Lightning Network, the second layer scaling protocol for bitcoin, has gotten its first 4000 nodes. This is a milestone for an experimental project that seeks to make bitcoin practical for micropayments. The total capacity of the network has higher numbers, supporting higher transfer amounts.
Growing Lightning Network
Lightning Network, the official second layer solution for bitcoin, entered in a new stage of its development. Two things evidence this: First, the number of nodes has reached an all-time high since the start of the network. A node is a computer that runs a part of the Lightning Network. And the second is the growth in the amount of money available in the network to make an operation.At the present time, there are more than 4,000 nodes operating in the lighting network, a milestone if we consider the difficult and troubled time that the technology has had. This according to the statistics site called 1ML, that lists all the most relevant information about this layer. Also, the network capacity reached 123.80 BTC, another interesting stat.
Slow Lightning Network
The problem with the Lightning Network is that it has incurred in many setbacks due to the revolutionary character of its implementation. Their proponents said directly that it was going to take little time. While the alpha release of the client is available since early 2017, it is an unstable tech still.
With time these errors have been fixed, but still, it is nowhere near ready for prime adoption. The difficulty of setting a node and maintaining it its complex even for some programmers. This has also hurt adoption for merchants, that for accepting bitcoin just need to set a wallet.
However, it seems that lightning is still going strong and its network is still growing, albeit slowly.
The Need for Lightning Network
The Lightning Network design was a consequence of the facts that happened on last year’s December. During an incredible bull run, the price of bitcoin reached a peak level of $16K. At that time, the mem pool was clogged with transactions and it was nearly impossible to make a transaction with normal fees.
So for microtransactions like a cup of coffee, the fee was effectively costlier than the product, something that hampered adoption. And that is where the concept of LN really shines. Fees in Lightning Network are very low even when the network is congested because there is another network effectively working on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Also, transactions are ready almost immediately.