Few Latinos Take Advantage of Routing Bitcoin Lightning Payments

Key facts:
  • Latin America barely concentrates 0.83% of the nodes of the Lightning network.

  • Routing payments can generate passive income for node operators.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network continues to see steady growth, but this impulse is not reflected much in Latin America, where the strengthening of the infrastructure looks at a disadvantage. This at least when buying the number of public nodes that operate by regions.

At the time of writing this note there are 38,814 nodes of the Lightning network worldwide, of which 17,136 are nodes with public IP, according to the map of the development company ACINQ, behind the Eclair implementation and the Phoenix wallet.

It is ACINQ explorer allows you to clearly see that there is a much lower number of public nodes located in Latin America relative to other regions such as North America or Europe.

The data presented by the ACINQ explorer takes into account the public IP announced by the node and may not be accurate, as the company points out on its website, however, it offers an estimated view regarding the geolocation of the nodes of the net.

The image presented by the ACINQ explorer reveals that Latin America has few nodes on the Lightning network. Fountain: ACINQ Lightning Explorer.

In any case, a research conducted by analysts from the University of Vienna and the Blockstream company, points out that indeed a Most of the Lightning Network nodes are located in North America, with 44.8%, and Europe with 43.1%.

The remaining nodes are located in Asia with 6.2%, Oceania with 2.2% and, finally, South America and Africa, each with 0.8% and 0.6%.

Between the Latin American countries most active in Lightning Brazil stands out with 9 nodes and 120 channels; also Mexico with 3 nodes and 46 channels; while Colombia appears with 2 nodes and 46 channels. Venezuela has 3 nodes with 8 channels; Argentina shows 7 nodes with 9 channels; Peru, 1 node with 2 channels; and Chile with 4 nodes with 4 channels. As a Hispanic country, it is worth mentioning Spain, which has 29 nodes with 131 operating channels, according to 1ml.com data.

Running a Lightning node can be lucrative

Less presence of geolocated nodes in a region may be due to a lack of disclosure of the incentives for companies and individuals to run nodes, even though they may route payments to generate revenue, which is a food for thought.

A well connected node can offer passive income. Alex Bosworth, Head of Liquidity at Lightning Labs, for example, has reached out to win up to $ 30,000 in six months routing payments.

Bosworth has been one of the most active developers and promoter of the advances of the network, being one of the first active nodes in the network. This gives it an advantage by having a greater number of connections and, therefore, being an attractive node to route payments. By this we mean that while operating a Lightning node can be lucrative, making the necessary connections takes work.

It should be taken into account that the more nodes are connected, the better the payments will be routed to another point on the network with the fewest number of hops, so that they are more efficient and reduce routing costs.

It is notable that in Latin America the number of active public nodes has not increased, especially when their number has increased at least 100% in the last year according to the Bitcoin Visuals data. It is evident that the number of nodes has grown little as adoption in the region explodes.

As reported by CriptoNoticias last October, El Salvador doubled the volume of payments on the Lightning network by adopting bitcoin as legal tender. In addition, Brazil has a version similar to the community that sparked interest in bitcoin in the Central American country.

At Bitcoin Beach Brazil, they aim to create a “sustainable economic ecosystem” based on the first of the cryptocurrencies. Therefore, the community runs its own node and highlights that among the advantages of doing so: helping to maintain a secure network, while reducing dependency on using third-party Lightning Network servers.

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Few Latinos Take Advantage of Routing Bitcoin Lightning Payments

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