This is an opinion editorial by Shinobi, a self-taught bitcoin educator and tech-savvy bitcoin podcast host.

The Lightning Protocol works by atomically updating payments across multiple payment channels to confirm or fail all together—meaning it routes payments through multiple hops. A key part of any routing-based system is a routing table, a collection of all the information needed to actually construct a path from point A to point B. Without that information, you can’t really route anywhere because you don’t know how to get the information from where it is to where you want it. Lightning obviously needs a routing table, which is what the Gossip protocol specified in BOLT 7 does; the dissemination and maintenance of the records of the channels available on the network to conduct payments.

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