I am a beginner with all this of bitcoin and lightning node, and thanks to umbrel could set up both the bitcoin and LN node, then use some of my sats to open a channel with someone else’s one, but there has not been a single transaction since then (about 4 days ago), so I was thinking that maybe I must to something else, like transfer some of my sats to the other peer, even though I have no need to do that, unless that is what is needed to make the node to have some action.
Am I missing something?
Yeah that’s right, try sending some sats around so you have some balanced channels like a 60/40 split (within a channel) so then you’ll be able to receive from a channel that has the 40% on their end (if that makes sense)
I still don’t get it: If I give those sats to that channel, will I lost them, I mean, I opened a channel, but I have no need to send the owner of the channel some sats, unless it is necessary to keep the lightning network active.
It is like donating some sats to the channel’s owner?
Unless you send sats to another channel, you will never be able to receive.
So you could do this by buying something you really want from a store that supports LN transactions and sending it through the channel you want to balance (this type of activity is known as an economic node) or you could “loop out” some sats from a channel and these sats would go back to your onchain wallet, however just a note there are fees involved with the looping out process.
The key with lightning is trying to have some type of balance amongst your channels so you can send AND also receive.
You could buy something from somewhere that accepts Lighting. You should also probably head over to lightning network plus.
I usually have around 10 channels opened at any given time and will sometimes go weeks w/o any routing, then suddenly I will have 5 or 6 route through.
Purchase inbound from a big node and set low low fees if you want to see routing through your node. The channel will very quickly pool on your end.
If I want something and the strore acepts lightning, does it mean it has a channel that I can connect?
Because in my ignorance of LN, I thought: I fund my bitcoin wallet, connect to a channel and that’s it!
I found this part interesting: “…Purchase inbound from a big node and set low low fees if you want to see routing through your node…”
Does it mean that i must for sure buy something to get a LN node active?
In LN+ I checked a list of possible channels to connect with, but I didn’t see then sell something, is that normal?
No. You need to understand how the liquidity channels work.
If I open a channel to you for 1 million sats all the liquidity is on my side. I can route payments through you which will push liquidity to your side.
If you open a channel to Starbucks and I go and buy a coffee, assuming no other channels, my payment will push the required amount from my side to yours, then your channel with Starbucks will push liquidity from your side to Starbucks.
Now extrapolate that web of channels out to the entire world. Maybe I dont have a channel with you but we both have a Channel with LNBIG and you have one with Starbucks. It can go me->LNBig then LNBIG->You then You->Starbucks. The channels between me and Starbucks scrape some fees along the way.
I think I am getting it.
You mean that if I want to buy something that accepts bitcoin, I could send that ammount of money through a channel I have already open, even if that channel doesn’t have a connection with that particular store?
If you have Bitcoin and want to send it via Bitcoin Network, the other end will have an address or a QR code that corresponds to the address. That transaction will be broadcasted across the Bitcoin Network via Nodes like Umbrel and the Bitcoin Miners will pick the Highest fee TX to place into the next block. When that block fills up another block in the chain begins to form.
Here is a visual representation of that. When there is lots of activity you will see blocks stacking up in the mempool they are Amber in color. The blue block are fully formed and confirmed. The miners were paid the coinbase reward + fees. Those transactions are now written in stone.
The Lightning Network rides on top of Bitcoin. 10 minutes confirmations is too long to wait at Starbucks and McDonalds. You place On chain Bitcoin into a Lightning Network liquidity channel, where it moves around without needing on chain miner confirmation. This is why its considered a Layer 2.
Theres an onchain transaction into the Lighting Network liquidity channel (channel open) and there is another On chain transaction on the exit (channel close).
The Channel state determines who gets what on close. I open a channel direct to Starbucks for 1,000,000 and I spend 500,000 with Starbucks buying Coffee then close the channel. I have the Coffee and 500k Sats in my Bitcoin wallet and Starbucks has 500k Sats and less Coffee.
If you want to see more action on your node, then more channels and more inbound liquidity would probably facilitate that.
You can also send sats back to yourself to another mobile LN wallet.