At 100 BTC And 12k Channels, The Lightning Network is Larger Than Ever

The Lightning Network for Bitcoin became bigger than any time in history this month as capacity reached 100 BTC ($730,000) in a new first.

Participants Break New Barriers

Data from monitoring resource 1ML confirms the milestone, which caps an extraordinary period of growth for Lightning over the summer months.

Currently, 3350 nodes and over 12,000 channels contribute to a total network capacity of 101.7 BTC.

The node count has increased 11 percent in the past 30 days, with capacity and number of channels expanding 4 percent and 7 percent respectively.

As BitcoinLinux reported early last month, recent experimentation on the network has seen certain accounts markedly increase their individual capacity to process payments. July was a particularly intense period, with overall capacity shooting up 85 percent versus June.

A controversial 35 BTC node from creator Andreas Brekken had initially doubled the size of the network, only to disappear again within several weeks while other nodes filled the void.

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‘Tradeoffs’ To Remain?

The overall commitment to Lightning from both developers and its stalwart node providers such as and SatoshiLabs continues to highlight industry belief in the scaling solution.

Nonetheless, in its current form, Lightning is anything but perfect or user-friendly; transactions worth more than 3 US cent are overwhelmingly likely to fail altogether.

Speaking to BitcoinLinux in August, Bitrefill CEO Sergej Kotliar appeared to be under no illusions.

“Lightning definitely has tradeoffs[;…] I don’t think it’s the entire solution of all the scaling problems forever,” he said.

User activity is there, Kotliar adding Bitrefill’s 4.8 BTC node had seen zero bitcoin from the company itself; rather, it was users making payments.

Last week meanwhile, the latest Lightning-enabled product to hit the ecosystem surfaced in the form of Spark’s offline wallet which uses c-Lightning to facilitate the sending and receiving of Bitcoin. 

What do you think about Lightning Network growth? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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