The popularity of Lightning Network, aimed at instant and cheap transactions in the bitcoin system, demonstrates rapid growth, doubling over the weekend and reaching almost 150 nodes.

At the time of publication, there were 137 active nodes in the Lightning Network's mainnet, with about 325 open payment channels. The volume of micropayments exceeded 1.7 BTC ($18,037).

The amount of commissions paid is so insignificant that statistical data does not take it into account mentioning that it is "too tiny."

Within the weekend, the number of nodes more than doubled, and the quantity of open payment channels have quadrupled.

Over the past couple of weeks, two services have announced their support of Lightning payments. The first one was the VPN service TorGuard. It announced support for fast Lightning payments, despite the fact that the Lightning network is still at the testing stage. In case of loss of funds, TorGuard promised to repay the damage. TorGuard was also the first service that made the first purchase of a physical product via the Lightning channel. A Reddit user under the pseudonym btc_throwaway1337 bought the AR300M VPN router from TorGuard, paying for it with bitcoins via the Lightning channel.

Another company that now supports Lightning payments is Blockstream. Last week, it launched an online store where it sells t-shirts and stickers and accepts payments in bitcoins through Lightning channels. It's worth recalling that Blockstream is one of the developers of c-Lightning, a client for the Lightning network. The developers of other clients are the dev teams of ACINQ and Lightning Labs.

The main challenge for Lightning Network, which belongs to the class of Level 2 solutions, is the risk of losing funds due to possible technical vulnerability.

“The way (Blockstream) is promoting LN use on mainnet is very irresponsible. People will lose money, and LN reputation will be damaged,” creator Cobra tweeted.

But the dominant evaluation remains optimistic. Users are leaving enthusiastic feedbacks sharing their delight of fast and cheap transactions in the bitcoin network.