I've never used Lightning but can someone recommend how much Bitcoin I need to fund a Lightning node? I will be using the Eclair client.


2 Answers 2


When you start using lightning, the minimum bitcoin you need is the cost of opening the channel + anything else you want in the channel.

The cost of opening the channel is equal to the fees you pay to send a transaction.

So as a minimum you will need:

the lowest fees you can get away with to send a transaction + the amount you want to put in the channel.

You can check out the lowest fees required from any number of services, for example earn.com's service is pretty popular - https://bitcoinfees.earn.com/


It would appear that the cost of funding a Lightning Network channel depends on the channel policy put in place by the Node you are attempting to open the channel with.

Different Nodes will have different minimum channel funding amounts.

You'll need to make sure you meet the minimum amount, and have enough balance left to cover the transaction fee. If you don't meet the minimum amount, you'll need to either increase your balance, or open a channel with a different node.

Heres an example where I try to open a channel for 30,000 Sats:

./cli openchannel -node_key 03c2abfa93eacec04721c019644584424aab2ba4dff3ac9bdab4e9c97007491dda --local_amt 300000 --connect
[lncli] rpc error: code = Code(199) desc = chan size of 0.003 BTC is below min chan size of 0.01 BTC

You can see the channel open request fails because I don't meet the minimum remote node policy. So I try again with a different node, using the same 300,000 Sat initial funding amount:

./cli openchannel --node_key 033e9ce4e8f0e68f7db49ffb6b9eecc10605f3f3fcb3c630545887749ab515b9c7 --local_amt 300000 --connect
    "funding_txid": "8ee38af1fd4a226e578887272d2ceeff655ab7269lb55b7307ff7b25fd05c5"


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