Everyone knows that LN helps scale Bitcoin by moving most of the micro-payment transactions off-chain. But what really happens in real life? How many payments have been made per month?

Appreciate any pointer, or even statistics from folks running an LN node.

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I guess the answer will not be satisfying for you as by the end of the day the number can at best be estimated.

I have a very inactive node but released a video at some point about the forwordings that my node has conducted. There are more people on twitter always dropping some numbers (eg here or there).

I guess the best what you can do is to understand that the centrality of your node on the graph might be proportional to the fraction of all payments that you will have observed. From that you can extrapolate the full number. however that observation makes the crucial but most likely wrong assumption that all payment pairs are equally likely.

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