Let’s create a routing LND node, part 3 - Opening some channels

Series: Let’s create a routing LND node

Supporting this series

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Tidying up

The Time4VPS S1 instance bitcoind server has chugged along happily overnight with LND connected to it. No out-of-memory restarts. That’s good, and seems a nice, cheap way to run a full node. At €5.99 per month it’s the cheapest way I've found to run a hosted bitcoind node. Unless of course you know different!

I've retired my old LND node, my old BTCD node, and my temporary S2 instance.

When closing my old LND node, I changed its name a few days ago to put ‘(retired)’ at the end. I’d hoped that change would propagate out to services that watch the graph to show that the server isn’t in use any more. It doesn’t look like it made it to 1ml though.

Also, I wanted to move everything out of that LND server’s wallet and I wasn’t sure how to do that - how do you calculate the fees so you know how much to actually move? It turns out the LND team have already thought of that and provide the sweepall option to just move everything out of the wallet and subtract the fees automatically:

lncli sendcoins --sweepall destination-address

Handy to know!

Incoming Advice

Time4VPS got in touch to tell me:

Our Linux VPS https://www.time4vps.com/linux-vps/ supports @Docker and swap memory. Just letting you know ;)

That’s good to know, but unfortunately the bitcoin blockchain is so big that I’d be using the ‘Linux 48‘ option with 480GB of space, and that would cost a whopping €129.99 per month! (The current blockchain would fit in the €65.99 per month ‘Linux 32‘ but when I were a lad we were taught to try to keep partitions no more than half full on average. That may be an NTFS legacy though.)

They offered to put me in touch with their support/sales team to find a solution, but I declined. I’m not cheap but I do want to see how cheaply this can be done. So far, €5.99 per month for bitcoind hosting at Time4VPS plus $10 per month for lnd hosting at Vultr seem to be winners.

Actually opening channels

I want to start opening channels with a few nodes that are ‘destinations’ - places people want to send money to - as well as a few nodes that are well-connected ‘hubs’. This won’t lead to much routing on its own, but it’s the kind of connectivity that can serve as a good basis for connecting to the less well-served nodes that actually do need the routing. That will come later, but for now I’ll try opening channels with some destinations and hubs.

What channels to open?

According to the article Shutdown capacity.network after 50 day:

Highest out volume to LivingRoomSatoshi, BitRefill, Coingate, and Lightning-Roulette.

That seems a useful starting point. I realise they’ll be popular with other routing nodes too, but I think it’s useful to dedicate some capacity towards them.

I’m going to avoid LivingRoomSatoshi because my old node used to have a channel with them and I couldn’t do anything with it. I couldn’t rebalance it or loop funds out. I don’t know why, but I don’t want to open a ‘stuck’ channel if I can avoid it.

That means I want to channels with BitRefill, Coingate and Lightning-Roulette. And here are the results:

  • BitRefill - This node requires channels be at least 4,000,000sats. That’s more than I was hoping to devote to a single channel right now, but in the end I decided to go with it anyway. The point of this is to experiment, and if it’s wrong I can just close the channel.

lncli openchannel --node_key 030c3f19d742ca294a55c00376b3b355c3c90d61c6b6b39554dbc7ac19b141c14f --connect 52.50.244.44:9735 --local_amt 4000000 { "funding_txid": "a53c8b0c94ee681a39fb5a5626ad80ab1e2db4f518fcdc8ae4554e03fc9617f9" }

lncli openchannel --node_key 0242a4ae0c5bef18048fbecf995094b74bfb0f7391418d71ed394784373f41e4f3 --connect 18.184.237.59:9735 --local_amt 1000000 { "funding_txid": "ba7d1229f8269a1815e350fa576dd8165194dfef1fde542f4876540467076886" }

lncli openchannel --node_key 031678745383bd273b4c3dbefc8ffbf4847d85c2f62d3407c0c980430b3257c403 --connect 35.204.214.101:9735 --local_amt 1000000 { "funding_txid": "9ccdac4a53d8f2328595acbfbe2323f2e0ea396bc4dc3f7ddc0490c3b915c8d0" }


