*Trigger Warning* Tinfoil Hat Uncle Marty Here *Trigger Warning*
With the news of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack from over the weekend, your Uncle Marty can't help but think of all of the posturing from the "expert" class in recent years/months in regards to "cyber attacks". Above is something I tweeted out after catching a few minutes of a 60 Minutes segment with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. While he was being lobbed some softball questions from one of the journalists, Chairman Powell responded to a question regarding his biggest fears about the possible effects of recent Fed policy on inflation and credit risk by deflecting and making it known that his biggest fear - the thing that keeps him up at night - is the potential of "cyber attacks" on the financial system.
This struck me as extremely odd. Almost as if Chairman Powell was setting up a scapegoat. This type of language on the heels of the Cyberwind "attacks" from last year and the posturing emanating from the kleptocrats at the World Economic Forum, who seem certain we're due for an imminent "cyber attack" that would affect the world as drastically as COVID-19 is very suspicious. Something to pay attention to moving forward, freaks. Especially considering the fact that the many ransomewares that are used during these "cyber attacks" only accept bitcoin as payment for decryption.
Seems like a good way to put Bitcoin in the crosshairs of the public and make it an enemy of the state.
*Uncle Marty has removed his tinfoil hat*
Anthony Ronning published a piece titled Current State of Lightning Network Privacy that I recommend you freaks check out when you get a chance. Anthony has put together the most thorough privacy analysis of the network I have come across to date. Highlighting the intricacies to be aware of when transacting on the second layer so that you do not leak private information, or at least be aware that you are when doing so.
There are many things to take into consideration when transacting via the Lightning network; whether or not your IP address is exposed, the info you leak when opening channels, the info you leak when closing channels, the different privacy tradeoffs for senders and receivers, and what information an invoice reveals for users using private channels. All of this is covered at least at a high level by Anthony. He also highlights some of the solutions on the horizon that could help improve user privacy.
It is still the very early days of Bitcoin and even earlier for the Lightning Network. If you are using bitcoin at any layer it is important that you understand the nuance of how to transact as privately as possible. Contrary to popular belief, Bitcoin isn't a fully private digital currency. It can certainly be used privately, but it takes some know-how. Privacy assurances have improved over time with CoinJoin solutions and open-source peer-to-peer payment processing software coming to market and I believe they will continue to improve over time. However, it is not trivial and you should be aware of the intricacies. Read Anthony's article and grow your know.
I don't want to leave my village by the sea until I have to go to Miami.