The Lightning Network has grown 75% in size over the past year, hitting a record high 8,900 nodes for the first time on Feb. 8, according to LN monitors at Bitcoin Visuals.
A significant proportion of the increase occurred more recently, suggesting that some Bitcoiners are gravitating toward the layer-two solution, potentially as a means of escaping ever-increasing transaction fees.
The total BTC locked in LN channels has remained in the 1,000 to 1,100 range since Aug. 2020 — however the total dollar value has risen 250% in the intervening months, translating to a record $42.72 million currently locked on the network.
The total number of channels between nodes currently stands at about 38,600, which is the highest since May 2019. This count does not represent channels between private nodes.
I’ve been using the lightning network for 2 years. I already use it for monthly payroll.
I’m still focused on economic inclusion, which requires decentralized unstoppable money, which requires a fee market.
Stoppable money with low fees gets… stopped.
— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) February 5, 2021
Three years after launch, the Lightning Network is still facing an uphill battle to on-board new participants, and is yet to achieve a meaningful level of adoption. Many regular users of Bitcoin are off-put by the technical requirements of funding a Lightning node and maintaining a channel, preferring to stick with on-chain transactions until the experience becomes less daunting.
However big exchanges have begun to adopt the network. In Dec. 2020, Kraken shared its plans to integrate the Lightning Network during the first half of 2021. OKEx made a similar announcement early last week and expects to roll out LN support “in the coming quarter.”
Bitfinex, which has offered fee-less conversions of LN funds for over a year, has taken the additional step of also supporting Liquid BTC, which is Blockstream’s competing smart contract-driven L2 solution. Both Lightning and…