The amount of bitcoin in the Lightning Network (LN) has nearly doubled this year, up from about 1,000 BTC at the beginning of 2021 to now more than 1,700, worth $56 million.
The biggest amount of growth in actual bitcoin, rather than fiat value, has been since the end of April with more than 500 btc added to the then 1,200 total coins on LN.
Following El Salvador’s declaration of bitcoin legal tender in June, some 300 new bitcoins have been added to the Lightning Network.
The El Salvadorian law does not come into force until September when all that technically can, must accept bitcoin for payment although they can do so in a way that insta converts it to usd through a new Chivo wallet.
In addition every El Salvadorian will be eligible for $30 in bitcoin if they sign up for the wallet again in September. That bitcoin is likely to be on the lightning network itself.
Thus we should see significantly more growth in autumn, with LN appearing to find more usage due to improvement in wallets, especially custodian wallets that trade off counterparty risks for convenience.
The network however is still very small compared to wBTC for example which has some $6.5 billion worth of bitcoin in it.
But both LN and the likes of wBTC might be contributing towards the alleviation of network congestion in bitcoin, with the two effectively giving a capacity boost to network users.
So a growth in their usage should benefit bitcoin as a whole, with it to be seen now how the El Salvadorian experiment will go on this Lightning Network bitcoin chart.