Bitcoin Lightning Network’s Half Capacity Provided by One Person, Decentralization Threatened

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 15:40
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Alex Dovbnya
Bitcoin’s decentralization is under risk as the Lightning Network’s monopoly continues to grow
Bitcoin Lightning Network’s Half Capacity Provided by One Person, Decentralization Threatened
Cover image via U.Today

Decentralization is commonly known to be Bitcoin’s biggest advantage, but there are grave concerns over the recent news about one single node being responsible for the 216 percent increase in the Bitcoin Lightning network's capacity. On top of that, statistical data provided by shows that this exact node comprises 49 percent of the network which absolutely goes against the principles of decentralization. The name of the person who owns this nod is Andreas Brekken.

Who is Andreas Brekken?

Andreas Brekken is one of crypto pioneers who jumped on the trend back in 2011. Once being a critic of off-chain scaling, he’s now in full control of the largest lightning network node. For comparison, the second biggest node comprises only about one percent of network’s capacity. Some users have already expressed their dissatisfaction on Twitter.  

What is Lightning Network?

The Lightning Network (LN) was initially created to solve the problem of scalability (thus, significantly accelerating the speed of relatively slow Bitcoin transactions). It offers a scaling solution by establishing an additional payment channel outside of the Blockchain. Once the transaction between two parties is completed, the channel gets closed and the current balance is recorded on the Blockchain.    


Why all the fuss?

Many crypto enthusiasts fear that the sudden rise of LN will lead to an inevitable centralization of Bitcoin. The lightning network will indeed support much faster transactions, but the fact that there are only few nodes will simply turn it into the current banking system instead of revolutionizing the world of finances. In addition, some individuals fear that using fast LN hubs will come with higher fees.  


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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at