Bitfury Group has recently introduced a 40-page white paper, which proposes a routing solution for the Lightning Network (LN). Dubbed “Flare,” the concept is an approach to payment routing that involves nodes gathering data concerning the LN topology. The researchers performed tests with the routing algorithm and found it to be scalable with at least 100,000 nodes.
Bitfury Describes a Lightning Network Enhancement Called ‘Flare’
The research paper, written by Pavel Prihodko, Slava Zhigulin, Mykola Sahno, Aleksei Ostrovskiy, and Olaoluwa Osuntokun, explores how the Lightning Network could scale more efficiently and enhance micropayment technology with the use of Flare.
The white paper is the researchers’ first attempt to describe an “algorithmic solution for future implementation of the Lightning Network on the Bitcoin Blockchain that will allow for transaction processing scalability.” Bitfury Group collaborated with the LN team to create this project in hopes of promoting a faster Bitcoin network.
The white paper explains:
The design goal for the algorithm is to ensure that routes can be found as quickly as possible. This is accomplished at the cost of each node proactively gathering information about the Lightning Network topology. The collected information includes both payment channels close to the node in terms of hop distance and paths to beacon nodes, which are close to the node in the node address space. The usage of beacon node serves to supplement a node’s local view of the network with randomly selected feeler nodes deeper in the network.
The paper is meant to be a proposal and not an official implementation, as the Lightning Network still has a ways to go. The idea of LN itself is to use off-chain payment channels that mitigate transaction malleability and enhance speed. Smart contracts help maintain rules that are followed accordingly across the network with an LN implementation.
Bitfury’s paper also describes simulations performed with Flare’s algorithm and how it will be applied in the real world. Alongside these measures, they propose a “verification procedure for LN payment channels based on elliptic curve Schnorr signatures.”
With Flare, the Lightning Network follows an on-demand routing procedure, which in turn could help the Bitcoin network process thousands of transactions per second. The paper claims that the implementation will perform at high speeds while preserving decentralization.
The Bitfury Group has a specific team dedicated to the Lightning Network integration, in addition to its traditional operations of chip making and mining enhancements.
This white paper comes after Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd threw some criticisms towards the LN protocol at an Arnhem Bitcoin event. Despite Todd’s comments, Bitfury maintains its belief in Bitcoin, calling it “the world’s most widely used and valuable digital currency.”
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