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How Salvadorians or everyone else can own their Lightning Network channels, and Why?

By francis105d2 | Bitcoin Cash BCH | 3 Nov 2021

If you are from El Salvador, this article may be for you, and you should read it even if you are not from El Salvador. Suppose you only use custodian services to host your money. In that case, you are putting your money at risk because custodians can go under either because they decided to run away with your money or because a hacker stole your funds from them. In the case of El Salvador, you are trusting your government to host your money for you.

Chivo wallet is the government-sponsored custodian. You may think your funds are safe with them, but in reality, they are not because you could lose your funds for whatever reason the government decides, and they can seize your funds right there and there. It is not the first time that a government has gone wild, and a small country like El Salvador has a greater chance for a government to go rogue for whatever reason. Such reasons could be economic collapses, wars, or just fiscal issues, and even to pay for a debt.

El Salvador indeed gave a $30.00 welcome bonus so that people could go and spend those funds for goods and services, but if you leave those funds in your Chivo account, that money or those satoshis are never yours as long as you leave them inside your Chivo account/wallet. Now I wouldn't recommend moving your funds to yet another custodian. The best way to save your satoshis is to host your channels where you hold the private keys to your money and not the government or any other third party. If you are not using Bitcoin that often, you are probably better off just using Chivo custodian, especially if whatever funds you will get will convert immediately to dollars. In that case, it is better to leave funds on Chivo.

But suppose you are a merchant or someone who is going to receive funds daily. In that case, it will be better to create your channel with the liquidity necessary to hold at least one week's worth of movements and only move funds to Chivo when it is strictly needed or when you are about to convert some of your satoshis back into dollars using Chivo ATMs.

In my case, I use Simple Bitcoin Wallet because that is the most up-to-date mobile Lightning network wallet, and I am lucky enough to have enough funds to have channel liquidity of 0.011BTC. If you are a merchant in El Salvador, the best nodes to connect will be the Wallet of Satoshi or Chivo wallet node because those are the two services that most people will be using over there.

If you open your channel, you will notice that you will have to spend your satoshis to receive the money. You can do that by just sending a payment using an LN exchange and withdrawing back into your wallet so that your channel is empty and ready to receive payments.

If your business does $1000 it sells each month, you will need a channel with at least that capacity so that you can receive funds using Lightning Network; you could borrow some dollars, buy some Bitcoin using Chivo, send that to your SBW and open a channel with either Chivo node or Wallet of Satoshi node, once your channel is open you can empty it by sending your funds back to Chivo and from Chivo you withdraw dollars. You pay back the person who lend you the funds to open your first channel.

All of that process involves a lot of steps and requires having some funds beforehand. Still, you will have privacy and security by hosting your channel because the government won't seize your funds without notice, and the government will not know the amount of business you have. If you don't want to do all that, the government through Chivo will see the number of your sales, who is buying and selling to you, pretty much will know everything about your business, and it wouldn't surprise me if in the future that data in snot use for tax collection.

What I just wrote is possible for Chivo users and everyone willing to use custodian services regardless of the country.

How Salvadorians or everyone else can own their own Lightning Network channel?

That is very simple to earn the money you need by either working, borrowing, and even writing some articles online. You could also make your channel liquidity by learning to trade. In my case, I pay for my LN channel by exchanging some Bitcoin Cash that I earned using noise cash and read cash.

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Bitcoin Cash BCH
Bitcoin Cash BCH

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