This is likely very much a noob question, but I would like to know if there are fees or incentives for those who are running a lightning node? Of course, other than having access to lightning network?


3 Answers 3


Yes, but just running a lightning node is not enough.

In order for your node to be able to earn fees, it has to have payments passing through it. For this you need to have a routing node, which has at least 2 open channels (where is payment coming from, where is payment going). The more open channels your node has, the more it will be chosen by the routing algorithms of the nodes that want to make a payment, to be routed through.

The amount of BTC/LTC/... you would earn as fees is not fixed, instead the market decides (supply & demand). It is very little though, like 1 Satoshi per payment. However, consider that Lightning is designed to have many more payments per second than Blockchains, so this could sum up.

The fees you may gain are probably lower for the Lightning Network than they are for on-chain payments (per transaction), but also your cost will be lower; there is no need for delivering any PoW, as this is provided by the underlying Blockchain. In fact earning fees through the Lightning Networks behaves rather like staking -> The costs mainly compound of the HW & electricity you need to run your node (aiming for 24 / 7) as well as the risk you expose your "staked" Bitcoin to, as they basically need to stay non-stop in a hot wallet.

Most of the time it will not make sense to have a routing node, but rather just a simple node on your phone so you can pay for your daily coffee. With this node you will probably not route any payments and consequently not earn any money with it.


What if retail store runs a node to accept LN payments? Then they can settle with exchange also for the fee advantage. Incentive is to gain new customers wanting to use cryptocurrency.


No. There is no incentives for running lightning nodes. But, the transaction fees are there, which will incentives those who run it.

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