07 Apr 2022

Lightning adoption rising quickly

In our new report, The State of Lightning Vol 2, we show that adoption is rising quickly, and the use of Lightning is growing much faster than the public numbers show.
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Read the full report here.The use of the Lightning Network is somewhat of a blackbox. Therefore, most are left to look at imperfect public metrics to gauge the growth in Lightning Network usage. The most referenced adoption metrics are also the most available and relate to the Lightning Network's size, such as total public channel capacity, public channels, visible nodes, etc.
Tweets about Lightning growth
Source: Twitter
By gathering actual transaction data to estimate the use of the Lightning Network, we observe that adoption is rising quickly. The value of the payments has increased by more than 400% in the last year, measured in US dollars. Comparing payment volume growth with the increase in widely cited public metrics shows striking insight. Actual usage of the Lightning Network has risen significantly more than any of the public metrics.
compare growth
Lightning Network: YoY Growth February 2022. Source: Arcane Research / Bitcoin Visuals
Compared with the public capacity indicators, the increase in payment volume shows that one should be wary of using the public indicators as a proxy for growth in Lightning Network usage. The reasons for being careful in doing this are many. For one, the public indicators underestimate the size of the network due to private channels and invisible nodes. Secondly, these metrics say nothing explicit about Lightning Network usage. The Lightning Network will become more capacity efficient as infrastructure solutions develop, and public metrics will likely underestimate growth in the future. Check out more findings in the report.
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