It’s been a year—almost to the day—since we electrified the Paxful platform with the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Since then, many people have embraced it with open arms, using it for their everyday Bitcoin transactions. 

However, we wanted to show you just how much the network has grown in the past year—not just with Paxful, but also among Bitcoiners all over the world. 

Electrifying growth

Given how popular the Lightning Network has become, it’s no surprise that it’s been experiencing significant growth in the last 12 months. Now, there’s more Bitcoin inside the network—according to Bitcoin Visuals, there are over 4,600 BTC currently on the Lightning Network (as of September 4, 2022), which is a great indicator of its growth and success. 

Bitcoin in lightning network

Source: Bitcoin Visuals

One of the many reasons the network is experiencing such growth is the Lightning Network’s accessibility. Now, more users have access to cheaper and quicker Bitcoin transactions—thanks to applications like El Salvador’s Chivo Wallet and the United States’s payment solution CashApp embracing the network. 

According to a report from Arcane Research, more than 80 million users now have access to this network—compared to 100,000 last summer. 

What are people using Lightning for?

For those that don’t frequently use the Lightning Network, you might be wondering: why are so many people starting to use it? 

The answer is simple: micropayments. As we mentioned previously, the main importance of the Lightning Network lies in its capabilities to facilitate more efficient micropayments. With this layer-2 solution, you will never have to worry about paying a transaction fee more expensive than the amount you’re sending. This comes in handy when you’re trying to send money to someone abroad or paying for a cup of coffee at the nearest BTC-friendly cafe. 

In the same report by Arcane Research we mentioned earlier, they said that “according to our estimates, individuals sent each other more than 300,000 payments, made more than 200,000 payments for goods and services, and over 100,000 deposits or withdrawals to or from trading services in the first two months of 2022.” 

What are people using Lightning for

This graph shows how people are using the network in their everyday lives—so if you haven’t tried it out yet, now might be a good time to start. 

Who’s using the Lightning Network?

Now that we know for sure that the Lightning Network is growing, let’s dive into who, specifically, is using it. 

Bitcoin-friendly countries

When it comes to the “who’s using it” aspect of the Lightning Network, the main culprits are countries that accept Bitcoin with open arms. El Salvador, for example, made the cryptocurrency legal tender in the country. El Zonte, a beach in the country, is referred to as Bitcoin Beach and is widely regarded as one of Bitcoin’s many home bases. 

In El Salvador, the economy is heavily dependent on the US dollar as its primary currency. This makes it difficult and expensive for people working abroad to send money back home—which is why sending money and making payments via the Lightning Network is an appealing solution. 

Trading platforms in the network

As the Lightning Network increased in popularity, exchanges and marketplaces began to integrate it into their platforms—allowing people access to cheaper and faster Bitcoin trades. Because of this, users are now able to send, receive, and withdraw money almost instantly with little to no fees. 

On the way to global adoption

As Bitcoin continues to develop several real-use cases and grow in popularity, there’s no doubt that the Lightning Network will play a role in its rise to global adoption. This feature, now accessible by millions of people worldwide, is easily one of the most revolutionary things to hit the Bitcoin industry to date—so if you haven’t tried it out yet, head to your Paxful Wallet today to check it out!