Combined summary - bLIP: BOLT 11 Invoice Blinded Path Tagged Field

Combined summary - bLIP: BOLT 11 Invoice Blinded Path Tagged Field

The discussion centers on the technical strategies and user experience implications of adopting Bolt 12 invoices over modifications to Bolt 11, specifically regarding the addition of blinded paths.

The preference leans towards Bolt 12 due to its simpler code integration and minimal changes needed in specifications, contrasting with the complexities of retrofitting Bolt 11. This approach involves making certain fields optional rather than mandatory, which could streamline the transition. There's an emphasis on the importance of user experience, particularly how wallets like Phoenix/Eclair handle payment processes and the need for smooth transitions between different invoice formats. Moreover, the potential for Bolt 12 offers in improving the L402 protocol is acknowledged, highlighting the benefits of blinded paths in optimizing transaction routing.

Further discourse suggests reconsidering the introduction of a new BOLT 12 invoice format, initially resisted due to complexity fears. A proposed separation from the Offers framework might facilitate adoption, targeting users currently on LN Address/LN-URL. This separation aims at simplifying adoption by making specific fields mandatory only if originating from an offer, thus maintaining the flexibility of the TLV structure. The dialogue opens possibilities for future exploration without detracting from the priority of finalizing Offers, also noting the utility of blinded paths for services like L402 or Loop in optimizing payment routing.

Incorporating new features directly into the existing Bolt 11 protocol is highlighted as beneficial for leveraging its widespread use and ensuring backward compatibility. Users encountering unfamiliar features would receive informative error messages, guiding them towards necessary updates, thereby smoothing the transition towards enhanced functionality. This strategy contrasts with introducing a new format, which could confuse users with unparseable invoices.

The idea of integrating Bolt 12 invoices directly for transactions, bypassing the traditional offer/invoice_request flow, presents a streamlined approach to transaction handling. It suggests readiness for future functionalities of Bolt 12, emphasizing the efficiency of preparing systems for forthcoming standards. This forward-looking strategy advocates for incremental adaptation to mitigate transitioning challenges and encourages the adoption of advanced protocols.

A proposed Bitcoin Lightning Improvement Proposal (bLIP) focuses on adding a new tagged field to BOLT 11 invoices for encoded blinded path information, aiming to enhance privacy and reliability in lightning payments. This interim solution seeks to utilize route blinding benefits pending the broader implementation of the Offers proposal. It outlines technical specifications, backward compatibility considerations, and operational guidelines for implementing this feature. The proposal serves as a temporary measure, anticipating eventual obsolescence with the full adoption of Offers and its associated invoice format. It concludes with a request for feedback on several technical aspects to refine the approach, underscoring the ongoing evolution of payment processing within the Lightning Network.

Discussion History

ellemouton Original Post
June 26, 2024 00:10 UTC
June 26, 2024 11:28 UTC
June 26, 2024 19:27 UTC
June 26, 2024 22:49 UTC
June 27, 2024 07:06 UTC
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June 28, 2024 08:03 UTC