Despite its perceived complexity and relative obscurity behind the first layer blockchain, the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN) is experiencing phenomenal growth this year. According to the latest statistics from Lightning Network monitoring site 1ML, the LN has registered some impressive growth metrics.
Over the past 30 days, the number of nodes supporting the layer two Bitcoin scaling solution has grown to 6,111 nodes (as of press time) representing a 14.37% increase. Back in Christmas day, the number of nodes stood at 4,800 taking this number into consideration that represents a 27.3% increase. The number of payment channels also is on the rise jumping by an impressive 24.49% over the past 30 days as well. There are as many as 24,454 payment channels currently.
Similar to other metrics, the network capacity has also had a positive increase over the past 30 days. The network is supporting as much as 655.33 BTC worth of transactions which translates to about $2.4 million. This is a 14.38% percentage gain.
The Lightning Network is a layer two solution currently under experimentation. The aim of the experiment is to help scale the Bitcoin blockchain from its current 5 transactions per second. As the flagship cryptocurrency, scalability is a major issue.
Using LN, it is expected that most Bitcoin transactions will be taken to the second layer which supports transactions valued at less than $150. The LN solution also provides fast transactions and extremely low network fees. However, developers have warned users that the solution is still under development and using it for value transfer is considered a risky affair.
A few reasons why the LN network has experienced such massive growth over the past few weeks include the increase in popularity for the LN. Currently, there is an experiment going on through Twitter dubbed the “Lightning Torch” which involves participants sending funds to other trusted Twitter users in a sort of relay transaction adding 10K satoshis to the transaction.
This experiment has seen the participation of notable figures such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Several other LN proponents have taken to imploring Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk to take up the “torch” as well. This kind of publicity has further popularized the network.
Other than the “torch” experiment, the network is growing organically. There has been a proliferation of user guides in the past few weeks that seek to introduce more users to the network.