Developer Explains Why a Multi-Asset Lightning Network Might Not Work

A contributor to the Lightning Network codebase who goes by the name ZmnSCPxj recently wrote a reasoned post to the Lightning Development mailing list detailing what he views as a limitation of the network, which is considered by many to represent the future of Bitcoin scaling and adoption.

The identity of ZmnSCPxj is not known. As they describe on their website, they prefer to be judged by the merits of their work. The “randomly generated Internet person” does insist that they are not Craig S. Wright, Luke-Jr, or Tom Elvis Jedusor.

As they point out, their identity is truly immaterial. After all, they aren’t asking for money or making claims that can be only believed if their identity is proven (as was the case with Craig S. Wright’s claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto.)

ZmnSCPxj has asserted that the use of Lightning Network to make seamless mulit-asset conversions is limited by its technical design at present. He discusses the ability of Lightning Channels to be used for American Call Options, and points out that this essentially will be problematic in situations where the value of traded assets changes significantly during trade windows.


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