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 12 ways you can generate incoming liquidity in no particular order.
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
is one of the most well connected OG node operator offering large incoming channels for a fee.
3. Thor by Bitrefill
is also an OG lightning service. They offer incoming channels via their lightning product called Thor.
is an OG Lightning social bookmarking site by Alex Bosworth, Lightning Labs developer, who offers channels for a fee.
5. Blocktank by Synonym
is a new player in the space providing liquidity via a simple interface for a fee.
6. LOOP by Lightning Labs
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.
7. Flow by 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.
8. Liqidity Marketplace by LnRouter
9. Magma by Amboss
On the lightning explorer website Amboss you can buy a channel for a fee at the Magma Marketplace
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.
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.
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.