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Arcane Research predicts 700 million Lightning Network users by 2030

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The Arcane Crypto research team predicts that as adoption of the Bitcoin-2 payment protocol increases, the Lightning Network will turn parabolic over the course of the decade


The Arcane Crypto research team predicts that as adoption of the Bitcoin-2 payment protocol increases, the Lightning Network will turn parabolic over the course of the decade. Arcane Research published the State of Lightning Report on October 5 and analyzed the Lightning Network in terms of current capacity, volume of payments in the portfolio, increasing acceptance, and the transition of online services into everyday life. The report contains ambitious forecasts for the future of the lighting network, such as: B. 90% of Salvadorans over the age of 15 who will have access to Lightning payments by 2026 and 50 million Lightning users who generate $17 billion in payments annually for things like wire transfers and household spending by 2030

Arcane sees gaming as well as video and audio streaming as Lightning's main applications in streaming companies like Spotify or Netflix, which can use microtransaction networks to offer pay-per-minute or continuous streaming services, which is the "big" opportunity that new Lightning users onboard represent. An estimated 700 million users are in this category by 2030. Using an estimate of 1 hour for the service and 25% of the time spent on Lightning payments, Arcane estimates that there will be one microtransaction per second: "So, our estimate is no less than 364 trillion Lightning transactions per year," the report said. The study was conducted in collaboration with Bitcoin payments company OpenNode and shows how usage of the Lightning Network has increased dramatically since late last year. El Salvador's adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) on September 7 further strengthened the network:

“In September 2021, growth is parabolic. This is mainly due to the introduction of Bitcoin as a legal tender in El Salvador. The report also highlights the importance of peer-to-peer crypto exchange Paxful, which enabled Lighting payments to its 7 million user base last month, as well as integrating Twitter into the network through the introduction of a BTC service for 186 million users. Since Lighting went live with Bitcoin nearly three years ago, the network has grown to a capacity of nearly 3,000 BTC, with 17,000 nodes on the network and 73,700 unique channels.

"At the time of writing, Lightning's public bitcoin capacity is over $120 million, with consumers around the world seeking the ability to make small, near-instant payments at very low fees," the report said. But while publicly available indicators such as overall broadcaster capacity show rapid approval growth, the volume of payments in the portfolio is much better than it has been since August. “We have focused on mass consumption by portfolio providers because we believe it is the best measure of adoption. Therefore, the forecast figures do not include developer activity, channel redistribution, most B2B transactions, etc.,” the report said. According to Arcane, the volume of payments in the portfolio has increased 20% per month compared to August, which far exceeds the 10% monthly growth rate of the channel capacity indicator. "In September the gap widened even more, with payment volumes nearly doubling compared to a 26 percent increase in public channel capacity," the report said.

Arcane predicts that by 2026, nearly 90% of El Salvador's population 15 and over will have access to Lightning payments. The forecast is based on a number of key assumptions, such as an annual growth rate of 15% Internet acceptance in 2018 and 2019, along with President Nayib Bukele's correct figure of 2.1 million Chivo portfolio users since September. The report estimates that if other countries with poor banking access can follow El Salvador's lead, there could be 50 million Lightning users by 2030, representing an annual online payment volume of $17 billion.

The number of nodes for Bitcoin's flagship solution, the Lightning Network (LN), has risen to record levels as acceptance has increased. According to Monday's Glassnode Chain Analysis Report, the number of Lightning Network nodes rose 160% to a record high of 15,600 in September. At the end of August only 6,000 LN nodes were active. The number of channels or links between various nodes on the LN also reached 73,000, an average of 4.6 channels per node, the report added. Bitcoin Visuals is currently reporting an average of 9.3 channels per node (per Week). "That's about twice as many live channels 2019-2020, with most of that growth occurring since May 2021."

According to Glassnode, the Lightning Network's overall capacity has "explosively grown" this year. The metric refers to the total number of Bitcoins (BTC) that can be transferred by LN. The network capacity is currently at a record high of 2,904 BTC ($123 million at current prices). The main stage marks a 170% capacity increase since January, with about 22% or 514 BTC online in September alone. The channel's average capacity, or the amount of BTC sent to the channel, is currently 0.04 BTC (about $1,670), which is another record high for the network. This is a 43% increase in the average channel size of 0.028 BTC in 2019 and 2020.

The Lightning Network recently made headlines thanks to popular social media network Twitter, which, in addition to the network's national coverage in El Salvador, incorporates LN for tips on embracing the country's digital assets. The Lightning Network was proposed in 2015 by two researchers, Thaddeus Dryja and Joseph Poon, to take Bitcoin transactions off the chain to increase productivity and reduce costs.

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