The Lightning Network Technical Design Overview

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Sketches the general technical outlines of the Lightning Network. Includes explanations of payment channels based on two party consensus, mutlisignature transactions, mutual revocation of old states, and the use of time locked transactions.



Lightning's fundamental technology is a local two ­party consensus, known as a payment channel. Two parties send an initial amount of Bitcoin into a multisignature transaction with a local consensus on the current balance allocated between the two participants. Updates to the allocation of the current balance can be made only with the cooperation of both parties, using a new transaction which spends from the funds allocated to the multisignature transaction to each party.

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