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Lightning Network faces criticism from pro-XRP lawyer John Deaton

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John Deaton’s remarks come amid concerns about alleged backdoors in the Bitcoin Lightning Network’s code.

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Lightning Network faces criticism from pro-XRP lawyer John Deaton

Lawyer and cryptocurrency supporter John Deaton has criticized the Lightning Network, deeming it less effective than the “Spend The Bits” protocol on the XRP Ledger (XRPL). Lightning is a layer-2 scaling solution for Bitcoin. It is designed to improve the scalability and efficiency of Bitcoin (BTC) transactions by enabling off-chain, peer-to-peer transactions.

In an Oct. 21 X (formerly Twitter) post, Deaton revealed he is an angel investor in Spend the Bits, as well as its chief legal officer.

Deaton previously touted Spend The Bits as an alternative to Lightning on the Bitcoin blockchain. In September, the pro-XRP (XRP) attorney commended the protocol, characterizing it as a more secure method for using your Bitcoin than Lightning.

Let me be clear and transparent: I am now involved in @Spend_The_Bits as an angel investor and serve as its Chief Legal Officer. Therefore, please accept my comments with that in mind. But a major reason I invested in @Spend_The_Bits, or stated more accurately, invested in…

— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) October 21, 2023

Deaton’s Saturday disclosure was well-timed, aligning with an X post from the online crypto investigator WhaleWire. This tweet raised concerns about a recent discovery in Lightning indicating a significant security vulnerability that prompted a developer to withdraw from the project.

The developer alleged the presence of deliberate vulnerabilities in the Lightning Network’s code, which could potentially provide attackers with complete network control. Major backers of the Lightning Network are also involved in Tether, Bitfinex and BlockStream. This claim has raised questions about Lightning’s security and trustworthiness.

Related: Lightning Labs releases Taproot Assets alpha, bringing stablecoins to Bitcoin

At the time of writing, the Lightning Network has a network capacity of 5,338 BTC, according to 1ML. This has sparked doubts regarding the network’s resilience and long-term viability, with the payment protocol having seen a 15% reduction in capacity over the past three months.

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