I often read that the lightning network has good sender privacy but since public nodes can be contacted and possibly pressured to share the details of their part of the transaction, a motivated attacker could backtrack the transaction from the receiver to the source utxo, right?

Does having a longer path increase your privacy lowering the risk of the nodes colluding to reveal the originating utxo?

Is there a tool where you can specify a minimum number of hops for a transaction? So far in my experience my node will always pick the shortest path (usually 2-3 hops) and I never found a wallet that lets me chose longer paths.


Yes, you're right in your understanding. I don't think anyone let's you configure min hops unfortunately.

I mean ... that sounds like a routing contraint that should easily be able to be implemented

Yeah we will probably have something like that in our wallet Mutiny

Great! I can't wait for it

Zeus lets you specify a first and final hop, so theoretically could enforce at least 2 hops in between

What does it mean final hop? When I try to use that function Zeus only proposes me my channels. I was expecting to be given a list of peers the receiving node is connected to.

Might be a bug

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Zeus, Thunderhub, RTL - (these are node management apps) will let you set the number of hops when YOU SEND a payment from your node.

But not when you receive!

Mobile wallets are doing this automatically for the user, to minimize the fees and find a quick path for the payment.

I'm using Zeus, Thunderhub and RTL but I never found out how to configure the minimum amount of hops in the path? Where do you specify that? I can only chose the first outgoing channel and a maximum fee I want to pay.

I'm on LND by the way. Maybe it's related to that? I should probably try c-lightning

You can also do splitting in multiple paths with several hops each one. I think that's pretty good.

Privacy wise I don't think it really helps though. It's probably even worse since having more transit nodes increases the risk that every node will cooperate in at least one path.

Don’t “trampoline” payments route through different nodes on purpose? Or maybe I’m thinking of blinded path here 🙄

I think multiple implementations have this on their road map.

Blinded path is a proposed solution to receiver privacy from what I understood.

I do not know for LND but I heard that core lightning do it by default in the sense that it try to obfuscate the transactions also using shadows nodes that are not on the path to the receiver. Doing that has of course some disadvantages one of which is probability of higher fees due to longer path and more failed payments. ;-)

Do you have a reference for that? I never heard of shadow nodes so far.

A solution to this problem is to route all your LN transactions through a public node that you secretly control so that you can be sure that it will never cooperate with other nodes to harm your privacy as a sender.

10 sats \ 1 replies \ @dwami 22 Mar

that's because it was shadow route :-) you can find an explanation here; https://voltage.cloud/blog/bitcoin-lightning-network/what-are-the-differences-between-lnd-and-cln/

under privacy.

Thanks! I will try out core lightning