Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Surpasses $1 Million Capacity, 14,000 Payment Channels

Francisco Memoria
  • Bitcoin's Lightning Network has surpassed a 100 BTC capacity, and is about to have a $1 million capacity.
  • This, in over 10,000 payment channels operatd by nearly 3,000 nodes.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN), often seen as the layer-two solution that will help the flagship cryptocurrency be adopted throughout the world by boosting transaction speeds and eliminating network congestion, has recently surpassed 14,000 mainnet payment channels, and a 180 BTC capacity (~$1 million).

The technology behind the scaling solution is still fairly new and only started taking off this year, partly thanks to funds that came from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Its development has continued during the market’s downturn, and its growth has been steadily speeding up, as in February of this year it was still at 1,700 open payment channels.

At press time, data shows the network has a 249.8 BTC (~$1.3 million) capacity, and 14,488 payment channels. It currently has over 4,000 nodes, with each having an average of 12.3 payment channels. The average node capacity is of 0.143 BTC, or $796, while the average payment channel has a capacity of 0.023 BTC, $128.

A live visualization of bitocin's lightning network

Notably, the network’s capacity surged by a whooping 125% recently. It's currently unclear why its capacity increased in such a small amount of time. In the past few months, various companies, including Valve and Stripe, stopped accepting bitcoin payments, citing high fees and slow transaction times. These came as the network was clogged late last year when the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of nearly $20,000.

Despite its young age, the Lightning Network has reached a number of notable milestones. This year some companies have already started accepting payments through the scaling solution, including VPN provider TorGuard and Bitcoin-to-Gold exchange Vaultoro.

The network already had its “pizza transaction” after a user paid for a physical item through it. By moving payments to a second layer, the Lightning Network is set to theoretically help BTC’s blockchain once again have low fees and fast confirmation times, as most microtransaction will occur on the Lightning Network.

Shitcoin.com owner Andreas Brekken ran a LN node in the past. In his last review he highlighted that sending payments through the layer-two solution is “cheaper than the regular bitcoin network,” but added it “suffers from routing errors and wallet bugs that make it impractical even for highly technical users,” making it clear the LN is still in its infancy.

Hamas' Military Wing Asks Supporters for Bitcoin Donations, Again

Francisco Memoria

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of an organization designated as a terrorist group in Europe and the United States currently in control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, have recently called on supporters for Bitcoin donations.

According to the Israel National News, the group has asked for cryptocurrency donations through a special page on its website that asked supporters for BTC to “Support the Resistance,” in a campaign that sees it state there’s a duty to “support jihad because Jerusalem is an integral part of the Islamic faith.”

This is notably not the first time the group asks its supporters for donations in the flagship cryptocurrency. Back in January, CryptoGlobe reported that a Hamas spokesperson, Abu Obeida, asked supporters for BTC via Instagram, in a post that read:

The Zionist enemy fights the Palestinian resistance by trying to cut aid to the resistance by all means, but lovers of resistance around the world fight these Zionist attempts and seek all possible means to aid the resistance.

The group has reportedly been looking to raise funds via cryptocurrency as it has faced financial woes in the last few years, as banks throughout the world have been distancing themselves from the organization. Hamas’ representative blamed Israel for its current situation earlier this year.

Hamas Tried To Raise Funds Through Coinbase

As reported, Israel-based blockchain intelligence startup Whitestream tracked down two bitcoin donations the cash-strapped group received after the January plea. Per Whitestream, Hamas’ address showed the group was using Coinbase, and received “two relatively small bitcoin donations” amounting to “only $2,500.”

These are said to have come from a bitcoin trader in Khan Yunes, a small town located in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, at the time, published two bitcoin addresses to receive funds, and the Israeli-based firm believes it had to do so after Coinbase blocked the first one.

Notably, the group’s military wing is asking for donations shortly after a Gaza rocket hit a home in central Israel, according to the BBC.