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I have set up a Casa node, using lnd, and opened 15 payment channels. The capacity of my channels, after almost 3 weeks, is exactly what it was when I opened the channels, leading me to believe that I have earned no fees. However, when I look at 1ML.com, my capacity is 22% higher. Are these fees generated (I hope!) or is my node including the capacity of some private channels that my node is linked to? In short, how does 1ML.com calculate the capacity of my node?

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Since 1ml is closed source I obviously cannot be 100% sure how it calculates the capacity of your node. But from my experience I can say that it does it in the same way as any other lightning node do it.

It takes the capacity of all payment channels which have been broadcast by the gossip protocol and have been received by the node in question and adds them up. This should be handled in the same way on your casa node. In particular 1ml has no chance of adding private channels (since they are private and not announced on the gossip protocol)

I believe the difference of the amount that you see comes from a different understanding of what capacity means. Let me elaborate:

  • The capacity of a payment channel is the amount of bitcoin that has been provided by the person who opened the channel (as long as dual funded channels are not implemented).
  • Your balance (or your funds) are the amount of bitcoin that you own in that particular channel.

So I believe what happened is that after your node was online for some time other nodes opened channels to your providing your node with more capacity (which is depicted on 1ml) but your funds / balance has stayed the same since those nodes only opened a channel but did not send money to you. Therfor when you looked on the user interface of your casa node you saw a different amount because you most likely confused capacity with funds / balance.

In particular 1ml can only see the capacity of the channels and not the actual funds that you own as that data is private to you (and for each channel to your channel partner). Also I would highly doubt that you have earned more routing fees than a couple satoshis. The node of Alex Bosworth has some high routing fees configured and despite being online for a long time and very well connected the routing fees have not been high.

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    Thanks Rene, that is very helpful, and clearly explained. – Jane Jan 2 at 12:29

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