The Bitcoin Lightning network has seen explosive growth in 2021 as the number of channels, channel values, and nodes, increased exponentially in Q1, 2021.
According to the latest reports, Bitcoin Trade Namibia, a non-custodial Bitcoin ‘on/off-ramp’ service based in Namibia, is now processing 80% of its volume over the Lightning Network as of April 2021.
According to the latest Lightning Labs newsletter, podcasting is the first form of media to adopt streaming payments over Lightning but they most certainly won’t be the last.
Looking at the stats, some interesting developments within the Lightning Network have come to light:
- The active public node count has more than doubled over the past year to 10,000
- The Lightning Network nodes are now in over 100 countries
- Bitcoin Namibia is already processing 80% of their bitcoin volume over Lightning instead of on-chain, after only enabling deposits and withdrawals at the start of 2021
- Emerging markets increasingly showing huge adoptions due to instant low bitcoin transactions
- Only 0.2% of all Lightning Network nodes globally are based in Africa
Below is the Lightning Network node distribution in Africa:
- South Africa – 12 nodes (0.11% globally)
- Nigeria – 3 nodes (0.03%)
- Kenya – 3 nodes (0.03%)
- Ghana – 2 nodes (0.02%)
About Lightning Network
The Lightning Network is a “layer 2” payment protocol that operates on bitcoin. It is intended to enable fast transactions among participating nodes and has been proposed as a solution to the bitcoin scalability problem.
It features a peer-to-peer system for making micropayments of cryptocurrency through a network of bi-directional payment channels without delegating custody of funds.
The bitcoin lightning network works by creating a layer on top of the bitcoin blockchain where transactions can be passed back and forth before being added to the underlying blockchain.
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