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I know this question has been asked a lot. However I am not able to grasp the correct approach to address this.

Let me give you the context: I spun up an LND node to start experimenting and understanding the capabilities of this spectacular technology. Put $100 worth of sats in the node and spread it across 4 channels and I was also lucky to have another 5 channels open with me - so I have some outgoing capacity from the channels I have opened and also some inbound capacity from the channels others opened to me. The channels are unbalanced meaning that, for the channels I opened remote balance is 0 and for the channels others opened to me local balance is 0. I know that channels should be balanced to be able to perform routing in both directions in every channel but thought since others have also opened channels to me, I could still route some transactions. Is this a valid assumption?

Base fee is set to 0 and my fee rate is 0.000001 which I believe is cheap to incentivize some routing. For 4 months now fwdinghistory returns nothing. I thought that with this setup I could easily route just a cup of coffee but it seems we are not there yet.

What can I do to reach the point where I actually perform some routing? I don't want to commit more capital to the node until I am confident of what I am doing and how things work. Again the rational behind is that 100$ should suffice to route some coffee buys. I understand that the first thing to do is to try to provide liquidity where liquidity is needed but I simply don't understand how to identify where liquidity is needed.

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    Look for merchants who accept lightning for payments and open channels with them.
    – Mark H
    Sep 9 '21 at 8:36
  • How ?! Is there a methodology like analyzing the graph and the IPs to understand who is a merchant?
    – jayt.dev
    Sep 9 '21 at 12:56
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    One way would be to buy something from the merchant. The invoice they provide you will contain their node id (or it can be recovered from the signature of the invoice).
    – Mark H
    Sep 9 '21 at 21:26
  • Some merchant stores will also label their node with an Alias, or have a site online to allow you to open channels with them. see: ln.river.com Oct 4 '21 at 8:36

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