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What data is public in Lightning Network (such as number of nodes, channel balances, etc)? What are some ways to retrieve them (API, running node), and what would be pros and cons for each option?

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Here is 1ml https://1ml.com/ a well known search engine and statistics monitor for lightning nodes. https://moneni.com/nodematch Lightning node match website for routing data. https://lnnodeinsight.com/ lightning node insight which gives you channel opening simulations and stuff like that.

As far as what data is public, this is 100% up to each node operator. If a lightning node operator doesn't want to be connected to nodes who use public broadcasting they do not have to however, there is lots of benefit to doing so in terms of growing channel balance.

Edit: Theres also terminal lightning which gives some statistics about node health https://terminal.lightning.engineering/#/

https://github.com/alexbosworth/balanceofsatoshis alex bosworth tool for working with your node balances https://lightningnetwork.plus/ and a website where you can request incoming capacity in groups

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  • Thank you so much for your help. Do you know if there is an website or API that keeps historical data of Lightning Network?
    – xor
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 14:06
  • I think the issue is that the lightning network is very much peer to peer which means that lots of data you might want may not be publically available. Thats why you dont see the same types of apis for it as you have with blockchains. That being said if you can specify what data youre looking for I can try help you find it. Likely some website will be aggregating it for you already but they tend to aggregate specific data per website.
    – Poseidon
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 17:41
  • I was interested in number of channels and how channels are connected to each other.
    – xor
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 1:18
  • @xor try this explorer.acinq.co
    – Poseidon
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 2:49
  • But this explorer doesn't let you obtain historical data, right?
    – xor
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 17:37

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