Announcing the LN Monitor

The Bitfury Group
Sep 27, 2018 · 4 min read

By Bitfury’s LightningPeach team and edited by Rebecca Campbell

Today, Bitfury’s LightningPeach team has announced the addition of its monitoring tool, the LN Monitor (found on the LightningPeach website). The LN Monitor began gathering statistics in September and it aims to provide users with a comprehensive and user-friendly overview of the real-time statistics of the Lightning Network.

The LN Monitor tracks:

  • The number of nodes and channels
  • Network updates
  • The mean and median channel lifetime
  • Top 10 nodes by number of open channels
  • Mean fee, median fee, and max fee
  • Top 10 nodes by total channels capacity
  • Total capacity
  • Mean and median channel capacity.
  • Access to network statistics historical data

Interpreting the Data from the LN Monitor

Head to the LightningPeach website to see real time information about the LN Monitor. The latest statistics will be shown from the proceeding day ending at 23:00. A timeline gives a person a choice of seeing what they want over a week, month, year, custom, or from when the data was initially generated in 18 September to the present day.

Number of Nodes and Channels

This graph has two lines: total channels and nodes with channels. This shows the number of LN nodes with open channels and the overall number of open channels. Since beginning, the number of nodes with open channels has varied between 2,441 to 2,470. Whereas, the total number of channels has grown from over 12,865 to around 12,909.

Network Updates

In this chart the viewer can see four different lines: open, mutual close, unilateral close, and zombie.

Mutually closed channels are those that have been closed with agreement between the parties involved. Unilaterally closed channels are those which closed without obtaining agreement first, and zombie channels are channels that haven’t been updated in two weeks. At the middle of September, the number of opened channels peaked at over 270; however, since then it hasn’t gone much higher than 181.

Mean and Median Channel Lifetime

Showcasing two lines, mean and median, this graph highlights how long a channel remains open for.

Notably, now, the mean and median were valued at 94.61 and 71.1 days respectively.

Top 10 Nodes by Number of Open Channels

This table shows the highest number of nodes among the top 10. The first one currently has 515 whereas, number 10 has 214.

This may be because these 10 nodes are helping to indirectly connect one person to another so that they can transact. For instance, Alice may not have an open channel with Charlie, but Alice is indirectly connected with Charlie through Bob.

LN adopters are incentivised for running connecting nodes by taking small fees each time a transaction is conducted through their connections.

Mean, Median, and Max Fee

These charts depicts fees in Satoshi (SAT) for different amounts of payments: 1 BTC, 1 mBTC, and 1000 SAT. At present, the mean fee for transacting one Bitcoin is 16,571.057; the median is 101, and the max is 10,000,000,001.

Top 10 Nodes by Totals Channel Capacity and Total Capacity

The top node has over 1.7 billion in SAT whereas the 10th one contains nearly 328 million. Moving on from that, the total capacity open channel graph shows 11.5 billion in SAT.

Mean and Median Channel Capacity

In the final graph we have the mean and median channel capacity list in mBTC. At present, the mean is recorded at 4.6 million SAT and the median is 480,000 SAT.

About the Lightning Network

Proposed as a solution that aims to solve Bitcoin’s scaling issues, the Lightning Network is a second-layer protocol built on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. It is through these channels that cryptocurrency users can conduct transactions more efficiently, faster and with lower costs.

First proposed in a 2016 white paper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja, the Lightning Network is considered to be the foundation of the next-generation of the digital economy. Once in place, it’s projected to aid global payment streams, decentralised marketplaces, and have efficient payment rails for the Internet of Things (IoT).

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