Bitcoin Lightning Nodes Exceed 24,000
There are now over 24k Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN) nodes, on-chain trackers on August 18 show. These LN nodes lock over 2.298k BTC—or $105 million at spot rates, improving the off-chain layer's capacity by 22 percent.
LN is an attempt by Bitcoin developers to scale the base layer using off-chain means. Due to the lack of smart contracting capability in Bitcoin, the only way of improving throughput is either through on-chain means or via layer-2, off-chain solutions.
The former, on-chain block increment was rebuffed in 2017 in a fork that birthed Bitcoin Cash. Meanwhile, LN is gaining traction though it is experimental.
Out of the 24k LN nodes, only 14k have active channels where BTC holders can securely pay for goods and services cheaply with instant settlement.
While LN is popular among Bitcoin supporters, critics contend that the project, led by Blockstream, is futile. Their argument splashes out at the number of tokenized Bitcoin in various platforms, including Ethereum and Tezos.
According to data, there are over $9 billion of tokenized "wrapped" Bitcoin in Ethereum. Through this digitization, BTC's liquidity is seeped to other blockchains, overly aiding in pumping their valuation, driving prices higher via innovations such as DeFi.