The Lightning Network, a Bitcoin micropayments network, has launched a new feature to improve transaction privacy.
Dubbed “Red Lightning,” the feature allows payment routes to be obfuscated, making it harder for outside observers to track transactions on the network.
With the new functionality, users can create blind payment routes, in which the intermediate nodes do not know either the source or destination address. This makes it more difficult for an outside observer to track the transactions and, consequently, the identity of the users involved.
Red Lightning works by creating multiple possible routes for the transaction, which are randomly mixed before being sent across the network. This makes it difficult for an attacker to determine which path the transaction will take, making it less traceable.
Privacy is one of the main concerns of cryptocurrency users, and many networks are working to improve the protection of users’ privacy. With the implementation of Red Lightning, the Lightning Network can become a more attractive option for users who value privacy in their transactions.
The Lightning Network is a scalability solution for Bitcoin that enables fast and cheap transactions while also offloading the Bitcoin mainnet.
The network allows users to create payment channels with other users, which allows transactions to be carried out instantly and without high fees.
While the Lightning Network is not yet widely adopted, implementing Red Lightning could help drive its adoption and make it a more viable alternative for fast and private Bitcoin transactions.
“Blind routes solve the privacy problem at the node level by replacing traditional routes with a cryptographically obfuscated route. At a high level, the receiver can build a route from one or more points, gather each node’s public keys, and then hide them for the payment sender to use to find its route,” said Olaoluwa Osuntukun, Lightning developer.