A report from Glassnode, a cryptocurrency data analytics service, shows that the use and adoption of Bitcoin's Lightning Network have dramatically increased in the last year.
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Perhaps the two most important statistics when looking at the growth of the Lightning Network are the number of lightning nodes and the number of lightning channels running on the network. The increase in these numbers allows for more capacity on the network.
Since this time last year, the number of nodes running the Lightning Network has increased about 105%. One year ago the Lightning Network had just over 7,700 nodes. Today, the network has grown to be over 15,800, which has increased its capacity.
The quantity of channels connecting nodes has also drastically increased at the same time. Just a year ago there were under 38,000 channels on the entire network. Today there are nearly 73,000 channels connecting nodes on the network, representing an almost 92% increase.
The increase in nodes and channels on the network allows it to increase its capacity for transactions. The capacity of the Lightning Network means the amount of Bitcoin locked into channels on the network. The larger this quantity grows the more Bitcoin is ready for transactions within the network.
A year ago the Lightning Network had a capacity of just 1,125 Bitcoin. Today the network has increased to a capacity of almost 3,000 Bitcoin. This means that the network has grown its capacity from transactions over 160% in the last year.
The more the Lightning Network increases in capacity the more it can scale Bitcoin transactions and increase its use case as a day-to-day payment system. Currently, many view Bitcoin as a store-of-value and investment opportunity, but the Lightning Network may be able to make Bitcoin's use as a payment system a reality.