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The Bitcoin Lightning Network has grown 1,200% in just two years.

Emerging data from the Bitcoin-exclusive platform, River, indicates that the increased adoption of the Lightning Network is poised to play a pivotal role in enhancing Bitcoin’s viability as a medium of exchange.

Over the span of two years, Bitcoin’s Layer 2 Lightning Network has witnessed an astounding surge of approximately 1,212%, processing a staggering 6.6 million routed transactions in August. This figure marks a remarkable leap from the 503,000 transactions observed in August 2021, as per data sourced from River, the exclusive Bitcoin exchange.

In an insightful report dated October 10th, River’s research analyst, Sam Wouters, sheds light on the surge in routed transactions, which involve the participation of more than two nodes to facilitate transfers. This upward trend occurred despite a 44% dip in Bitcoin’s market value and a diminished level of online search interest.

Wouters boldly declared in a follow-up post on October 10th, “The notion that ‘Nobody is using Lightning’ should now be consigned to the annals of history,” taking a pointed jab at detractors of the Lightning Network.

It’s essential to note that River’s estimate of 6.6 million Lightning-routed transactions represents a conservative lower-bound calculation, the most modest value that could be ascertained. River’s reference to the 503,000 transactions in August 2021 derives from a study conducted by K33 (formerly Arcane Research) in 2021. It’s important to acknowledge that this calculation doesn’t encompass private Lightning transactions or exchanges between only two participants.

Furthermore, the data shows that Lightning processed a total transaction volume of $78.2 million in August 2023, marking an astounding 546% increase from the $12.1 million recorded in August 2021, sourced from K33. Wouters emphasizes that Lightning now accounts for at least 47% of Bitcoin’s on-chain transactions, signifying a remarkable shift towards Bitcoin’s adoption as a medium of exchange.

As of August 2023, the average size of a Lightning transaction stood at approximately 44,700 satoshis, equivalent to $11.84. River’s estimation places the number of active Lightning users in September between 279,000 and 1.1 million. Notably, River attributes 27% of the transaction growth to the gaming, social media tipping, and streaming sectors.

River proudly reports a remarkable 99.7% success rate for Lightning payments on its platform in August 2023, based on a dataset comprising 308,000 transactions. Failures are primarily attributed to the unavailability of a payment route with sufficient liquidity to support the transfer.

It’s crucial to highlight that River’s dataset encompasses a substantial 2.5 million transactions, representing 29% of the total capacity within the network and accounting for 10% of all payment channels.

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