Lack of capacity field in channel_announcment
A discussion started recently
regarding the lack of channel capacity information in the
channel_announcement is a gossip message in the Lightning protocol that
contains information regarding the ownership of a channel. It links an on chain
Bitcoin key to a Lightning node key. Currently the message does not include any
information about the channel capacity, for which wallets have to search
through the blockchain and that becomes tedious for mobile and light wallets,
as they have to send a request to a block explorer API to get the capacity. Not
having the capacity greatly decreases the routing success rates as you maybe
trying to send 10 BTC through a channel that can handle a maximum of 1 BTC.
There has been two suggestions to fix this, one obvious one is to add
the channel total capacity into the
channel_announcement message so wallets
Another was to add the current capacity to
channel_update so the wallets can
know in real time the current capacity of this channel. This would be an 8 byte
number that defines the local balance. This can be done periodically so the
channel participants can regularly know the capacity of their partners and can
be optional in case someone wants to keep their balance secret for privacy
These two suggestions are still far from having an implementation but we can be seeing their proposals soon.
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