The Lightning Network Just Got Its Biggest Node!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Lightning Network is tipped to be the solution to Bitcoin’s scalability issues, enabling people to make payments to one another at high speed and lower costs by taking transactions off-chain. If you’re a little confused about all this, the Lightning Network FAQ will help clear up any questions you might have. This revolutionary payment network is still in beta 0.4, but developers are testing the network’s capability to the max.

Lightning Network’s Biggest Node

Over the weekend, the Lightning Network got its biggest node to date. This node commands 26.7% of the total capacity of the Lightning Network. That equates to just shy of $87,000 (12.85 BTC). This is the largest public node on the network, and there is a lot of speculation over who controls it. A website linked to the node is one Andreas Brekken is affiliated with, giving the indication that he is its owner.

Dangers of Putting so Much Money on The Lightning Network

Presently, placing so much money on the Lighting Network is a huge risk. The network is still in 0.4 beta and has a lot of bugs, especially with regards to large transactions. There is a high risk of the funds in this node being stolen through hacking. No node on the network has ever held this much, and therefore raises some interesting questions. Is the node operator inviting hackers and bug hunters to try and break into this node, using the money as a “reward” for the person who finds a way in?

Is it Pointless to Put so Much Money in One Node?

Having more funds in a channel doesn’t necessarily mean more transactions will pass through your node. In fact, this node is fairly overcapitalized and there is a good chance this node will remain largely idle. If the node owner puts in some hard work and sets up a bunch of new channels between other nodes, it could possibly attack the Lightning Network the same way mining pools attack the blockchain with 51% attacks. If the node opens enough channels the system will automatically route more transactions through this node, meaning it will receive more in transaction fees – essentially making other nodes pointless.

Could This Be a Test for a Review?

If indeed the owner of this node also owns the linked website, it could very well be a test for a new review article on the website. On the site, there is a section for reviews of cryptocurrencies and the technology underpinning them. If this is the case, there is a good chance the funds in this node will be withdrawn, or the node will close down once the author has tested the network sufficiently. Only time will tell.