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Amboss designs ‘controversial’ dashboard to analyze Bitcoin Lightning metrics

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Key facts:
  • Metrics make it possible to observe and analyze unique events, such as the recent LND bankruptcy.

  • Amboss suggests that information on payment channels be shared on a voluntary basis.

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Amboss, a company that provides metrics on the state of Bitcoin’s LIghtning network, has designed a new dashboard to know the state of the network.

With this update, users can see changes related to the number of nodesof payment channels and commission rate. In addition, the tool allows users to examine the balance of channels through a method that has received some criticism.

Regarding the features of the visualization dashboard, Amboss points out in a note that. publication that the metrics allow us to understand the magnitude of one-time events. For example, what partially affected the Lightning network when a large multi-signature transaction caused an error in the synchronization of the nodes using the LND client (software).

Data provided by Amboss Space on the lightning network.
The variety of lightning network readings that can be taken with this tool is wide. Source: Amboss.space / Twitter.

It also allows node operators or network users to. analyze the state of Lightning to make better decisions. With respect to its objectives. For example, through visualizing a metric that provides information about arbitrage in the Lightning network, which measures Bitcoin and the micropayment network.

graphco shows a decrease in the number of payment channels in lightning
This decrease in the number of pay channels occurred 10 days after the LND-related event, which ultimately did not significantly affect the number of channels. Source: amboss.space

Amboss points out in a tweet If any metric gives a surprising reading, you can click on the option to view the “absolute” status of the network, through which you can find out if the network is behaving abnormally.

The balance of the Lightning network’s pay channels.

This tool provides information on the payment channel balances of the Lightning network, and is one of its most obvious features.

amboss presents data visualization of a lightning network in graphs produced from data provided by nodes in the network.
Amboss indicates that node operators can voluntarily provide information on channel balances. Source: Amboss.space / Twitter.

These metrics have been the cause of numerous tweets stressing that this information could violate users’ privacy. However, Amboss specifies that it will only use data voluntarily provided by node operators.

“With Thunderhub (v0.13.16), an open source node manager, we have enabled budget reporting. We have created a single endpoint to which users can send this data, which will be displayed on the node’s Amboss page. This method can be replicated in any node manager or service.”

Amboss.

According to Amboss, channel balancing is crucial to know the reality between “capacity” and “liquidity” in the network. Without this information, the capacity-liquidity relationship cannot be determined.

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Incidentally, the analyst known as BTCAndrés commented on Twitter on another user’s post criticizing this method of analyzing transactions, calling it “controversial.” In his responsesuggests that “Lightning Network was not created as a privacy solution.”

Amboss suggests in his publication that methods have already been implemented to analyze channel equilibrium. For example, through the practice of sending transactions that will deliberately fail, to learn channel equilibria and map the network.

The company indicates that this tool provides a “balance report.” The basic information shows the time of the last update, the number of channels of the node, the total balance of its channel in the network management system. Lightning network And the total equilibrium of the Bitcoin network.

Amboss reiterates that the best way to assist node operators, through alerts or information that will help users make better decisions, is to whether information on balances is shared on a voluntary basis.

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