Total Value on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Sets Another Record High Amid Market Rally

The layer 2 protocol holds $12.4 million worth of bitcoins.

Sep 1, 2020 at 11:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:51 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network set a record high Monday as total capacity held in the protocol’s payment channels – sometimes referred to as “total value locked” (TVL) – reached $12.4 million.

  • Two weeks ago, Lightning set the prior high of $12.37 million, surpassing the long-standing previous mark of $12.3 million that was reached in early July 2019 and lasted for 405 days.
  • Bitcoin’s price appreciation has certainly helped boost Lightning’s TVL as the bellwether cryptocurrency has gained more than 30% since July.

Total value held on Bitcoin's Lightning Network since Jan. 2018

  • The total number of bitcoins held on Lightning sits at 1,060, up 24% so far this year, but still remains below the record high of 1,105 BTC set in early May 2019.
  • Compared with the tens of millions of dollars pouring into Ethereum and related protocols because of the decentralized finance craze, Lightning’s growth may seem slow, but a variety of data underscores the network’s steady increase in activity.

Total bitcoins held on the Lightning Network stay below record highs even though the total value held has set new highs.

  • The number of publicly broadcasting nodes, for example, has steadily increased throughout the entire lifetime of the protocol. Currently more than 7,600 nodes are connected to payment channels, up 55% from January.
  • In August, Lightning’s node count grew 26%, adding 1,581 nodes, representing the largest monthly percentage growth since April 2018 and the largest real monthly growth ever.

Lightning publicly broadcasting node count since January 2018

  • Lightning Labs, the company building the most popular implementation of Lightning, LND, further quantified the network’s growth in a tweet shared earlier in August. Over 70 companies are currently building on LND, the company said.

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