Elon Musk Says Lightning Network 'Needed' to Scale Bitcoin for Now

A single-layer network like Bitcoin's could carry all humans transactions in the future, the Tesla CEO tweeted Friday.

AccessTimeIconMay 21, 2021 at 8:57 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:59 p.m. UTC

Elon Musk has jumped into the bitcoin scaling debate on Twitter, saying the layer 2 payments Lightning Network is "needed" for now.

  • "Layer count depends on projected bandwidth & compute, both rising rapidly, which means single layer network [e.g. Bitcoin alone] can carry all human transactions in future imo," the Tesla CEO tweeted Friday.
  • Until then, however, Lightning will be necessary to provide the required bandwidth, he argued.
  • The Lightning Network is a layer atop the Bitcoin blockchain designed to enable faster and cheaper transactions by enabling user-generated channels for sending and receiving payments.
  • Musk has also been responding to a Twitter discussion about bitcoin's energy usage, the reason cited for Tesla's recent U-turn on accepting the cryptocurrency as a method of payment.
  • He proposed that the top-10 mining organizations post audits of the amount of renewable energy used in their operations as one way to tackle the issue.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.