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So I finally setup a lightning node (lnd) and according to "feereport" I haven't routed any payments (no fees collected). I have used my node to send payments (yalls, satoshis.place, blockstream...) and also received payments (from my own Eclair wallet) and that works fine (multi hop routes). I also tried lowering the fees my node charges, still no luck. I also (gave away) pushed some remote balance to some channels to make sure I had some out going routes. Any ideas? What is the expected average number of routed payments over some time interval (I know this depends but I no idea what other people are seeing)?

$ lncli listchannels | grep balance
            "local_balance": "99082",
            "remote_balance": "100000",
            "unsettled_balance": "0",
            "local_balance": "299082",
            "remote_balance": "0",
            "unsettled_balance": "0",
            "local_balance": "295312",
            "remote_balance": "34",
            "unsettled_balance": "0",
            "local_balance": "149082",
            "remote_balance": "150000",
            "unsettled_balance": "0",
            "local_balance": "145347",
            "remote_balance": "150000",
            "unsettled_balance": "0",
            "local_balance": "83940",
            "remote_balance": "261405",
            "unsettled_balance": "0",
            "local_balance": "99180",
            "remote_balance": "0",
            "unsettled_balance": "0",

$ lncli feereport | grep sum
    "day_fee_sum": "0",
    "week_fee_sum": "0",
    "month_fee_sum": "0"
$ lncli getnetworkinfo
{
    "graph_diameter": 0,
    "avg_out_degree": 5.5954773869346734,
    "max_out_degree": 509,
    "num_nodes": 1592,
    "num_channels": 8908,
    "total_network_capacity": "9685778073",
    "avg_channel_size": 1087312.311742254,
    "min_channel_size": "1050",
    "max_channel_size": "16777216"
}
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  • I am having the same issue, my node has 8 connections since a month now but no transactions. Is it normal? Is it because there are more nodes than transactions in the network? How is your node doing?
    – alec_djinn
    Dec 11 '18 at 8:03
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I haven't received any fee payments. (...) Any ideas? Or is this expected?

Running a LN node does not guarantee you will collect fees. Fees are collected iff you route a payment for another user, so at this time it appears that no users have routed a payment through your node.

Factors that could affect this: which nodes you are connected to, the liquidity of your channels, the online availability of your node, etc.

Routing fees offer an interesting incentive, but remember the network is still young and not widely utilized. Right now, payments for routing transactions may be rare, but in the future... ?

I also pushed some remote balance to some channels

Worth noting, this is equivalent to making a payment to the node you are connecting to. When the channel is closed, that remote node will be the recipient of the remote balance. So I hope you have made those payments for a reason, otherwise you have given away some of your BTC.

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  • I understand there are no guarantees, I'm doing this for testing purposes but I'm surprised that I haven't routed any payments in a week. This may be expected but I see a number of other users talking about routing "lots" of payments. I have my channels balanced and with sufficient funds and I'm 100% online. So that is part of why I'm surprised. So my question is "what is the expected frequency of payment routing I should expect" based on your experience? Sep 6 '18 at 18:05
  • I don't believe there is any one 'expected frequency' that can be quoted for the network at this time. I have an lnd node running, but it has minimal funds on it, and maybe 1-2 channels open as I need them, so my node has (perhaps expectedly) not routed any payments at this time. It may be that the channels you are connected to are simply not positioned near high transaction frequency routes on the network. The users talking about routing lots of payments may in fact be running shops/services on the lightning network, and thus may be some of the most connected nodes out there.
    – chytrik
    Sep 6 '18 at 21:15
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Now that my lnd node has been running a little longer I have routed some payments. Getting your node selected for a route by another node will be highly dependent on your channels, who with, how many and balance but it looks like 1 or 2 routes per week would be typical.

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  • What about 3 years later? whats the status?
    – jayt.dev
    Jul 22 at 7:47
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My year 2021 experiences:

My node is 60 days old, my lnnodeinsight rankings on amboss are about 300 (all three), and I have routed 72 payments within the last 28 days. That is still very, very far away from earning some money here.

My experience with routing:

  1. Know the liquidity sinks in the network
  2. Adjust your fees according to your local liq. (outbound liq.)
  3. Connect to nodes with lower fees
  4. Try to re-balance your liq. regularly

Unfortunately I.4 costs even more of your expected profitability. There are several very good articles out there about lightning network economics. To summarize that: Do not expect an income from running a lightning node currently - but this may change in the future when lightning get's adopted as payment network.

And also, there are some other benefits:

  • Host your own hot wallet
  • Hodl bitcoins
  • Be part of the new payment age
  • Learn running IT at home
  • Earn at least any interest (in Europe we have negative interest rates for bank-money since several years now).

Stay tuned.

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