A reported loss of 4 bitcoin on Lightning Network has been blamed on either user-negligence or FUD-spreading. Community members variously described the user as ‘an idiot’ and ‘in over his head’, if the loss really occurred at all.
“Wow… looks like I lost 4 BTC”
It all started with a question posted on Reddit along with some screenshots: “am I able to loose [sic] money after force-closing channels?”
When told that this was possible if channels were force closed using an older invalid state, the OP claimed to have lost 4BTC.
Apparently, a power outage had caused the OP to force close from a few-day-old backup, causing a breach. Despite claiming to be a system administrator with ‘some server knowledge’, he did not know that force-closing from an older state was a ‘no-no’.
However it was pointed out that this “isn’t the first time I’ve seen you with the same issue of carelessly locking so much money on useless nodes and then decid[ing] to just mass close them all.”
The OP’s apparent calmness at the loss of his 4BTC was also called into question.
Dissecting The Loss
A Twitter thread looking into the circumstances behind the loss and how it could be prevented in future, suggested that LN had been working as intended. The victim would have been fine if he had waited, but impatience caused him to “crash through multiple safety barriers,” as he was deemed “in over his head.”
As LN is still classed as an experiment, it requires a level of technical hands-on knowledge to set-up and operate. It is also recommended that users should not send large transactions over the network.
Zap wallet developer, Jack Mallers, however, found no evidence of any breaches. Fellow LN developer TheRustyTwit confirmed this and concluded that:
either lnd saved confused-dude’s ass here despite his best efforts, or he’s just making it all up.
Mallers then responded that he hoped it was just user confusion, and that this wasn’t the result of a social attack on the network. One user suggested that it might be Bitcoin Cash propaganda, but there is no evidence of this.
Bitcoin Cash has enough issues of its own at the moment, as hash rate performance has raised questions over the network’s security.
Do you think the whole thing was made up to spread FUD? Add your thoughts below!
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