lightning-renepay -- Command for sending a payment to a BOLT11 invoice


renepay invstring [amount_msat] [maxfee] [maxdelay]
[retry_for] [description] [label]


renepay is a new payment plugin based on Pickhardt-Richter optimization
method for Multi-Path-Payments. This implementation has not been thoroughly
tested and it should be used with caution.

The renepay RPC command attempts to pay the invoice specified
as invstring. Currently, renepay supports bolt11 invoices only.

The response will occur when the payment fails or succeeds. Once a
payment has succeeded, calls to renepay with the same invstring
will not lead to a new payment attempt, but instead it will succeed immediately.

If the invstring does not contain an amount,
amount_msat is required, otherwise if it is specified
it must be null. amount_msat is in millisatoshi precision; it can be a
whole number, or a whole number with suffix msat or sat, or a three
decimal point number with suffix sat, or an 1 to 11 decimal point
number suffixed by btc.

maxfee limits how much is paid fees and it is measured in millisatoshi
by default, but also in this case the unit can be specified with a suffix: msat, sat or btc.
The default value is 5 sats or 0.5% whichever is higher.

maxdelay overrides the value of max-locktime-blocks for this payment.
It serves to limit the locktime of funds in the payment HTLC measured in blocks.

retry_for measured in seconds (default: 60) specifies how much time it is
allowed for the command to keep retrying the payment.

description is only required for bolt11 invoices which do not
contain a description themselves, but contain a description hash:
in this case description is required.
description is then checked against the hash inside the invoice
before it will be paid.

The label field is used to attach a label to payments, and is returned
in lightning-listpays(7) and lightning-listsendpays(7).

When using lightning-cli, you may skip optional parameters by using
null. Alternatively, use -k option to provide parameters by name.


renepay is based on the work by Pickhardt-Richter's
Optimally Reliable & Cheap Payment Flows on the Lightning Network.
Which means the payment command will prefer routes that have a higher
probability of success while keeping fees low.

The algorithm records some partial knowledge of the state of the Network
deduced from the responses obtained after evey payment attempt.
This knowledge is kept through different payment requests, but decays with time
to account for the dynamics of the Network (after 1 hour all previous knowledge
will be erased).
Knowledge from previous payment attempts increases the reliability for
subsequent ones.

Higher probabilities of success and lower fees cannot generally by optimized at
once. Hence renepay combines the two in different amounts seeking solutions
that satisfy maxfee bound and a target for 90% probability of success.
maxfee is a hard bound, in the sense that the command will never attempt a
payment when the fees exceed that value. While the probability target is not
compulsory (but desirable), i.e. if the best route does not satisfy the
90% probability target it will be tried anyways.

When maxfee and the 90% probability bounds are satified, the algorithm will
optimize the fees to its lowest value.


To protect user privacy, the payment algorithm performs shadow route
Which means the payment algorithm will virtually extend the route
by adding delays and fees along it, making it appear to intermediate nodes
that the route is longer than it actually is. This prevents intermediate
nodes from reliably guessing their distance from the payee.

Route randomization will never exceed maxfee of the payment.
Route randomization and shadow routing will not take routes that would
exceed maxdelay.


On success, an object is returned, containing:

  • payment_preimage (secret): the proof of payment: SHA256 of this payment_hash
  • payment_hash (hash): the hash of the payment_preimage which will prove payment
  • created_at (number): the UNIX timestamp showing when this payment was initiated
  • parts (u32): how many attempts this took
  • amount_msat (msat): amount the recipient received
  • amount_sent_msat (msat): total amount we sent (including fees)
  • status (string): status of payment (one of "complete", "pending", "failed")
  • destination (pubkey, optional): the final destination of the payment

You can monitor the progress and retries of a payment using the
lightning-renepaystatus(7) command.

The following error codes may occur:

  • -1: Catchall nonspecific error.
  • 200: Other payment attempts are in progress.
  • 203: Permanent failure at destination.
  • 205: Unable to find a route.
  • 206: Payment routes are too expensive.
  • 207: Invoice expired. Payment took too long before expiration, or
    already expired at the time you initiated payment.
  • 210: Payment timed out without a payment in progress.
  • 212: Invoice is invalid.


Eduardo Quintana-Miranda <[email protected]> is mainly responsible.


lightning-renepaystatus(7), lightning-listpays(7), lightning-invoice(7).