The Lightning Network, a Layer 2 Bitcoin scaling solution for fast and cheap Bitcoin payments, now houses more than 3,000 BTC in more than 77,000 channels, according to data from TXStats.com. The bitcoin capacity of the network has more than doubled since June when it topped 1,500 bitcoins.
Driven by heightened awareness after El Salvador enacted the Bitcoin Legal Bidding Act, Lightning has seen a sharp increase in activity in terms of channel number and Bitcoin capacity. The number of BTC held in Lightning channels has nearly tripled since the beginning of the year.
Lightning is a decentralized scaling solution built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain – Hence the name “Layer 2” or “Layer Two” – Thus making small and frequent transactions economically viable for users. The strength of the Lightning Network lies in its ability to adhere to the same rules as Bitcoin transactions while making payments cheap and fast.
A Lightning channel is created with a multi-signature address in the network where each party holds a key, which requires both keys to transfer funds. This system enables users in the channel to conduct transactions while preventing one user from stealing funds from the other.
Although improvements are needed, Lightning is a powerful technology that enables Bitcoin to scale, debunking popular but erroneous arguments from the mainstream media. Most importantly, Lightning makes it economically possible for human rights activists and citizens of developing countries to transact in daily value with the best form of money humanity has ever known. – Bitcoin.