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Flow 1.0 Channel FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Flow

I just bought a Sidecar Ticket. Now what?

If you are using a Voltage Node, you can redeem the ticket automatically or through Terminal Web. To access Terminal Web, go into the Connect menu on your Voltage node dashboard, and in the drop down choose Lightning Node Connect and generate an admin level pairing phrase. Then visit https://terminal.lightning.engineering and enter the pairing phrase. From there, you can redeem your sidecar ticket in the Terminal Web by going to Loop --> Add Liquidity --> Register Sidecar Channel.

How can I buy a channel for someone else?

Once you have a sidecar ticket from Flow, this can be claimed by anyone. For this reason, it's important to not share it with anyone unless you intentionally want to give that person a channel.

How often do orders get filled?

For your order to be filled it must be included in a Pool batch. These get created every 10 minutes. However sometimes it can take multiple batches before you get matched with someone.

How do I get a channel with both inbound and outbound capacity?

When creating an order for Flow, there's a field in the request called self_chan_balance. This is the amount of satoshis you want on your side of the channel. For example, when you could request a 1,000,000 satoshi channel with 50,000 satoshis on your side. Of course, when requesting liquidity on the outbound side, you must contribute the amount up front that will be a part of the channel.

Can I pay for a channel in fiat?

At this time, you can only pay for your channel in Bitcoin. However, paying with services like Strike make it very easy to do the conversion.

How do coupon values work?

A coupon is good for a set amount of Satoshis. When using a coupon, it applies as much of the coupon as it can, but coupons can only be used once. For example, if your coupon value was 1000 and your amount due was 1254, then you would owe 254 sats. Also, if you had the same coupon but your order value was 798 then your order would be free but you also forfeit the remaining balance of that coupon.

How do I get funds back when cancelling?

Currently when you cancel an order that you've paid for we generate a coupon that's equal to the same amount you paid. You can then use this coupon on a new order to apply your balance. However, if you'd like to get your sats back instead of a coupon please contact us.

How do I know I'm getting a channel from a good node?

When creating orders, we have a node_tier field in the request. The possible values are any and best. By default, we use best. This maps to the node tiering system in Pool. best means that the node must be on the BOS Score list. any means there is no restrictions on the node and it could be anyone. This lets you tell the system who to get channels from so you can be sure to purchase them from the best nodes on the network.

Do orders expire?

Yes, if your order sits in the waiting_payment status of 1 hour without being paid then your order will expire. As soon as you pay for the order it will no longer expire.

My order has been in the 'submitted' status for a long time. What do I do?

When your order is in the submitted status that means the order was submitted to the Pool auction service and it's waiting to be matched. This can take some time depending on much liquidity is on the sell side of Pool. If your order is stuck in submitted for a long time you can cancel the order and create a new one. This would allow also make sure all the fee sets are updated with the most recent batches.