The Confusing Exchange of Revocation Secrets and Commitment Transactions on the Lightning Network

  1. Alice can no longer broadcast the previous transaction where Bob has not been paid, i.e. she’s revoked it.


  • Each person’s latest commitment transaction must be signed by their partner before that same person revokes their previous transaction, otherwise they won’t be able to close the channel without their partner.
  • In a buyer-seller scenario — which is generally representative of payments — each channel partner’s incentives drive them to cooperate.
  • The seller’s incentive is to get paid, which means the buyer must revoke their previous transaction, and sign the seller’s latest commitment transaction.
  • The buyer’s incentive is to get whatever they are buying, and so they must cooperate to pay the seller.
  • It doesn’t matter who signs the other’s commitment transaction first, because no matter what, for the seller to hand over their product/service, the buyer must fulfill all the requirements to pay the seller.
  • The buyer doesn’t care if the seller revokes their old transaction for this single payment, but they will need them to revoke in future transactions where it would allow the seller to cheat.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store