The number of active nodes on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has more than doubled in a little over two months. According to data from 1ML, there are currently 21,567 active Bitcoin Lightning Network nodes, rising by over 100% in the last two months.
As of April 17 2021, the Lightning Network had about 10,348 active nodes. The recent stats also show the number has increased by nearly 200% of the 5,936 active nodes recorded by this time last year. The massive increase within the last two months indicates that the network’s activity is gaining momentum.
Bitcoin Lightning Payment Channels Surge
The remarkable feat is not limited to the number of Bitcoin Lightning Network active nodes. Similarly, the total number of payment channels on the Lightning Network has also gained a significant increase.
Per the 1ML data, there are currently 50,314 payment channels on the network.
Based on the current number of payment channels, some Bitcoin enthusiasts have suggested that the network’s transaction processing capacity per second has reached a milestone of 50 million, given that each channel can theoretically process up to 1,000 transactions per second.
Lightning Network Explained
The inception of the Lightning Network was part of measures to address the problem of transaction processing speed being experienced in the early days of the cryptocurrency.
At the initial stage of Bitcoin, the network could only process seven transactions per second, forcing users to enter into some sort of contest that determined whose transaction would first be confirmed by the network.
This activity, most times, requires users to pay higher transaction fees to have their transactions processed faster than others.
With the Bitcoin Lightning Network, millions of transactions are being confirmed on a per second basis.
El Savador’s Bitcoin Adoption Fuels Active Nodes
The massive surge in the number of active Lightning Network nodes and channels may be influenced by El Savador’s recent adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country.
One of the reasons the country made the declaration was to take advantage of the lower transaction fees associated with the Lightning Network. Prior to the announcement, it was noted that El Savador citizens paid up to 50% of any transaction amount in fees for remittance, but will pay significantly less by adopting Lightning-based transactions.