As a reminder, the lighting network is an off-chain decentralized protocol where a network of micropayment channels is used to scale Bitcoin. To understand the underlying technology better, you can read about it here.
The network is difficult to measure in its entirety because 1) there are public and private channels and no available data for private channels by design, and 2) there isn’t granular data on payments within channels.
Usage trends upwards despite two market cycles since the lightning network went live in 2018, i.e. public capacity grew 47% in 2022 despite the bear market
Mainstream partnerships that increased user access have had positive, but not outstanding effects (such as Twitter tipping integration, El Salvador’s national wallet, and Cash App). Adoption seems to largely trail prices
While Lightning Network has many technical advantages such as being a globally accessible, and cheap transaction network (the median fee rate is a base fee of 1 satoshi and a fee rate of 0.0022 per Satoshi (per hop) which is currently around 0.003 USD), there are still many barriers to adoption including but not limited to:
Volatility in the price of BTC
The general sentiment around BTC being an asset vs. a transacting currency
Limited merchant adoption, and murky regulations.
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