Lightning's Crazy Fast Growth
Bitcoin’s lightning network, an open protocol layer that aims to make Bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper, officially launched on Mainnet in January of 2018. In just two weeks, over 4 BTC in channel capacity had been added to the network. Since then, the network has seen explosive growth in not only the number of open channels, but also the value held on those open channels.
Today, over 450 BTC ($1,800,000) is held in Lightning Network channels -- a 100x increase in channel capacity since February. In addition, there are currently over 16,000 channels on main net -- a 16x increase in channels since February.
Lightning may not yet be relevant to average people's lives, but the speed of its growth is exceptional. This pace, essentially 10,000% per year, is almost beyond comprehension even in a lightning-fast industry like crypto.
Updated as of December 21, 2018: Lightning network is now officially over 500 BTC network capacity.