Rising by approximately 100 percent since this time last year, the number of nodes operating on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network nodes has been rising, according to data from Bitcoin Visuals.
As of April 5, 2021, there were 10,394 Lightning Network nodes with channels and the cumulative network capacity, the amount of bitcoin locked into Lightning channels, has reached a remarkable $68 million.
On April 5, 2020, the number of nodes stood at 5,349 nodes, with a cumulative capacity of merely $6.3 million. Further accentuating the scale of the Lightning Network’s growth, on April 5, 2019, the number of nodes was 4,096.
The Lightning Network layer operates like an auxiliary build over the main Bitcoin network. It helps with speeding up the transaction pace and throughput of the network, which is relatively slow on the main Bitcoin blockchain due to bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) transaction validation scheme. With the Lightning Network, bitcoin transactions can be executed in less than a minute.
Also, judging by Bitcoin’s macroeconomic trends, transaction fees using the main Bitcoin network will continue to rise. As such, the transaction fee cost will become more of an obstacle for justifying certain transaction volumes. This eventual fate of the network makes infrastructure like the Lightning Network necessary, especially for retail-sized transactions.