18 ways to get incoming capacity for your Bitcoin Lightning Network node

Posted 5 months ago by LN+

Whether you're a merchant, freelancer, employee or any other entity hoping to receive SATs through the Bitcoin Lightning Network, incoming liquidity is critically important for you. To be able to receive funds you need to have channels that are partially or full empty from your side.

Here are 18 ways you can generate incoming liquidity in no particular order.

1. LightningNetwork+

Right here on LN+ you can participate in a liquidity swap or a dual funded channel. This is the only free option, but you need to open a channel to receive a channel of equivalent size. This is a good option if you wanted to open channels to be able to send funds anyway.

2. LN Big

LN Big is one of the most well connected OG node operator offering large incoming channels for a fee.

3. Thor by Bitrefill

Bitrefill is also an OG lightning service. They offer incoming channels via their lightning product called Thor.

4. Yalls.org

Yalls is an OG Lightning social bookmarking site by Alex Bosworth, Lightning Labs developer, who offers channels for a fee.

5. Blocktank by Synonym

Blocktank is a new player in the space providing liquidity via a simple interface for a fee.

6. Zero Fee Routing

Zero Fee Routing is one of the largest nodes on the public Lightning Network with a huge number of channels and large amount of well managed capacity. The node is known for routing a huge amount of SATs because it doesn't charge any fees on their channels. The node offers incoming capacity for a small fee.

7. LOOP by Lightning Labs

LOOP by LL allows you to send out SATs from your lightning node and receive them back on chain. You can use this service to create incoming capacity in two simple steps. First, open to any well connected node, check the node explorer right here on LN+. Second, loop out part or the entire channel capacity using Thunderhub or other tools that support looping out. You end up with a channel that is empty on your side, thus you can receive SATs immediately.

8. Flow by Voltage

Voltage is a cloud lightning node service. They offer easy purchase of channels from other nodes on the network. Flow leverages Lightning Lab's Pool.

9. Free channel by Voltage

If you have a node on Voltage.Cloud, you can request a free channel with a click of a button, which will allow you to receive 500,000 SATs once the channel is open.

10. Liqidity Marketplace by LnRouter

On the lightning analysis website LNRouter you can get an incoming channel for a fee from the Liquidity Ad Marketplace.

11. Magma by Amboss

On the lightning explorer website Amboss you can buy a channel for a fee at the Magma Marketplace.

12. Boltz

Boltz is a trustless (that's a positive thing) exchange that uses submarine swaps to exchange LN-BTC to on-chain BTC at low 0.5% fees.

13. Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a Bitcoin exchange that supports Lightning. You can create incoming capacity by opening a channel to BFX's node, and then sending a part or all of the SATs to Bitfinex, exchange the LN SATs to on-chains SATs at the exchange, and finally send the funds back to yourself on chain. This is a rather expensive option because exchanges charge fees when moving funds.

14. Kraken

Kraken is another major Bitcoin exchange that supports lightning deposits. You can do the same trick as described above for Bitfinex. Here is Kraken's node if you wish to connect to them.

15. FixedFloat

FixedFloat is a non-KYC exchange that allows you to swap lightning sats to on-chain sats easily for a fee of 0.5-1% depending on your settings. You can also swap any altcoins you may have lying around for fresh bitcoin sats at the same place.

16. ZigZag

ZigZag is also a non-KYC exchange similar to FixedFloat offering the same service for similar fees. This exchange is focused on BTC and LN, but it supports handful of altcoins too.

17. SideShift

SideShift is also a non-KYC exchange similar to the two above. Their fees are on the high end between 1-2%.

18. Spend

The most obvious and perpaps somewhat overlooked way to generate incoming liquidity is to open a channel to a merchant who accepts Lightning payments and spend your SATs with them. Besides the already mentioned Bitrefill, which offers phone top ups and various gift cards, you can also spend your sats at hundreds of online merchants. Buy a hardware wallet at the Blockstream store, get plane tickets or book a hotel at Travala, gamble with Lightning Roulette, etc. Browse for more at LN Stores.

If you're aware of any other method to create incoming liquidity, please comment.

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski.

No🥈Best replied about 2 months ago

LightningNetwork+ and spending is the way. Highly recommended! Open a channel with LOOP every once in awhile to fill your outgoing capacity back up!

Shire_Society_Federation replied 28 days ago

Adds 500K at a time.

LN+ replied 28 days ago

^^^ That's cool, but one large channel would be better than two small ones.

Shire_Society_Federation replied 28 days ago

I agree, 
But for the low cost of 1 tx fee to open the 5ooK channel outbound to them (they open the inbound channel paying their tx cost!), AND, you can immediately close that first channel to get your sats back on chain, so it's CHEAPER than ANY option on your list! Even LN+ expects to keep the outbound channel open for as long as the inbound channel exists, i.e. more expensive.
Why discriminate against https://lightningconductor.net/channels ?
I have received at least 5M of extra inbound using their service, very affordable way to get inbound since the other services on your list are EXPENSIVE! Check my closed channel history to verify. As their inbound channel circulates to other channels and fills up toward the 500K, I close it and open again for just a few hundred sats.
Generally, it averaged to around 0.2% or less, so under 2000 ppm to increase inbound liquidity overall, roughly 1000 sats per 500K extra inbound. So, 10x cheaper than the lowest of around 2% for the publicly available inbound services.

Also, you should tell users that #10 https://lnrouter.app/liquidity-ads requires using CLN, doesn't work with others like LND AFAIK. There is no market fee, pure p2p for that.

DarthCoin replied 27 days ago

You can add to those the hosted channels for SBW (is a mobile LN node too).
A deep explanation about hosted channels here, by @fiatjaf:

Actual HCP (hosted channel providers) are:

  • Motherbase node (SBW default HC) with 1M sats
  • SATM node with 500k sats
  • ergvein.net node with 500k sats
  • Jiraiya node with 100k sats
  • soon ZFR (ZeroFeeNode) node hopefully
Any other node operator that want to run a host and offer HC:
Eclair Plugin (host): https://github.com/btcontract/plugin-hosted-channels
IMMORTAN (client): https://github.com/fiatjaf/immortan
Poncho (host): https://github.com/fiatjaf/poncho
scoin (types and codecs): https://github.com/fiatjaf/scoin

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Lightning Network Node
Rank: 9 / Platinum Node
Capacity: 642,164,684 SAT
Channels: 232