Lightning is a very complex network for operators. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the intricacies. You can go with the DIY route of getting a Raspberry Pi with Raspiblitz or you can get Umbrel, which seems to be the best one for newbies. One of the biggest questions everyone asks is how much should they put into a channel.
The problem is that when you put too little in it, you can’t route a transaction through your node. An average channel size is 250000 sats. People suggest 500000 sats, or even more, 1000000. I like to look at numbers to make a decision, and I read LN Markets’ newsletter https://lnmarkets.substack.com/p/25-taproot-lightning-footprint-bitcoin?s=03
Here’s what it says:
LN Markets’ Node Activity
Inspired by the excellent Lightning Chronicles article, we have crunched some data to check our lightning footprint. Please note that the following metrics only concern public channels, while a sizeable share of our activity goes through private channels.
There are two types of Lightning transactions with LN Markets’ node: withdrawals and deposits – added to the platform in July 2020. Over our first year of activity, we have processed (with trading limit set at 0.01 BTC):
- 32,000 Lightning withdrawals and deposits
- for a total of 75 BTC
- with an average transaction size of 231,000 sats = $132
So, the conclusion here is that the average of 231000 sats should be the proper metric. Now, that’s the average, so twice that is what we need to be safe, at 462000. That’s basically the same as suggesting channels of 500000 sats.
Practically when you open a channel you pay fees, so when you put in 500000 sats you’re left with about 484,856 Sats. That’s enough to cover the average when doubled.
So, we closed the smaller channels and opened up a few 500000 ones at our node. Connect at https://kroisos.io/node