceeds 0.88 percent. That is ten percent nod own more than 80 percent of all BTC network.

The Gini coefficient is a statistical measure of the stratification of society on any basis. A value of 0 characterizes an equal distribution and 1 indicates complete inequality. That is, the rate is quite high.

The aim of the analysts was to understand what idealised model best describes the network in its current state. They took Undirected Binary Configuration Model (UBCM), but Lightning Network had an even greater degree of centralization than was expected earlier.

This suggests that Lightning Network Bitcoin becomes more centralized network structure the periphery of which is based on the same core.

In the UBCM assume that the network has multiple Central nodes. Below are the visualization of the networks 16 and 34 day razvitiya. They can become the target of attacks by hackers, the researchers noted.

Network visualization of Lightning. Source: Cointelegraph

In practice, the number of centralized nod was even lower than the original assumptions. Using graphs you can represent the real situation in Lightning Network. The image below shows the network with the development from 16 to 34 days.

Network visualization of Lightning. Source: Cointelegraph

That is all you will have much more centralized than it should be ideally.

Christian Decker from the team of researchers said that in the future the centralization LN needs to go on the decline in the proper development of the network. And while it does remain vulnerable to attacks and different kinds of problems.


The network Lightning Network really is opponents. Critics emphasize that payments in LN can only those who are connected to other members of the network, and it does not coincide with the essence of decentralization of Bitcoin. That is, first the users need to perform some action, and then conduct operations. However, in the case of Bitcoin on Satoshi's plan all options available to the owner of the coins immediately after purchasing the coins. And without any exceptions.

We believe that the conclusions of the experts are not critical. Most likely, the centralization of the network is normal given its small popularity. The number of users of Lightning Network is small in comparison with the owners of the bitcoins, while the number of owners of bitcoins is insignificant compared to the clients of the banks. That is, enthusiasts in the network is LN and hence the risk for this situation with the centralization of much more. Obviously, the growth in the number of users Lightning Network, the situation will change for the better.

What do you think about this? Share your opinion in our cryptodata.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL IN THE TELEGRAM. SO WE WILL WIN!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *