Rapid Gossip Sync is a new protocol for Bitcoin Lightning network nodes. Its main feature is that it allows synchronization quickly and without losing privacy for that.
The name of this protocol is equivalent in Spanish to “fast gossip synchronization”. In the lightning network, the “gossip protocol” works as an epidemic message delivery system. Allows communication of various data between nodes. Some of them are: how many bitcoins (BTC) each of the parties has at a certain moment, which channels are open with a certain node or which channels were closed.
Rapid Gossip Protocol optimizes the information that is transferred and omits information that is not essential. “The idea of Rapid Gossip Sync is that the gossip data is preprocessed by one or more semi-trusted servers,” Explain Arik Sosa, developer of the protocol. It adds: “These servers validate the signatures sent through gossip regular and verify the channels on the block chain.” This makes client-side signature verification unnecessary and thus allows you to completely remove signatures from messages.
In the existing Gossip protocol, a lot of data is duplicated in messages. For example, the hash of the Genesis block is included in each update. Instead, with Rapid Gossip no redundant updates are sent. “If a node sends 100 channel updates and the only mutated property is its base rate, there would be no need to send any other unchanged properties,” Sosa details. This is how you avoid overloading the channel with data.
Without Rapid Gossip Sync, according to the measurements of its developer, it is identified that synchronizing a Lightning network node involves transferring 53 MB of data. In contrast, with Rapid Gossip Sync, it takes between 2 and 4.7 MB. “The time to process and apply this snapshot on a mobile phone was less than 0.4 seconds,” explains Sosa.
The best candidates to run a server with this upgrade would be large companies or exchanges that own Lightning Network nodes. Nodes provided by wallet developers compatible with this second layer of Bitcoin could also run it. Sosa says that doing the latter can “allow the mobile wallet to be routed privately without the need for third parties or sacrificing the user experience.”
Rapid Gossip improves the privacy of Bitcoin micropayments
Rapid Gossip not only increases the speed of opening a Bitcoin Lightning Network channel, but also the privacy of the user.. In the words of its developer, “many Lightning mobile wallets delegate routing to servers, which jeopardizes some of the privacy benefits” of this micropayment network.
This is so because, although the transactions do not end up on the Bitcoin mainchain, the payment history is still “one data dump away from becoming public knowledge”. In contrast, with Rapid Gossip this does not happen:
By relying on a Rapid Gossip Sync server, mobile wallets no longer need to compromise the user experience to gain the privacy benefit of client-side routing. The trust model shifts the responsibility of verifying the channel graph against the blockchain and validating node signatures on the server.
Arik Sosa, Developer of Rapid Gossip Sync
the developer recognize be inspired by LNSync. As reported by CriptoNoticias, this is a tool from the Blockstream company that speeds up the synchronization of Lightning network nodes that were disconnected or offline.