The Lightning Network has almost doubled the amount its capacity in two weeks this month as more and more users expand the protocol. Data showing current activity on Lightning’s Bitcoin mainnet implementation reveals a network capacity of $148 million, up from $80 million April 10.
At one point, over 2000 active public nodes were available to process transactions, which can confirm almost instantly for a fee of less than one satoshi per byte.What’s more, the network has now reached 7000 active channels.
“The universe keeps expanding at an accelerated rate,” online cryptocurrency commentator Armin van Bitcoin commented tweeting about the progress.
We just passed 2,000 nodes with over 5,650 open channels on mainnet. The total network capacity is now $150,000 USD. The universe keeps expanding at an accelerated rate. Send $BTC instantly for 1 sat / tx or less… yes… less. 🙌⚡️ #LightningNetwork #bitcoin #segwit pic.twitter.com/PXeuPbdtA3
— A v B ⚡ (@ArminVanBitcoin) April 22, 2018
The impressive rate of expansion marks increasing faith in the potential for Bitcoin to function as a go-to payment method rather than merely a store of value or investment tool.
The mainnet Lightning Network has existed less than five months, but in that time has grown to beat the much-touted Bitcoin Cash network, the premise of which was specifically to offer cheap transactions, on both node count and transaction price.
USERS RECLAIM BITCOIN FEES CONTROL
Meanwhile, even without Lightning, Bitcoin users continue to enjoy rock-bottom transaction fees, with the single satoshi per byte rate now commonplace. Even Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd, previously critical of the technology, now appears satisfied with its capabilities.
Just tried again, and out of the box it was a perfect success! $40 payment confirmed instantly.
— Peter Todd (@peterktodd) April 21, 2018
As van Bitcoin among others noted over the weekend, the advent of SegWit and second-layer technology such as Lightning means legacy players in the cryptocurrency industry now had less sway over fee dictation.
“We don’t need Coinbase! We don’t need BitPay! We don’t need (Square’s) CashApp! We, the users, decide who to pay, what software to run and how much to spend on fees,” he wrote April 21.
Coinbase had sparked criticism from throughout the cryptocurrency industry after it announced sweeping changes to its business model, while a spat involving its support of WikiLeaks saw mass online protests against the company.