Lightning use will outpace capacity growth

The Lightning Network’s public capacity has increased exponentially in 2021 and now has a capacity of more than 3,100 BTC, which is about $200M with the current bitcoin price.

Public capacity do not, however, tell us anything explicit about people’s use of the Lightning Network. In the work on our report about the Lightning Network, we were able to gather data that let us estimate the use from certain participants of the Lightning Network.

This blog post is based on findings from our newly published report on the Lightning Network, The State of Lightning.

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More explicitly, we were able to make estimates for the use from people using the wallet providers such as Wallet of Satoshi, Blue Wallet, Phoenix, Breez etc. Our estimates must, therefore, not be interpreted as total volumes for the Lightning Network. Still, we believe the usage through easy-to-use wallet providers is a good measuring stick for mainstream adoption. For more details on what usage is included in our estimates, see the figure below.

Our data shows that growth in public capacity is significantly lower than user and usage growth on the Lightning Network.

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The State of Lightning

The State of Lightning provides the most comprehensive overview of usage on the Lightning Network seen to date. The report highlights and explains the growth in network metrics, provides never before published estimates of mainstream adoption on the Lightning Network, and looks into the future. Without spoiling too much, future Lightning activity is likely measured in billions, if not trillions.
Oct 5th 2021