80 million people had access to Bitcoin Lightning payments in March

graph shows the increase in people with access to lightning from August 2021 to March 202

Over the past month, at least 80 million people have accessed payments through the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN), as a sign of the growing adoption for the second layer of Bitcoin (BTC) by part of the users of the ecosystem.

This according to the report The State Of Lightning Vol 2 (The State of Lightning Vol 2), by blockchain analytics firm Arcane Research and payment processor OpenNode. In the document they highlight that “adoption is increasing rapidly” among bitcoin users.

The report, which is the second volume of the one published last year and which was reviewed by CriptoNoticias, highlights that these Millions of users accessed LN payments using an installed app. That is, Lightning-enabled wallets, like Muun; or exchanges like BitFinex, to mention a couple of examples.

This is an interesting number of people with access to LN payments, especially when compared to the metrics for August and October of last year, respectively. In the eighth month of 2021, 100 thousand people had access to payments with Lightning; and in the tenth, 10 million users could pay with Bitcoin’s layer two solution.

“Most of these users are coming from a select few apps that integrate LN payments, but the number of users in existing apps has also increased significantly,” Arcane and OpenNode explain.

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They took the opportunity to clarify that users with access to these payments are not necessarily active on the Lightning Network. This is what they indicated:

“It is reasonable to believe that the majority of users of popular payment apps who recently implemented Lightning payments are still not using it. However, greater user access increases the likelihood of more widespread use.”

The State of Lightning Vol 2.

graph shows the increase in people with access to lightning from August 2021 to March 202
80 million people had access to Lightning payments in March 2022. Source: Arcane Research.

Number of payments made with Bitcoin Lightning have doubled

For its part, the report highlights that the number of payments that have been made with the Bitcoin Lightning network doubled during the past year.

They explained that the value of these payments grew by more than 400%, measured in US dollars, something that has been accentuated since the last three months of last year, driven by the formal adoption of bitcoin in El Salvador.

To make the estimates, Arcane and OpenNode collected transaction data from companies that are part of the Lightning ecosystem. These include, for example, common payments for a good or service, peer-to-peer transfers, and deposits/withdrawals to various financial services.

graph shows the increase in the number of payments with lightning until the first quarter of 2022
Payment volume and payment count in Lightning from 2020 to Q1 2022. Source: Arcane Research.

Most payments were made between peers

Meanwhile, they highlighted that of the total volume of payments that was registered in the first months of 2022, about 48% of the value of these was traded directly between two people. These are known as private payments, which could have different reasons: sending remittances or online purchases, for example.

division by proportions of payments made by lightning network
Most of the payments with LN were made between peers, that is, private payments. Source: Arcane Research.

Deposits and withdrawals, meanwhile, were positioned as another type of payment made during the first two months of the current year, covering 32% of the total volume.

19% of the aforementioned payments were directed to purchases of goods or services, for which a payment processor (such as OpenNode) or gift cards (gift card) was used, indicates Arcane research.

Finally, the unknown payments enter. Here, more than 1 million transactions (1%) were registered between January and February. For Arcane, these operations are a “mystery”, since the precise details of said payments are unknown.

However, and as explained in the document, These transactions are made to users, in the form of micro-rewards, by a given service. This is common, for example, in the online gaming niche (gaming), where several payments reach the users’ wallets via LN as a kind of prize or profit for having participated. This is often known as play-to-earn games.

Thus, and in just four months of 2022, Arcane and OpenNode predict a greater adoption of Lightning for this year, taking into account that just over USD 20 million moved in February alone, in just over 800 thousand transactions. “The prospect of further adoption of the Lightning Network looks very promising,” they argue.

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