Luxemburg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp does not want to just be known as an exchange for digital assets but also an active contributor to the development of the underlying technology for these assets. On Monday, July 8th, the popular exchange announced the launch of its lightning node for the second layer bitcoin scaling solution LN.
In a tweet, the exchange wrote:
“ELECTRIFIED: We believe the Lightning Network has the potential to unlock a whole new level of utility for Bitcoin. We’ve set up our own #LN node to help grow the network and encourage other companies to get on board.”
In a more detailed post on its Lightning Node, Bitstamp said that it has been the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin “since its early days.” It seems it was only natural that the exchange would offer a lightning network node to its users in support of the leading blockchain protocol.
In the post, it added that:
“By running our own Lightning Network node, we want to help the network grow and encourage other companies to start working with this amazing technology as well […]We believe that there are use cases for Lightning in almost any industry. Let’s start discovering them.”
According to Lightning Network data website 1ML, the number of nodes has increased marginally by about 3.5% over the last 30 days as the website reports about 8,999 nodes online as of press time. Out of these, about 3,500 nodes have chosen broadcast their public IP now including the Bitstamp node.
The network boosts about 34,456 channels but only around 12% of these channels were active as of press time. That is approximately 4,434 active node channels which is a negligible 1.77% increase in the last 30 days according to 1ML. the network capacity has more or less stayed put over the last month at 942.71 BTC which is currently valued at close to $12 million.
A few other exchanges have enabled support for the experimental bitcoin project including leading US-based exchange Coinbase thanks to the crypto-payments provider Bitrefill. Bitfinex, also another major cryptocurrency exchange has previously announced in May that it would launch support for Lightning Network through its affiliated USDT-stablecoin run by Tether company. The Tether [USDT] Omni-layer version is actually based on the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitfinex revealed that it is now working to launch the USDT coin based on the Lightning Network.