The Bitcoin Lightning Network scaling protocol has passed a fresh landmark of 8000 nodes as a new solution launches to increase its mainstream usage.

"Lightning, which continues to advance its presence as Bitcoin’s foremost scaling solution, hosted 8016 nodes at press time April 16 according to monitoring resource, up 8 percent over the month.

The network now has a total payment capacity of 1062 BTC ($5.37 million), having reached an all-time high of 1080 BTC earlier this month.

Designed to allow off-chain Bitcoin transactions which are almost instant and free, Lightning has come on leaps and bounds since it debuted on the Bitcoin mainnet at the start of 2018.."