Lightning Nodes: Are they profitable?
With a bear market lasting as long as this one has; it’s a great opportunity to look around for more business opportunities within the crypto space. Once we experience the next bull run, emphasis will revert back to the price alone. The focus on innovating new ideas will reduce, leaning towards making a profit on the price. Could Lightning Nodes change this?
The Lightning Network
One thing that has piqued our interest at iCE3X recently is the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network is a second layer which sits on top of the original Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain (and also various other blockchains). It gives the ability for extremely fast and cheap transactions on the bitcoin network, theoretically making Bitcoin the perfect payment method. Be that as it may, The Lightning Network still has a few obstacles to get over before it’s in full effect. However, I believe the team developing the lightning network will get us there.
I initially heard about The Lightning Network in 2017 and I’ve been following their developments ever since, in eager anticipation of what was to come for the Bitcoin network. After the first Lightning Network beta early in 2018; I saw the potential it had and started wondering if there was anything I could do to generate some money using this new innovation.
After looking into Lightning apps (Lapps) which are essentially a 3rd layer solution on top of a blockchain; I realized we had to set up a lightning node. So we did just that!
After it was fully configured (blog post explaining the whole process coming soon) we managed to secure over 100 open channels! While this feat may sound easy, it’s actually quite the opposite. Setting up your own lightning node is currently very time consuming and user-unfriendly.
Reaping the Benefits of A Lightning Node
While setting up a Lightning Node won’t exactly make you reach, there is potential to make some cash with it. Through the process of trial an error, we learned a lot about how the Lightning Network works. Many guides and predictions about the Lightning Network claim to only produce minimal amounts of profit. While this is true for the most part, 2 factors still remain which still make setting up a Lightning Node a good idea.
Visible node count
#1 Bitcoin – 10,336
#2 Ethereum – 7,574
#3 Lightning – 6,088
#4 Litecoin – 1,869
#5 Bcash – 1,589
#6 Ripple – 1,047
— RideTheLightning⚡️ (@MediumSqueeze) February 10, 2019
One of those being the potential for a large number of transactions to flow through the Lightning Node you configured. The second is the fact that with the Lightning Networks rapid growth, more people using and transacting over Lightning will eventually increase the traffic flowing through your node. Essentially, the more the Lightning Network matures, the more funds that will be flowing through its channels.
After the first week of running our newly configured Lightning Node; almost half of the channels that were connected to us crashed. Thus, we added up all of the money accumulating in our node to see if we turned a profit or made a loss. Turns out we made $68.60 in the one week our Lightning Node went live (spread over 100 channels)! In total, we paid abour $25 in transaction fees in order to set up our nodes. So we practically made that back in a couple days; and everything after that we made was profit. Of course, that’s not counting the time it took to set up the nodes, as well as the cost of the server. But we can always close our channels and get our investment back as well as all fees we earned.
A Bright Future
While we were processing many transactions with our node, technically, we don’t actually know how we made our money. The Lightning Network is extremely new, so as of now, you can’t see which or even how many transactions were routed through your node. In addition to this, you also can’t see how much fees you made per transaction.
The Lightning Network currently rewards creativity and innovation in regards to implementation. Services like Tippin.me, LN Pizza and many more allow users to use the Lightning Network for various different use-cases.
We didn’t make much in the first week, so we challenge you to do better! Have you set up your own lightning node? If not, why don’t you set one up and try to see how much you can make passively in a week!
What do you think of the Lightning Network? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!