This link states that:

Nothing can be received once a fresh channel is created since a room for incoming funds should be first made by spending. A payment channel can be thought of as a full bottle of water: in order to pour something in one first has to pour something out.

If correct, how can you ever receive anything?


The currently lightning specification means that one party must fund the channel. So if A opens a channel with B and A is funding with, e.g. 1 BTC, then the channel initial state will be A:1 BTC, B:0 BTC. So A can't receive anything because B is the only person that can send money to A, but B has no money. However B can receive money from A because A has the funds. Once A has sent something to B, A can then receive funds from B. So it isn't that no one can receive funds, but rather that initially only one party can receive funds until an initial send is made.

  • Does it also mean that the opening funding level serves as a permanent cap (the bottle analogy)? It's my understanding that channels can be replenished, but it's not clear to me what limitations are.
    – nilskp
    Feb 3 '18 at 21:34
  • 1
    Yes, that first funding transaction is the cap.
    – Andrew Chow
    Feb 3 '18 at 21:41

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