The fall in bitcoin prices had a negative impact on the number of its nodes. Although the network is still far from centralizing, reducing number of full nodes is an alarming sign.

Go into the shadows

The number of available nodes in the bitcoin network decreased by 18.98% in 2018, falling from 11,845 to 9,597. The available node in the bitcoin blockchain is the node that sends and receives connection requests from the network. In the bitcoin blockchain, there are also inaccessible nodes. These nodes only send connection requests, but do not accept them, because they are either behind a firewall, such as Tor, or protected by the Network Address Translation (NAT) mechanism, which changes the network address data IP in the header of data packets during transmission through the router.

The more inaccessible nodes in the blockchain, the more reliable and resistant to attack it becomes. But since the beginning of 2018, their number also decreased. Their fall was even harder than that of accessible nodes, shrinking by 33% from 98,000 to 65,500.

It is unknown why the number of nodes decreases, but the main reason is that miners Exodus contributed to this phenomenon. Miners switch off their equipment due to the fall in bitcoin price and a sharp decline in mining profitability.

But there is good news

The capacity of the Lightning Network is close to 500 BTC ($ 1.9 million), and the number of nodes is close to 5,000. The number of open channels exceeded 15,000.

The second-tier Lightning Network (LN) protocol was launched in January 2018. The solution is designed to make instant and cheap payments on the bitcoin network.