Many still doubt the Lightning Network and how it will take bitcoin further into the mainstream. However, one must keep track of the crucial metrics to determine how things are progressing. The recent LN statistics indicate everything progresses smoothly, although there is always room for further progress.
Number of Lightning Network Nodes Is Healthy
Similar to how a blockchain operates, the Lightning Network needs network nodes to process and distribute information. Interestingly, the LN has 17,670 nodes today, which is a rat her impressive number. In fact, that number is higher than the number of traditional bitcoin nodes, which sit at 15,806. There is bound to be some overlap between bitcoin and Lightning Network node operators, but it remains an interesting statistic.
Payment Channels Approach 85,000
One crucial aspect of the Lighting Network is how they rely on payment channels to move funds between peers quickly and efficiently. The more channels there are, the faster and cheaper transactions can be completed. So far, Bitcoin’s LN has nearly 85,000 payment channels, which is a healthy amount. Approaching 100,000 channels will be the next significant milestone, although it may take a little while to get there.
Network Capacity Remains Near 4,000 BTC
One could not complete a Lightning Network transaction conveniently without network capacity. That capacity comes from people committing BTC balances to their LN node and using it to route transactions efficiently. There is roughly 4,000 BTC in overall network capacity, representing $80 million at current prices. That is a healthy amount and shows a growing interest in Bitcoin’s layer-2 scaling solution for [micro]payments.
Decent Average Lightning Network Node Capacity
With a healthy amount of network capacity, it is worthwhile checking the average node capacity. Contrary to what one may think, the average LN node has a capacity of 0.225 BTC, or $4,500. That is a decent amount of money and confirms the Lightning Network is about much more than routing small payments. It can easily do so, but it works for larger amounts too. Additionally, the average channel capacity is 0.047 BTC, or $939, which is impressive.
Node Operators Are Committed
Spinning up an LN node has become very easy, thanks to solutions like Umbrel. Anyone with capable hardware – a Raspberry Pi 4 – can get up and running within a few days. The initial setup process is easy, but syncing the Bitcoin blockchain can take a few days. The average Lightning Network node age is 546 days or roughly 18 months. These operators are committed to supporting the network and taking Bitcoin maintream.
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