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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has grown nearly 100% in 2019

Rebecca Campbell


New research shows that the Lightning Network, a scaling solution for Bitcoin, is thriving, having nearly doubled its node count and capacity in the first six months of 2019.

The new data, presented by crypto analytics firm CoinGecko, shows that network capacity for Bitcoin’s second layer protocol grew by 87% between January 1 to June 30. Meanwhile, its node count increased from 2,298 to 4,576 in the same time period.

The rise in capacity and node count have come at a time which saw bitcoin’s price increase to nearly $13,000 by the end of June, following a slow start to the year.

But data from search and analysis website 1ML suggest that things may not be so rosy, and  that the number of Lightning channels and network capacity have dropped.

Users have been swift to come to the Network's defence. One Reddit user stated that it’s simply FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and “has zero impact on the network." Not only that, but it only shows information from public capacity, channels, and nodes, and doesn’t include private channels. The user goes on to say that with public channels, the amount of capacity needed is “just enough” for a person to locate a path and make a payment, so there shouldn't be an issue.

Lightning, while live, is still at an experimental stage, but is aiming for mainstream adoption in answer to demand for low-cost, off-chain transactions, and presents a solution to clear up the backlog of on-chain transactions bitcoin has struggled with in the past.