Get Paid In Bitcoin For Using The Lightning Network
Users that are now running lightning nodes are earning some Bitcoin for the work they do. The Lightning Network (LN) is a scaling solution for Bitcoin (BTC) that would allow users to send and receive BTC almost immediately and with very low fees.
At the moment, those using the lightning network are paying just one satoshi per transaction, a very small fee. Because of this, some individuals are receiving an income of $2 dollars per month.
In order to send a payment to someone, it will have to pass through different nodes before reaching the recipient. Each of the operators of the node can charge a fee for making the connection possible.
At the moment, participating in the Lightning Network is somehow complicated for non savvy users. Indeed, it requires technical knowledge and storing capacity. In order to route a Lightning Payment it is necessary to download Bitcoin’s entire transaction history, which is over 200 GB data. After it, the user will have to download the Lightning Software and run it on top of that.
If the user is able to combine a node, then it will have to update the default fee feature that is automatically set to zero.
At the moment it is possible to change the fee and monitor how much you are earning from fees. However, this is a relatively new implementation. It is important to mark that users compete with each other in the LN. In order to receive more people transacting, nodes should charge less fees.
Some people do not care about the fees and are just in the market because they are enthusiasts and want to contribute to the network without earning money for doing it.
Why Is It Necessary To Charge Fees?
Some experts believe that it is beneficial to allow for fees. In the future, once the LN is already implemented and growing, fees will move into an economic outcome. Even if they are not so high, they can still be useful.
The network needs liquidity and each lighting node has a certain amount of ‘liquidity.’ This is related to the amount of money that can be routed through it. Channels that have more money will have the possibility to support bigger payment or many more payments.
Additionally, Lightning Developers instituted a negative fee for those nodes that want to pay users for sending money through them. This is the case if a channel has no more money in one direction and needs to be rebalanced with more funds.
Experts predict that in the future, fees will remain low. Indeed, Lightning Network creators, Tadge Dryja and Joseph Poon said that fees would be zero, and until now, that’s happening.
“I think the payment routing system will eventually settle to what is basically just a ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ level,” explains the pseudonymous lightning developer ZmnSCPxj.
Those who route payments for small fees will also incentivize others to do the same and keep competitive. Because of the characteristics of this market, it will be cheaper to send and receive money using lightning payments than other traditional payment systems.
At the moment, the Lightning Network has 3,112 nodes, 11,150 channels, and the network has a total capacity of 82.82 BTC. The average channel capacity is 0.007 BTC (close to $45 dollars at current prices).