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North America and Europe Control 88% of All Lightning Network Nodes, Research Finds

As Bitcoin adoption grows more and more, concerns about the need for scalability solutions increase. Lightning Network is the most important layer-two development currently available on the Bitcoin blockchain, and it seems that North Americans are the favorite demographic for this efficiency-focused micropayment solution.

The Lightning Network is a layer-two solution currently under development. It focuses on the creation of channels between peers that allow for almost instant and extremely cheap transactions without the need to record it on the blokchain. The money is locked on a wallet in order for it to be available on the Lightning Network, and once a user needs to have its tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain, the channel is closed and the blockchain registers one transaction from the original wallet to the final one without registering what happened in between.

Graphic representation of how the Lightning Network works. Image: TheBlockPro North America and Europe Rule the Lightning Network

According to a report from the University of Vienna, 45% of all Lightning Network nodes run in North America, with a large majority in the United States. Lightning Labs, the leading developer of this scaling solution, is registered in that country. Blockstream, Bitcoin’s largest development company, is registered in Canada.

Europe is the second region on the list, with 43.1% of the world’s nodes. The rest of the nodes are distributed among Asia (6.2%), Oceania (2.2%), with South America and Africa sharing a small fraction of 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively.

The contrast between the number of nodes and the adoption of Bitcoin is remarkable. Latin America has a high adoption rate of Bitcoin, according to data compiled by Chainalysis. However, it has just under 1% of Lightning Network nodes. Africa is also showing a similar picture, with a high volume of trading and adoption, but with little interest in the micro-payment system.

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