Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) continues to grow amid a bear market for virtual currencies and Bitcoin (BTC). During the last few weeks, the network has experienced an important growth that shows that there is increased interest from developers and users.
According to data provided by Bitcoin Visuals, the capacity of the lightning network tripled since the first weeks of November. The daily median capacity was close to 1.1 million Satoshis and it grew up to 3.2 million Satoshis at the end of November. Since that moment, the growth remained stable.
Following data from 1ml.com, there are 4,837 nodes on the LN, which represents an increase of 14.51% compared to 30 days ago. There are also 16,077 channels, which grew 27.2% in just a month. The network capacity is also growing. The LN is able to support 513.08 BTC, equal to $1.94 million taking into account current prices.
Data shows that most of the growth is related to nodes with larger channels. Indeed, the daily capacity increased from 2.5 million Satoshis to 16.7 million Satoshis in the 90th percentile during November. Nodes in the 10th percentile moved from 20,000 Satoshis up to 50,000 Satoshis.
The Lightning Network is a second layer scaling solution for Bitcoin that will help the network be less congested. With this off-chain network, users will be able to process transactions that will be settled almost in real time and will have to pay less than 1 satoshi in fees.
During the last bull run in the market, the Bitcoin network experienced bottlenecks and was completely congested. A simple transaction could cost several dozens of US dollars and would take hours or even days to be processed by the miners.
Not everyone supports the Lightning Network. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) split from the Bitcoin network in order to scale using on-chain solutions. The BCH community wants to increase block sizes to reduce congestion and reduce fees in the network.
There are already some merchants that are working with the Lightning Network and accepting payments with it. Some of these sites are related to gambling, but some others offer clothes and many other things.
A few days ago, a Reddit user wrote a post in which he said that he sold an art piece for less than 1 Satoshi using the Lightning Network. In the future, the LN could be used to process instant micropayments to pay for streamings, content per second and many other features.