when I got started with my lightning node last week, I made a channel with only 20.000 sats outbound liquidity to test things out. There is no inbound liquidity in this channel.

Now I would like to have a bigger channel with the node on the other end.

I had a look at loop in to increase the capacity to maybe 1.000.000 sats, but the fee would be about 30.000 sats.

Since the channel has no inbound balance I can't rebalance it, right? Is there any cheaper way to top up the channel capacity or do I just open a new channel to the same node?

1 Answer 1


As explained here How to fund a bidirectional payment channel? there is a difference between capacity and balance of a channel.

Your channel has a capacity of 20000 Satoshi and this number is (as of the current protocol specification) fixed for the lifetime of the channel.

Your local balance seems to be also 20000 as you have opened it. Making payments changes your balance but not your capacity.

Looping is a special case of making / receiving a payment and will only change your balance (remember the balance can never be below 0 or higher than the capacity) so in your case looping will not help you.

If you want to increase the capacity you will have to choose and open a new channel

  • Thank you for your easy to understand answer!
    – schmiddl
    Feb 8, 2021 at 22:31

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