I also wanted to get a smattering of channels from Moneni’s Nodematch. Here are the top 5 from its report for my node:

  1. 02809e936f0e82dfce13bcc47c77112db068f569e1db29e7bf98bcdd68b838ee84@40.69.71.114:9736 powernode.io
    Would add 559 more nodes with two hops , 192 more nodes with three hops , 109 more nodes with four hops
  2. 02ad6fb8d693dc1e4569bcedefadf5f72a931ae027dc0f0c544b34c1c6f3b9a02b@167.99.50.31:9735 rompert.com🔵
    Would add 303 more nodes with two hops , 186 more nodes with three hops , 74 more nodes with four hops
  3. 0331f80652fb840239df8dc99205792bba2e559a05469915804c08420230e23c7c@74.108.13.152:9735 LightningPowerUsers.com
    Would add 295 more nodes with two hops , 244 more nodes with three hops , 102 more nodes with four hops
  4. 0279c22ed7a068d10dc1a38ae66d2d6461e269226c60258c021b1ddcdfe4b00bc4@51.15.103.198:9735 ln1.satoshilabs.com
    Would add 286 more nodes with two hops , 260 more nodes with three hops , 92 more nodes with four hops
  5. 0395033b252c6f40e3756984162d68174e2bd8060a129c0d3462a9370471c6d28f@138.68.157.208:9735 BitMEXResearch
    Would add 278 more nodes with two hops , 276 more nodes with three hops , 118 more nodes with four hops

I opened a 1million sat channel with each of them except for ‘powernodeio’ which had a minimum channel size requirement of 2million sats. Here are the commands and transaction results:

lncli openchannel --node_key 02809e936f0e82dfce13bcc47c77112db068f569e1db29e7bf98bcdd68b838ee84 --connect 40.69.71.114:9736 --local_amt 2000000 { "funding_txid": "813086a992e7e1d9a29df82a1900f36a9629aa9259dcea18abae435650a620a7" }

lncli openchannel --node_key 02ad6fb8d693dc1e4569bcedefadf5f72a931ae027dc0f0c544b34c1c6f3b9a02b --connect 167.99.50.31:9735 --local_amt 1000000 { "funding_txid": "f3c48a381215814fc5860dfcab4b87fd338b6d0399884864ac397b059b3e57a3" }

lncli openchannel --node_key 0331f80652fb840239df8dc99205792bba2e559a05469915804c08420230e23c7c --connect 74.108.13.152:9735 --local_amt 1000000 { "funding_txid": "5c16297c8a7b710640be40d3ba209887a61d7ef8c86332b8e33985fcb20218f9" }

lncli openchannel --node_key 0279c22ed7a068d10dc1a38ae66d2d6461e269226c60258c021b1ddcdfe4b00bc4 --connect 51.15.103.198:9735 --local_amt 1000000 { "funding_txid": "e6668d6cd1f90918e6bdbdc63f79603a9714f24eac951e212d08b41098b56c01" }

lncli openchannel --node_key 0395033b252c6f40e3756984162d68174e2bd8060a129c0d3462a9370471c6d28f --connect 138.68.157.208:9735 --local_amt 1000000 { "funding_txid": "c8fbb6e78f26bd5f63419c172384b79a1209478dd30184b68711c6d1f916b1be" }

So that’s where we are now - some channels have confirmed, and a couple are still pending. As you can see, all the open channels are shown as ‘Unbalanced - High’ because they’re full and I’ve made no attempt to balance them. That’s a job for another day.

