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Bitcoin Lightning Network Expands 100% In H1 2019

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) has almost doubled its node count and capacity in the first half of 2019, new data shows.

Bitcoin Lightning Doubles In H1
Statistics from monitoring resource Coin Gecko confirmed the network’s capacity expanded 87% in the period from January 1 – June 30.
At the same time, the number of available nodes doubled from 2298 to 4576, capitalizing on Bitcoin’s 00 bull market which has focused fresh attention on cryptocurrency markets.

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The Lightning Network is a scaling solution currently active on both Bitcoin and Litecoin 00. Transactions occur outside the main blockchain, allowing funds to transfer between users almost instantly and with considerably lower fees than ‘on-chain’ transactions. 

Even prior to the start of Bitcoin’s bull market in April, Lightning had gained increased publicity thanks to a charity initiative organized by one of its users, Hodlonaut. 

Taking the form of a transaction relay to test the strength of the protocol, Lightning Torch ended up involving some of the tech world’s biggest names, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who publicly condoned it. 

While the amount of money involved was limited – around 0.4 BTC ($4700) – the relay brought the still-nascent LN to a mainstream audience, ensuring its continued expansion within the Bitcoin community. 

Lightning Not Failing

Since July, however, some data reveals that both capacity and the number of payment channels active on Lightning have shrunk. 

As Reddit user u/hotol noted on August 4, this in fact is not a reflection of progress reversing. Rather, shifts in user behavior influences figures, with LN by default designed to make usage difficult to gauge publicly. 

Quote:Resources tracking its public aspects, principally, thus do not paint a complete picture of events, and using them to conclude LN is shrinking constitutes “FUD”

An accompanying post summarized,

Quote:LN network arguably has today much more public capacity than needed for me and you to make everyday payments. Real LN capacity is much higher than what reports due to private channels – and recently capacity has been migrating to private channels,
There is really nothing to see here, use LN and enjoy the only true P2P, instant and private payments in the crypto space
As Bitcoinist reported, Lightning remains a broadly experimental option for Bitcoiners, only debuting on the Bitcoin mainnet at the start of 2018. The user experience is still geared towards technically-proficient traders, while an active community continues to make it more ready for the mainstream.