As the Bitcoin Lightning Network evolves and becomes something bigger than it was before, several developers are discussing its future at the Lightning Conference, which is happening in Berlin right now.
Now, the developers are discussing the fees of the network. At the moment, the default fees are at 1 satoshi plus 1 part per million of the payment. This means that you pay the smallest unit of Bitcoin plus a small part of the money that was sent.
Node operators have the freedom to hike fees if they wish, but historically, this was not done extensively. According to Rusty Russel, a developer from Blockstream’s c-Lightning, two-thirds of all nodes do not charge more money than the minimum fees. Because of this, he has recently proposed to spike the fees to 5 satoshi plus 500 parts per million, a considerable hike.
Some people believe that increasing the fees is important to protect the future of the network. Pierre-Marie Padiou, the CEO of ACINQ, has agreed with Russel. Jack Mallers, the founder of Zap Solutions did as well. There is a clear movement of people who think that this can solve problems.
However, others are concerned that this might hurt the image of the network, as one of the main selling points of the Lightning Network is that it is very cheap to use it. The CTO of Lightning Labs, Olaoluwa Osuntokun was one of the main forces against the changes. According to him, this could create an image that the developers are the ones deciding the fees on the network.
Olaoluwa believes that the operators should decide. If their fees are too high, people will choose other services. This means that the market would be balanced, in his opinion.