Proposal for rendez-vous routing on Lightning

Payments on the Lightning network can currently be routed through 2 different types of routes, public and private channels. Public channels are known to the whole Network while private channels are only known to the node and its neighbor. There are cases in which the Payee would prefer to stay anonymous to the payer, without supplying either a pseudo name or a path to the node.

For example, in a world where the network is segregated into parts, with punishment being enforced on a node that communicates with nodes in other parts publicly, nodes in different parts might want to communicate with each other anonymously, with the current private channel schema the payer needs to know about the private channel and if there’s too many payers then this private channel will eventually be discovered which will risk the payers’ privacy and risk penalties.

Rendez-vous routing is a proposed solution to this problem in which the payee chooses one or more routes from certain third-party nodes in the network to himself and passes encrypted data about this route to the payer, the payer then proceeds to find a route between himself and these third party nodes and sends the payment using this route, this way the payee may lead the payment across private channels that are unknown to the payer, most probably operated by them.

This type of routing can also be beneficial on decentralized Lightning exchanges were neither the payee nor the payer need to know about each other.

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