Hey everyone,

You can maybe say this is a n00b question, but would like to get your thoughts on it.

We all know on-chain fees can be customized and one can set a 1 sat/byte fee and wait if he wishes to do so. And depending on the amount transferred the fee as a % of the total amount can get really immaterial.

But on the lightning network we pay routing fees which currently cannot be customized. And as far as my understanding goes the bigger the liquidity and the better the node connections => I guess leads to lower fees. Would you happen to know if we would be able to select a fee like we can when sending on-chain, for example I can see SN lets you input a maximum amount of fee that you are willing to pay - so by the looks of it I guess the answer to my question is positive.

My main concern with creating this post here is that if I now want to send $100 (around 440k sats) on-chain depending on the number of outputs I could pay lets say 400 sats (10 cents or 0.1% fee), but trying to send that same amount via LN will probably cost me more in satoshis. I know LN is a relatively new network, but if the fee there is 2% and we compare that to a 3% or whatever payment card providers charge - well it's not that big of a difference to a regular person who just heard of this bitcoin thing.

Do you see this as a drawback or am I missing something?

Would love to know your thoughts!


LN has 2 fee types, a % fee and a base fee. It is customizable, the routing node decides both of them. They can both be set to 0 if the router wants it that way. Here's a cool article about this: https://medium.com/suredbits/lightning-101-lightning-network-fees-86abbbc17024

Obviously he's looking at this from the perspective of a person looking to pay, not as a node operator. You can't pick out a zero fee router for you particular payment.

10 sats \ 4 replies \ @kevin 25 Jan

You most certainly can! It's just not something that's supported in a lot of clients. IIRC you can do it in for example ThunderHub :)

Edit: it's even available in Zeus under the "Payment Settings" option. Default maximum is 100 sats / 0.5%

Yeah, you can set limits but you can't set specific fees, which is a different thing. If your limit is too low, you can't even try to send the transaction

I believe what you're referring to on Thunderhub is setting maximum fees to open a channel, which is in fact an on chain transaction, not a lightning fee.

My point is you can't select a "path" unless you have opened a channel to a particular vendor.

Yeah that's true, I was a little busy while reading it so I didn't pay much attention. I think the article I linked is still relevant for OP to understand routing fees, but we currently don't have a way to choose fees as the spender, no

No doubt education helps, and those were good articles


Lightning network transactions routinely cost a single Satoshi. It's not based on percentages.

1 < 400 still, right?

The lightning network is practically free to use.

only if you send amounts up to 1k sats (at least thats my experience)

You are correct based on my experience. There are times, like now, when the btc price is low and on chain fees are low, and depending on the amount of the transaction, that a lightning fee can be higher than on chain.