buy low sell high
scavenge the network for obscure long-route payments with low liquidity to a big popular node. rebalance out those long routes in to your channel with the big popular node. set your fees to the big popular node slightly higher than the average price you paid to acquire that liquidity. wait. you'll route payments soon from you to the big popular node, and will have earned that profit!
you bought low: low-priced, high quality liquidity, because you did the work to path-find (it's super hard to find these little routes, you gotta be looking all the time!)
you sold high: users of lightning dont have time to find all those obscure low-fee routes. so they just pay through your node, which is always reliable because you keep that channel with the big popular node liquid (and you've even bought off a lot of your competition already)
but be careful, too aggressive with your pathfinding and you can get force-closes or hardware failure (or worse, expelled)
what are your hot tips? (or tell me why i'm wrong and dumb)
10 sat boost me baby
Here's a perspective routing node operators should think about: what are the USES of Lightning and how do I help THOSE? Try to look through the eyes of others.
I serve customers, I let people swap between Lightning and Hive, I don't give a shit about your views on Hive, if this site had it I'd have a block on anyone who said shitcoin to me but hey, I can and will just ignore you.
Here's how I operate: Hive comes in with a lightning invoice, I pay the invoice subtract my fee (200 sats + 0.8% of the value + routing fees) and I return a small amount of change to my Hive user. I also receive Lightning with a properly formatted message and then send Hive to the Hive user, same fees. I also receive streaming podcast payments and boosts and pass those on to Hive users.
I want to pay all the invoices and never see failures and I want it easy for incoming payments to come in. My service operates up to 300,000 sats per payment because that's what I want right now.
I look at the routing fees (which I pass on to Hive users) and I try to look where I'm sending funds to. That's why I have as direct as possible paths to Wallet of Satoshi, Muun, Bitrefill and GetAlby. I have a nice channel with ZeroFeeRouting and I've also opened one with @dannydeezy now too because I was too dependent on ZFR and he was down for an afternoon.
I don't want to probe or guess or look for routes. If I see payments going through a high fee node repeatedly for my use case I will open a channel to route around that.
As much as this routing thing works, the vast majority of real use cases (i.e. not routing) are on big centralised wallets (or hybrids like Muun which does have a central node) and I can route direct. I would encourage anyone who actually tries to use Lightning as a value transfer system, to carefully avoid long routing paths and link to your repeat partners as often as you can.
BTW this is why I love ZFR. He's my path out to the bits I haven't managed to snag a direct path to and the inbound channel I can generally rely on.
Also I largely squash and avoid all routing on my main node by setting very high fees but I'm starting to learn that when I've pushed a whole load of sats out to Muun, if I carefully set fees on ZFR and Wallet of Satoshi I can balance things back. This is horribly manual and I make mistakes, but I don't see this changing any time soon.
swap between Lightning and Hive
I love how you always find a way to shill your coin.
Please stay away from Hive.
Will do!
Nice response. Certainly beats the circle-jerk of people rebalancing between their respective routing nodes, not really focusing on LN USES...