Home / Bitcoin / Bitcoin Lightning Network Capacity is Rising: Are Exchanges Turning Away from Payment Altcoins?
5 min read

Bitcoin Lightning Network Capacity is Rising: Are Exchanges Turning Away from Payment Altcoins?

Published June 27, 2023 6:59 AM
Omar Elorfaly
Published June 27, 2023 6:59 AM

Key Takeaways

  • The Bitcoin Lightning Network recorded a huge surge of activity over the weekend
  • What does BLN do?
  • Increasing interest in Bitcoin  may mean Altcoin value rise is a mirage, says a crypto analyst

The Bitcoin lightning network recorded a new high for activity on Saturday, in both token transfer activity and USD transaction amount. The technology now adopted by some of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world is improving transaction times, costs, and volumes for Bitcoin traders.

However, with so much investment in the financial, legal and technological aspects of Bitcoin, where does that leave altcoins? 

A crypto analyst claims that “the attention and liquidity will be concentrated on a rapidly appreciating Bitcoin, which is where your focus should lie”

A Good Bitcoin Saturday

Over the weekend, the Bitcoin Lightning Network capacity reached a new high of 5,630 BTC, beating the old record of 5,620 BTC on April 18th. Metrics  also show that the network reached a new USD capacity of over $172 million on Saturday.

The technology comes a lifesaver for a network that can quickly get bottlenecked by the sheer amount of transactions on the blockchain. Just last month, over 470,000 transactions were paused just because the network couldn’t take it.

What Does Bitcoin Lightning Network Do?

The technology acts as a second layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It’s basically a two-way transaction payment channel that allows fast and cost-effective micropayments.

Transactions taking place on the Lightning Network do not have to immediately reflect on the Bitcoin chain. Instead, transactions are settled on the Bitcoin blockchain when users are done operating on open payment channels between themselves.

CEO of enterprise-grade Lightning Network firm Lightspark, David Marcus said  that the Lightning Network is “really building the capabilities that will enable any enterprise out there to access a real time, super low cost settlement network for the internet that’s interoperable, that’s open that any developer can build on.” 

He also said that “There’s just more happening. I think there’s more happening on Bitcoin in terms of development energy in the last 12 months than in the last X number of years combined. It’s really pretty amazing to see,” which brings us to our next point:

Are Altcoins going to suffer because Bitcoin is getting all the attention?

Bitcoin Is King, For Now

Altcoins are actually performing quite well nowadays. Bitcoin Cash, for example, was showing signs of value growth recently. However, @Crediblecrypto, a crypto analyst, has a strong point when they say , “It’s tempting to hop into alts right now thinking they will catch up to $BTC. In the short term, they probably will see some nice bounces- but these should be short-term trades only imo.”

Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that started it all is now receiving both funding and technological upgrades, as well as governmental approval on all fronts. Starting with Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, announced last week that it will be integrating BLN into its platform, improving both deposits and withdrawals. The company made the announcement after it had hit a bottleneck that forced the platform to pause all Bitcoin transactions.

We also know that major exchanges such as Kraken and OKX use the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

However, tensions start to seriously rise regarding the future of Altcoins when one realizes the amount of financial and legal support Bitcoin is receiving, unlike any other token.  

To name a few cases: Blackrock, the world’s biggest asset management company just officially applied for a Bitcoin spot ETF, which caused an immediate tidal wave of ETF applications that focus on Bitcoin specifically.

Moreover, money is pouring into the Bitcoin market, unlike any other cryptocurrency, and we can see that clearly when realizing that futures ETF such as BITO are now seeing pumps by the billions.

On the legal side, the US government is in a debate over the potential for Altcoins such as stablecoins being a viable payment method. But, the SEC, so far, seems pretty determined about creating a Bitcoin-only future for the crypto market.