This is very encouraging to see. As the honey badger of money enters the "lick your wounds" stage of recovery after a precipitous fall from the previous all time high, the Lightning network is gaining momentum. As you can see from the tweets above, Wallet of Satoshi (a custodial Lighting wallet that has a lot of traction in LatAm) has a record month in January with a ~35% month-on-month increase in transaction volume. If that wasn't enough, podcastingindex.org, which is the nexus of Lightning network's killer app at the moment - Podcasting 2.0 - received 457,115 transactions as users streamed and boosted their favorite podcast hosts while listening to their shows via Podcasting 2.0 apps.
As someone who receives transactions over the Lightning network hundreds of times a day, this news does not surprise me. However, I don't think it's too far fetched to say that the broader market does not understand what is currently happening. Institutional capital may be turned away from bitcoin and the naysayers may be emboldened after the "crypto" market calamity of 2022, but the breadth of development around the Lightning network has never been as vibrant as it is today. People are building products with actual utility that are creating a natural funnel for adoption.
Apps that allow you to stream sats to your favorite podcast hosts. Apps that allow you to seamlessly create synthetic dollar positions. Apps that allow you to directly support your favorite musicians. Apps that allow you to pay for your VPN service with more inherent privacy. Apps that allow you to send money around the world instantly and without cumbersome money transfer fees. Apps that allow you to monetize your website with ease. Apps that really highlight the power of bitcoin and its core properties.
Most of the world may be fading bitcoin and the layered stack being built on top of it at the moment, but it doesn't seem like those who realize its potential really seem to care all that much.
I may wake up with a bunch of dead trees around my house.