22 Mar 2021

Activity on the Lightning Network on the rise

Activity on the Lightning Network is slowly picking up with both the BTC capacity and the number of public channels reaching a new all-time high this week.
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Source: Bitcoin Visuals
The Lightning Network is a 2nd layer payment protocol on bitcoin. Its value proposition is to enable off-chain microtransactions to avoid blockchain congestion and make BTC micropayments economically feasible by reducing fees. Read more on bitcoin scaling here. Following the launch of the lightning testnet, the protocol saw 14 months of continuous growth, and by late spring 2019, the network had reached over 40,000 public channels with a peak bitcoin capacity of more than 1100 BTC. Then, the growth came to a halt. The number of public channels declined, and so did the BTC capacity of the network. However, recently, the lightning network activity has once again picked up, and this week the BTC capacity on Lightning reached a new all-time high of 1151 BTC. Interestingly, the number of public channels on the lightning network also reached a new all-time high this weekend of 40,400 channels, surpassing its March 2019 peak of 40,319 channels. Now, the Lightning Network sees more public adoption, as large exchanges such as Bitfinex, Kraken, and OKCoin have announced lightning integrations. Are we entering the second leg of bitcoin’s second layer scaling phase?
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