It seems that the Lightning Network keeps expanding. This time, the number of channels and the value of those channels is growing at very good rates. There are 10033 opened channels and they are able to support 97.32 BTC. These numbers are very promising because less than a month ago the number of open channels was 7,000 and they had a capacity of 24 BTC.
Promising Lightning Network
Bitcoin has been experiencing scalability issues since a very long time. And the situation got worse when Bitcoin reached its all time high and when people was using the network the most. Transactions could cost more than $20 dollars and take several days to settle, a totally ineffective system.
During the last year, cryptocurrency developers have been debating on how to scale and process more transactions without having to increase fees or processing times. One of these proposals was the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork that promoted 8 MB blocks (compared to the 1 MB blocks in the original Bitcoin network).
But Bitcoin developers preferred other solutions such as Segregated Witness and the Lightning Network. Indeed, Segregated Witness (SegWit) reduced the size of each Bitcoin transaction, helping the network include more transactions and pay less fees.
The Lightning Network is an off-chain scaling solution that would allow Bitcoin to process millions of transactions without having to pay fees (or at least allow for low fees). Of course, there are some critics to this scaling solution, but it seems that developers are working day after day to provide better solutions.
In the future, the network is expected to keep growing, having more active nodes and be able to support an increased number of BTCs. The Lightning Network is also trying to implement some strengthened privacy and protect users.
“Nodes shouldn’t be able to arbitrary censor certain payments, or blacklist certain destinations within the channel graph,” explained Olaoluwa Osuntokun, an important figure in the Lightning development. “Similar to Tor, there exist known possibilities of timing leaks, and also unknown active attacks that may be viable.”
Nodes are not able to be selective when it comes to payments that they are willing to take.