The Lightning Network continues to post steady growth.
According to data from 1ML, the network is now supported by roughly 4,070 nodes, which house just over 12,500 payment channels, an average of 10.91 channels per node (at time of publication). Most of this growth has come in the later half of 2018, as the average age of each node is just 137 days old.
With infrastructural growth, the network is also seeing an uptick in liquidity. At the time of writing, the network’s collective capacity now stands at 223.65 BTC, which, at bitcoin’s current price, means the Lightning Network holds over $1.2 million worth of bitcoin for the first time in its less-than-one-year history. The average capacity for each node and payment channel comes in at 0.114 BTC ($633) and 0.019 BTC ($107) respectively, and with transaction fees at 1 sat (roughly $0.000056), the network’s promise to deliver low-cost microtransactions is holding up.
A long-awaited development in the cryptocurrency space, the progress of the Lightning Network has been watched with great interest by the community. Heralded as a potential solution to Bitcoin’s scalability problem, the Lightning Network operates as a secondary layer on top of Bitcoin’s base network. After its launch in early 2018, the Lightning Network saw immediate interest from developers, who began building various Lightning applications on the network.
Alongside its use as a secondary layer for micropayments, many developers have taken notice of the Lightning Network’s potential impact on the world of smart contracts as well.
Disclaimer: The data presented here may not constitute a holistic picture of the Lightning Network’s current makeup, as 1ML points out on its website, “[These] statistics are aggregated and calculated from multiple nodes within the Lightning Network. Due to the decentralized nature of the Lightning Network, the numbers observed are approximations and nodes that don’t broadcast their state are not included.”
This article was updated to include a more accurate figure of the network’s bitcoin capacity at the time of publication.
Landon Manning is a freelance writer for Bitcoin Magazine.