Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has received a lot of criticism since its inception. Looking at the current statistics, there is still plenty of growth taking place.
Growing Bitcoin’s Lightning Network
At its core, the Lightning Network is designed to facilitate smaller BTC transactions at a fraction of the cost. It is a great solution to turn Bitcoin into a payment option, rather than it being a speculative vehicle. With its lengthy processing time and little room for transaction capacity, Bitcoin will need a layer-two solution such as LN to scale properly.
To ensure the Lightning Network succeeds, there need to be ample nodes on the network. Every Lightning node is capable of receiving and sending transactions across the network. That is, assuming they have a payment channel to facilitate Bitcoin transfers.
During the initial launch of the LN, there were plenty of nodes without payment channels. That is somewhat to be expected, for experimental technology. Over the years, the situation improved dramatically. Except for 1 node, every other one has at least one payment channel.
This growth is significant, given the number of Lightning Network nodes today. One year ago, there were 4.511 nodes with channels, and 80 nodes without channels. Today, there are nearly 6.000 nodes with channels, and just one without. This 1 without channels has been around for a while, which is pretty interesting in its own regard.
Averaging 11 Channels per Node
Another crucial statistic is looking at the daily median channels per Lightning Network node. The more channels there are, the better the network and scaling layer will perform. Every channel represents a secure route to process payments.
It is important to note that payment channels can stay open indefinitely. This will only happen if the two parties in the channel cooperate with one another. Using this method can help decrease the load on the blockchain. Moreover, it can gradually write off the fees for opening and closing a payment channel.
For July, the average LN node has 11.2 daily median channels. A more than respectable number, albeit it is a sharp decline compared to March of 2019. At that time, the median channel average was closer to 20.1 channels. Keeping that in mind, the Lightning Network still appears to be in a very good place today.
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