Bitcoin Gets Protection on Lightning Network, Preventing File Corruption by Saving a Copy

When it comes to dealing in cryptocurrencies, one of the major concerns is the potential for getting hacked. Hacking can include only the funds available in a crypto wallet, but there is a major risk that files on the device connected to that wallet could be left exposed as well. In a recent CoinDesk article, the writer describes a common issue amongst users, running the technology on a device that ends up being corrupted with the lightning network.

As a result, there are many people that do not consider lightning to be a safe option for users, but others are taking the risk and attempting to use the network anyway. Though not every user has been plagued by corrupted or stolen files, enough have been affected to influence safer crypto investors. Luckily, developers have finally addressed these concerns in the sixth major release of LND, which happened just last week.

LND is supposed to implement a change called “static backup channels,” which were coded by Lightning Labs CTO Olaoluwa Osuntokun. A developer named Patrick Lemke explained that all funds in a single channel can be lost with data corruption to channel.db. Most of the corruption of this file has happened to people using the Raspberry Pi smartphones.

So far, there are three implementations of lightning, and all of them have some kind of backup. The LND technology creates a copy of that file, which means that users can keep an extra file to prevent corruption. This is no different than periodically backing up files on a computer in the event of corruption or reboot.

Every Bitcoin transaction is stored on the blockchain, but lightning stores the transaction data on the user’s computer only. If the file is lost or corrupted, those funds are gone. Another risk is if an old version of the channel.db with the wrong information is used, which could penalize the user.

New backup coding is absolutely necessary to prevent losses, and more than one place has to store this backup file at once. With the most recent LND version, the node of the user will automatically create the backup of information that will keep channels from being lost. That being said, it is absolutely necessary to run the most recent version of LND, or the channels of the user are just not safe.

Despite the new coding available, the problem has not been entirely fixed. The process to backup files is still lengthy, and the user has to understand enough of the technical side of the coding to implement it. Furthermore, it is not trustless, and it is still possible for funds to be stolen with a malicious node.

Nadav Cohen, a software engineer with Suredbits, commented that this coding is,

“good for the average user who’s willing to trust that their peer is not malicious.”

In most circumstances, the backup solution will end up working, and exchanges need a backup solution like this. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it should not be difficult to have a solution that is easier for users to handle, according to Cohen.

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