Bitcoin's "layer 2" payment protocol Lightning Network (also known as "Lightning" or "LN") continues to grow at a very rapid pace, with the latest statistics showing that there are now over 6,000 Lightning nodes.
According to the latest data from Lightning Network monitoring site 1ML, in the past 30 days, the Lightning Network has seen impressive growth:
- number of Lightning nodes: 6,085; up 14.55%
- number of Lightning channels: 24,647; up 27.2%
- network capacity: 656.94 bitcoin (BTC); up 15%
Here are a few charts from "Bitcoin Visuals" that might help with getting a better understanding of the rate of growth of Lightning Network:
Why is Lightning Network growing so quickly? There are several explanations:
- There is a real need for very fast and very low cost Bitcoin payments, which is especially true in the case of micro transactions (such as for tipping creators of interesting or useful social media posts), which is not addressed by on-chain Bitcoin transactions;
- Increasing availability of easy-to-understand guides and tools for using the Lightning Network, such as Pierre Rochard's Node Launcher, Jack Mallers' Zap Desktop, and William O'Beirne's Joule Chrome plugin; and
- Increasing public awareness of the benefits of Lightning Network, such as the Lightning Torch initiative started by Twitter user "hodlonaut" on January 19th.