OpinionatedGeek ⚡ - synced: ✅

Total Balance: 49,895,224 satoshi, Wallet: 37,966,360 satoshi (0 satoshi/37,966,360 satoshi)

Fees: 0 this month, 0 this week, 0 today

Channels: 6 active, 0 inactive, 2 pending, containing: 11,928,864 satoshi

Version: 0.6.0-beta commit=v0.6-beta-dirty

URI: 023c5b5667b16cd7fcca5591a8c0f47beb76c9405e16a4f2d6b42c7b9904a7f0e6@95.179.191.59:9735


Pending - Open:

⭕ 🚶 ln1.satoshilabs.com: 0 (Last update: 02:56 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 0279c22ed7a068d10dc1a38ae66d2d6461e269226c60258c021b1ddcdfe4b00bc4

Fees: --+--/-- / --+--/--

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]

⭕ 🚶 BitMEXResearch: 0 (Last update: 19:26 UTC on Thursday, 2 May 2019)

Pubkey: 0395033b252c6f40e3756984162d68174e2bd8060a129c0d3462a9370471c6d28f

Fees: --+--/-- / --+--/--

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]


Pending - Close:

None.


Pending - Force Close:

None.


Pending - Waiting To Close:

None.


Unbalanced - High:

✅ 👪 Bitrefill.com: 631589165900038144 (Last update: 12:50 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 030c3f19d742ca294a55c00376b3b355c3c90d61c6b6b39554dbc7ac19b141c14f

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 4,000+40/144

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 3,990,856 / 0 [capacity: 4,000,000]

✅ 👪 powernode.io: 631589165899972608 (Last update: 12:50 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 02809e936f0e82dfce13bcc47c77112db068f569e1db29e7bf98bcdd68b838ee84

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 0+100/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 1,990,856 / 0 [capacity: 2,000,000]

✅ 👪 CoinGate: 631562777641943040 (Last update: 09:05 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 0242a4ae0c5bef18048fbecf995094b74bfb0f7391418d71ed394784373f41e4f3

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 1,000+1/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]

✅ 👪 rompert.com🔵: 631590265456623616 (Last update: 13:02 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 02ad6fb8d693dc1e4569bcedefadf5f72a931ae027dc0f0c544b34c1c6f3b9a02b

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 0+1/144

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]

✅ 👪 lightning-roulette.com: 631563877105729536 (Last update: 09:10 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 031678745383bd273b4c3dbefc8ffbf4847d85c2f62d3407c0c980430b3257c403

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 1,000+1/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]

✅ 👪 LightningPowerUsers.com: 631590265456689152 (Last update: 13:02 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 0331f80652fb840239df8dc99205792bba2e559a05469915804c08420230e23c7c

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 1,000+1/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]


Unbalanced - Low:

None.


All Channels:

✅ 👪 Bitrefill.com: 631589165900038144 (Last update: 12:50 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 030c3f19d742ca294a55c00376b3b355c3c90d61c6b6b39554dbc7ac19b141c14f

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 4,000+40/144

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 3,990,856 / 0 [capacity: 4,000,000]

✅ 👪 powernode.io: 631589165899972608 (Last update: 12:50 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 02809e936f0e82dfce13bcc47c77112db068f569e1db29e7bf98bcdd68b838ee84

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 0+100/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 1,990,856 / 0 [capacity: 2,000,000]

✅ 👪 CoinGate: 631562777641943040 (Last update: 09:05 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 0242a4ae0c5bef18048fbecf995094b74bfb0f7391418d71ed394784373f41e4f3

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 1,000+1/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]

✅ 👪 rompert.com🔵: 631590265456623616 (Last update: 13:02 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 02ad6fb8d693dc1e4569bcedefadf5f72a931ae027dc0f0c544b34c1c6f3b9a02b

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 0+1/144

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]

✅ 👪 lightning-roulette.com: 631563877105729536 (Last update: 09:10 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 031678745383bd273b4c3dbefc8ffbf4847d85c2f62d3407c0c980430b3257c403

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 1,000+1/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]

✅ 👪 LightningPowerUsers.com: 631590265456689152 (Last update: 13:02 UTC on Friday, 3 May 2019)

Pubkey: 0331f80652fb840239df8dc99205792bba2e559a05469915804c08420230e23c7c

Fees: 1,000+1/40 / 1,000+1/40

Balances: [🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷] 991,192 / 0 [capacity: 1,000,000]


Tags: Lightning
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