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Bitcoin Lightning Network Growth Increases 1200% in 2 Years

A report from Bitcoin-exclusive River Exchange suggests that increased use of Lightning will play a key role in Bitcoin becoming a better medium of exchange.

Bitcoin’s Layer 2 Lightning Network saw an estimated 1,212% growth in two years, with around 6.6 million transactions routed in August, a significant jump from 503,000 transitions in August 2021, according to data from the River exchange, exclusive of Bitcoin (BTC).

In an October 10 report, River research analyst Sam Wouters explained that the increase in routed transactions (which use more than two nodes to facilitate a transfer) came despite a 44% drop in the Bitcoin price and considerably less interest in online research.

River’s $6.6 million value for Lightning-routed transactions is a lower-bound estimate — the lowest possible value it could value. The company also obtained the August 2021 figure of 503,000 from a 2021 study by K33, formerly Arcane Research, adding that it could not evaluate flash transactions that were private or between just two participants.

As of August 2023, the average Lightning transaction size is approximately 44,700 satoshis or $11.84. River estimated that between 279,000 and 1.1 million Lightning users were active in September.

The company attributed 27% of transaction growth to the gaming, social media advice and streaming sectors.

River said the success rate for Lightning payments was 99.7% on its platform in August 2023 across 308,000 transactions. The main reason for failure occurs when no payment method is found that has sufficient liquidity to facilitate the transfer.

River’s data set consisted of 2.5 million transactions. The nodes in the River dataset represent 29% of the entire network capacity and 10% of the payment channels.

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