Antonopoulos Says the Splicing Feature Of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Is the Most Powerful Function

In the latest episode of Let’s Talk Bitcoin, Andreas Antonopoulos spoke about the second layer payment technology solution, Lightning network. He especially dived into the topic of splining which he deemed as the “most powerful and underappreciated feature.”

Splicing is an attempt to make the Lightning user experience more seamless. In essence, splicing would let a user “top up” funds in an existing Lightning channel, or “drain” funds from it, potentially while keeping the channel open.

Any Lightning channel starts with an opening transaction, which ensures that both users consent to move the funds in the channel. The rest of the Lightning channel consists of a series of subsequent transactions exchanged between the users, which aren’t usually broadcast to the Bitcoin network. The funds in the opening transaction don’t move until the channel is closed.

“… splicing allows you to do is blend the open channel, close channel and on-chain Bitcoin outputs into a single transaction.”

When “splicing in,” users take the opening transaction to instead send funds to a replacement opening transaction, which includes more bitcoin, from one or both users. Conversely, when they “splice out,” users take the opening transaction to send funds to a regular (on-chain) address and potentially keep some of it in the channel using the same trick.

When asked about CoinJoin, he said that it was effective for both obfuscation and privacy in the Lightning network.

“It also saves on transaction fees. Because if you’re going to do that transaction anyway and you get five other strangers to join you and do their transactions, you pay one transaction fee across all of you. One transaction with five times the outputs is a lot cheaper than five transactions.”

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