lightning network – How can I increase the routing my ‘small’ lighting node performs?


I know this question has been asked a lot. However I am not able to grasp the correct approach to address this.

Let me give you the context: I spun up an LND node to start experimenting and understanding the capabilities of this spectacular technology. Put $100 worth of sats in the node and spread it across 4 channels and I was also lucky to have another 5 channels open with me – so I have some outgoing capacity from the channels I have opened and also some inbound capacity from the channels others opened to me. The channels are unbalanced meaning that, for the channels I opened remote balance is 0 and for the channels others opened to me local balance is 0. I know that channels should be balanced to be able to perform routing in both directions in every channel but thought since others have also opened channels to me, I could still route some transactions. Is this a valid assumption?

Base fee is set to 0 and my fee rate is 0.000001 which I believe is cheap to incentivize some routing. For 4 months now fwdinghistory returns nothing. I thought that with this setup I could easily route just a cup of coffee but it seems we are not there yet.

What can I do to reach the point where I actually perform some routing? I don’t want to commit more capital to the node until I am confident of what I am doing and how things work. Again the rational behind is that 100$ should suffice to route some coffee buys. I understand that the first thing to do is to try to provide liquidity where liquidity is needed but I simply don’t understand how to identify where liquidity is needed.

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