Blog: Lightning Network Observations on the Bitcoin Mainnet

By: Viacheslav Zhygulin, Mykola Sakhno, Kostiantyn Pisnia and Alex Ostrovski (LightningPeach team, Bitfury Software)

The Bitfury Group
Jul 3, 2018 · 9 min read

Key Statistics and Observations:

1. The percentage of unilateral channel closing relative to all closings remains high.

Fig 1. Rolling mean (2 days) of percentage of unilateral channel closings to all closings. Group interval is 24h.

2. Multi-hop transactions work mainly within top nodes offering better conditions for now

Fig 2. Connectivity graph among the top-10 nodes as of June 04, 2018. The total capacity of the channels is displayed on the graph edges. If there are multiple channels between nodes, the label shows their total capacity. Vertex labels show node alias and total capacity (sum of capacities of all channels).
Note: Bitcoin exchange rate ~ $7.399.06 per bitcoin

3. The most frequent values for channel size are round numbers

Fig. 3. The most frequent values of channel size are round numbers (e.g., 0.001 bitcoins), which are represented as spikes on the diagram above. This implies that the Lightning Network is currently used mainly for testing purposes.

4. A channel lives 239 hours (10 days) on average, with a median lifetime of 99 hours (4.1 days)

Fig 4. Distribution of channel lifetime for closed channels (both mutually and unilaterally)

5. Important events on the network affect the rate of channel openings.

Fig 5. Shows open and close (both mutual and unilateral) rates with a few relevant events

6. Distribution of the number of nodes by node degree

7. Large channels are closed unilaterally more often.

8. Contract breach (due to dishonesty or a failed load from backup)

Discussion

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The Bitfury Group is the leading full-service blockchain technology company.

Meet Bitfury

Learn more about Bitfury, the leading full-service blockchain technology company.