How to get Inbound Liquidity on the Lightning Network
There are several ways you can find inbound liquidity on LN.
If your node is up 24x7 and you have some outgoing channels, the network will connect to you if you simply wait.
However, it might take a couple of weeks to get a significant amount of incoming liquidity, and ideally you want your outgoing liquidity to match too.
So open a few large channels, and simply wait a few weeks.
2. Purchase things or simulate purchasing things with on-chain payouts.
If you open a channel, and spend 50% of the channel capacity on something, perhaps even sending back to your own wallet via a service like
then you could have at least one channel with inbound liquidity, plus the funds to open another channel elsewhere.
Step 1: open a channel to provider Step 2: create a new deposit address to send bitcoin back to Step 3: perform LN to onchain swap at provider for 50-80% of the channel capacity which you just opened Step 4: wait 10-15 mins for your funds to arrive Step 5: open a new channel to a different provider with the returned funds
This process could be repeated with several parties, including actual purchases of goods and services, and result in several channels with inbound liquidity as long as the channels remain active.
3. Purchase inbound liquidity
The following services will allow you to purchase incoming liquidity to your node:
Yalls sells inbound channels
Need an inbound channel? $24.88 USD for 16.77mm sat
(was $0.45 for 2m sat)
Thor sells inbound channels
Thor allows you to open private channels with our well-connected Lightning node, on demand, with custom capacities (300,000 to 16,000,000 sats). You can pay with any of our supported payment methods: Bitcoin, lightning, your Coinbase balance, or with any of the 4 other currencies we support!
LNBig openchannel service sells inbound channels, first one free
We will open only one channel on you. The one node is the one channel. In next time we will run paid service too for more channels for an one unique node.
Coincept sells inbound channels.
"Min channel size is 100k sats and max is 25M. We plan to increase the maximum channel size in the future. The fee is 20bps (0.2%) + channel opening/closing fees. Channels will be kept open for at least 1 month and longer if there is any activity."
LND Routing sells inbound channels via a python script the user runs. Up to 1.5BTC channels, minimum 100k sats. Fees not specified other than "Competitive pricing and fees".
Amboss Magma offers a marketplace for channels.
- You might find this useful: Get Amboss Magma LN channel capacity offers
Blocktank sells a channel opening service for a free.
Volatge offer inbound liquidity to onboarded customers according to this blog post
lnd3.vanilla.co.za sells 1m or 2m sat channels for $5 in sats.
Loop in/out of LN and onchain
Lightning Loop is a non-custodial service offered by Lightning Labs to bridge on-chain and off-chain Bitcoin using submarine swaps.
The service can be used in various situations:
- Acquiring inbound channel liquidity from arbitrary nodes on the Lightning network
- Depositing funds to a Bitcoin on-chain address without closing active channels
- Paying to on-chain fallback addresses in the case of insufficient route liquidity
Author's note: when time allows a more detailed overview with examples may be provided
Pool is a non-custodial, peer-to-peer marketplace for Lightning node operators to buy and sell channels.
3rd party examples
4. Open channels with parties who will reciprocate
The following parties will open channels back to you if you open channels to them:
- https://lightningto.me/ | https://ln2me.com/
5. Participate in a group loop (aka cyclic superhub, aka supernode, aka liquidity swap triangles, squares and pentagons, aka ring of fire)
Back in late 2017/early 2018 I had this idea about 3 way channel openings to share the transaction costs equally between parties, while achieving a channel opening for all. There wasn't any support for it in South Africa.
Subject: [Cryptocoins] LND mainnet node live Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2018 11:37:39 +0200 From: Bretton Vine <REDACTED> To: Cryptocoins Chat <cryptocoins@REDACTED> My LND mainnet node is live 02262bbc21c171bc91a1d6bbf89571c95873849b9a60d3ea9671b777d852d39ecd Please consider opening a channel with me, I only have 240k sats available atm to open to 2 other parties. I'd like at least one supernode setup. Me -> you -> someone -> me. And then we each have one outgoing, one incoming channel elsewhere. Lets get the Africa supernode fabric going :) Earn.com $1 tasks from ICO spam funded this.
I believe I was influenced by these writings on cyclic superhubs which explore the idea in detail: https://zmnscpxj.github.io/offchain/cyclicsuperhubs.html
Since then the concept of liquidity groups has independently exploded in the form of
- reddit thread https://www.reddit.com/r/TheLightningNetwork/comments/n7s4px/lightning_network_triangle_megathread_build_the/
There are other guides on this topic such as:
Please leave a comment with a link to service if you'd like to be included.
Updates are done on a best effort basis.
On a fresh node with 5 outgoing channels, no purchased / incoming-on-request channels, it took 15 days for the first automatic lnbig connection with an additional 2 channels from other lnbig nodes within two days. So simply waiting will eventually provide some connectivity. (mid-April to start-May 2019)