Let's say a lightning node A wants to route a payment to a lightning node B, being A and B not directly connected.A looks for routes throughout the network, using the info about the total capacity of available channels and construct n possible routes to reach B.

Will A just try routes until eventually one of the n succeeds?

For what I've got by checking the BOLTS, the actual state of each sides of the channels is not announced (is it?), what means that even though a route could have enough capacity to route a payment, one of the channel could be unbalanced and the whole route may fail. Therefore, the potential failure rate when trying to route payments seems quite high.

Am I missing something?

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Indeed, the current state of the channels is not announced (it is allegedly hidden for privacy purposes). Therefore, A does not know if a route has enough capacity until he tries to make the payment throught that route.

A recent study claims that success rate is around 80% for USD 1.2, but only about 1% for transactions larger than 200 USD.

Related question: In lightning network, is the balance publicly anounced in realtime?

Your Answer


By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.