Since Bitcoin’s earliest blocks, the network’s lead developers have been hard at work attempting to scale the world’s first blockchain. And while 2018’s “crypto winter” has deterred a multitude of startups, developers, and key industry participants, the Bitcoin Lightning Network, the first viable second-layer scaling solution, has continued to see monumental growth.
Rui Gomes, a developer at Tim Draper-backed OpenNode, recently took to Twitter to exclaim that the Lightning Network, an off-chain system that facilitates instant, low-cost, scalable Bitcoin transactions, has grown at a “staggering pace.” More specifically, Gomes, whose brainchild is a preeminent Lightning App (LApp), revealed that the network will facilitate 500 BTC in a few days’ time.
The Lightning Network just hit 500 BTC in network capacity. The network keeps growing at a staggering pace
Start running your own node and open channels while on chain fees are low before the next bull market.
— Rui Gomes (@ruigomeseu) December 21, 2018
This statistic was corroborated by 1ML, a Lightning Network analytics provider. Per 1ML’s real-time statistics, node channels supporting the scaling protocol, headed by Bitcoin development consortium Blockstream, can now accept 496.49 BTC, a sum that amounts to $1.93 million at current prices. And by the looks of it, this figure is only slated to swell in the months to come. In the past month, network capacity has increased by 13%, even as the crypto market en bloc has remained in a troubled, chaotic state.
Not Any Old Show Pony
And frankly, the Lightning Network isn’t any old show pony.
Crypto Graffiti, a well-known, yet pseudonymous artist situated in the cryptosphere, recently took to Reddit to tell a jaw-dropping story. Crypto Graffiti, who has applied his/her artistic prowess to the Bitcoin realm, noted that on Thursday, he/she auctioned a micro-painting depicting a black swan (a likely nod to crypto’s classification on the global stage) on the Lightning Network.
The artist noted that the piece was sold to the lowest bid, specifically to promote the second-layer protocol and “poke fun at [mainstream media’s] focus on Bitcoin’s price.” For those who are wondering, the piece left Crypto Graffiti’s hands for one-millionth of a Satoshi, currently valued at $0.000000037.
While this little initiative was seemingly done in jest, the crypto-friendly artist explained that micropayments, arguably the Lightning Network’s killer use case, have been an integral part of his/her life. Crypto Graffiti wrote:
“I’m excited about a future where micropayments are omnipresent. Artists paid by the view…writers by the poem…musicians by the listen. Every day interactions complemented by positive monetary reinforcement such as tipping someone who let you merge into traffic. Hopefully this micro auction inspires others to think big about the future of Bitcoin.”
It is important to note that the crusade for scalable networks hasn’t gone unnoticed. Speaking with Bloomberg, Joey Krug, an Augur co-founder turned Pantera Capital top brass, explained that a lack of scaling solutions is directly holding back crypto assets. The Pantera executive noted that if current blockchain networks can scale, cryptocurrencies en-masse will be able to undergo their next round of exponential, jaw-dropping growth.
Related Reading: Pantera Exec: Crypto Market Close to Bottom, Tenfold Increase Possible With Scalability
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