Questions about BOLT


I have been looking into BOLT and I have a couple of questions to make sure my understanding is correct about some potential pitfalls of the technology. I hope this is the right category.

  1. For direct channels: I understand that the receiver does not know who has channels open with them, what their balance is and who paid them in a specific transaction. However, these privacy properties should weaken a lot if the receiver only has a single channel on their node, they should learn a lot more about their one customer. If I have not overlooked something the sender has no way of verifying that the receiver has multiple channels open to her node and is receiving other payments. To stick with the example from Ian’s presentation: Moe could spin up a new node for every new channel a customer is opening to his bar. He should then be able to tell, through correlation with visiting patterns, who the biggest alcoholic is at the bar. Is my understanding correct?
  2. For intermediate channels: One of the critiques of the Lightning Network in the presentation is that it could develop into a hub-and-spoke structure which would the central node almost all information on the network. BOLT, of course, proposes a solution to this but at the same time, the current state of intermediate channels seems to only work well in combination to a hub-and-spoke network structure. Due to the privacy of BOLT, I should not be able to tell if a node I want to pay has a channel open with a random intermediate node. It would only be effective if I can be sure that the other node has a channel with the intermediate node because everyone has a channel open with that node, making it a single point of failure in the network. Is this how this would work in practice at the current state of the protocol? Even if there are 3-5 of these central hubs, would this not be a massive DDOS vulnerability?
  3. There are mentions of further development that would allow multiple hops on payment routes, it ranges from ‘should be possible’ to ‘will be implemented’ but I did not find any further information on the status or how this could be achieved. Does anyone have more info on the state of that technology?

Thanks :slight_smile:

J. Akinyele was recently given a Grant to continue working on BOLT:

And here is the current in-progress GitHub Repo: GitHub - ZcashFoundation/libbolt: Rust implementation of libbolt

So I would suggest that he or @secparam would be the one to contact with more technical details about BOLT and the current state of the art.

Also, J. Akinyeles Zcon0 talk about BOLT: Diving Into Bolt; A Privacy-Preserving Layer Two Approach - YouTube