Already 36 nodes in the Bitcoin network supported the Lightning Network protocol
— ADN SNCHZ D PDR CRSP ⚡️👁 (@aesedepece) January 17, 2018
After some time after this message, 7 more nodes were launched on the network.
For a long time, the timing of the launch of the Lightning Network protocol was not known. Before that, there were all possible testing of beta versions, etc. Now, when the Lightning Network is launched, it can solve all bitcoin problems associated with the commission for transactions. The project developers believe that full-scale activation of the protocol in the future can become one of the most important events in the history of the bitcoin network.
The Lightning Network protocol allows you to carry out transactions without waiting for confirmation, instantly, increases the level of user privacy and excludes any commissions.
The first transaction with a zero commission was made in September last year. And right before the New Year, Alex Bosworth, the developer of Bitrefill, wrote on his Twitter that he was able to replenish his phone account by completing a Lightning transaction on the main bitcoin network.
— Alex Bosworth ☇ (@alexbosworth) December 28, 2017
Right now using this tracker you can find out how many new nodes have been started.