Lightning Network (LN) is one of the most awaited scaling solutions for the bitcoin network. Once it will be implemented, Bitcoin network would be able to scale and allow millions of transactions to be processed at the same time without congesting the main bitcoin blockchain.
Now, Lightning Network’s mainnet can accept more than 10 bitcoins of capacity. In this way, the development of Bitcoin’s lightning network keeps expanding. Before the end of the year, the official version may be released to the market.
Lightning Network New Record
At the moment of writing this article, Bitcoin’s network capacity reaches 10.787 BTC, with 4,315 channels and 1,147 public nodes. Many developers are enterprises are starting to pay attention to the Lightning Network developments.
When several websites and online shops are implementing ‘Lightning Tips’ widgets, developers keep working so as to release the official Lightning Network as soon as possible.
Other important enterprises and figures are showing support by donating funds to Lightning Labs, the company behind the development of the LN. Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO has given around $2.5 million dollars. Microsoft, is another important supporter of LN implementation and has decided to work and support the developments of this scaling solution.
Furthermore, the LN has reached 1525 nodes, meaning that it has surpassed the node count of one of its competitors, Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The main difference between these scaling solutions is that Bitcoin Cash proposes an on-chain solution, that required a hard fork from the original bitcoin network, and Lightning Network is an off-chain solution that could handle more transactions that BCH.
If Bitcoin becomes used as an international cryptocurrency, then BCH would not be able to support the increased amount of transactions. LN solves this problem by processing these transactions out of the blockchain. Once the transactions are processed they are displayed on the main blockchain.
At the same time that we are waiting for the LN, an important temporary solution for the scalability problem (Segregated Witness), is helping bitcoin to reduce its fees. Several important cryptocurrency platforms and wallets added support to it, reducing the amount of fees paid per transaction and the transaction times.