Lightning Network (LN), Bitcoin’s micropayment network, has just launched the largest channel in its history. Users will now have the opportunity to generate channels where up to 10 bitcoin (BTC) can be transferred in a matter of seconds.

This milestone is possible because last month was launched a new feature on the net, called Wumbo. This function allowed the removal of the capacity limit of bitcoins that can be routed on LN channels, which was only 0.1677 BTC. In this way, now those users who need more liquidity can open single channel to route up to 10 BTC in transactions from one node to another.

The payment processor for bitcoin payments OpenNode and the liquidity management service LOOP, have been the first entities to open a 5 BTC channel on the Lightning Network. It was created five days ago, is identified on the network under the number 713222406712524800 and reports continuous activity. LOOP is a Lightning Labs node and service arranged to allow network users to move funds from the Bitcoin blockchain and enable them on the Lightning network, and vice versa.

The largest channel on the Lightning Network connects to an OpenNode processor node with Loop. Source: 1ML.

Although the limit has been eliminated for all users, there are those who will benefit more from this fact, affirms Francisco Calderón for CriptoNoticias. The Lightning expert highlighted that Those most interested in using it will be exchanges and nodes that have great liquidity.

This is because, to make a transfer, common users tend to route their payments through several nodes in order to get it to its destination. These nodes charge a percentage of the payment, said rate is currently at an average of 0.000104 cents dollar. However, it can vary and increase considerably if it is a large transaction.

In this sense, Calderón considers that it is still cheaper for private users to carry out their transactions of more than 1 BTC directly on the blockchain. Instead, exchanges and payment processors often open a channel to transfer between themselves or route their own payments. Due to this, the increased capacity of the LN channels will allow them to make payments of any amount without paying commissions, since they would be their own node.

There are other players that can benefit from high-capacity channels such as exchanges. If, for example, Binance and Bitmex open a channel between them of 100 BTC, they can send money instantly without any commission, since by having a direct channel they do not need anyone to route the payment.

Francisco Calderón, software engineer and CTO at GraafOne.


For Calderón, one of the most interesting approaches to Wumbo is that it gives people who use the Lightning network greater freedom “to do what they have to do.” Still consider that The new option will have no impact on the growth of the network, since it is not directly focused in adoption de LN.

Entering large amounts of BTC is not necessarily what makes the network grow, but the entry of users. In fact, if 100,000 people installed Breez Wallet tomorrow, the wallet would open a channel of 1 million satoshis each. That would imply an increase in network capacity by 1000 BTC, but they would not be reflected in the statistics because they are private channels.

Francisco Calderón, software engineer and CTO at GraafOne.

Rising bitcoins in Lightning requires greater security

Now that a greater amount of bitcoins will be mobilized in a few channels, doubts about security may appear. It is not the same to route 0.1677 BTC to 10 bitcoins. In this sense, Calderón affirms that the network is prepared to move this amount of cryptocurrencies. However, those who are interested in this capacity are actually the exchanges or major companies, which will have to take their security measures.

The software engineer added that One of the most important security checkpoints on the Lightning Network is “hot wallets”, that is to say those purses that are always connected to the Internet. Calderón emphasizes that those companies that open channels of 10 or more BTC have to bear in mind that if they use one of these wallets they are vulnerable to hacking, this being one of the disadvantages of channels with great routing capacity.

As with other networks, the Lightning Network has also been exposed to vulnerabilities that expose its security. This year two errors were reported that allowed the robo de bitcoins in the network, as well as the loss of your privacy. However, developers are working to improve the way Lightning works with new proposals, such as the anchor channels.

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