The main difference between Lightning Network and on-chain BTC transactions is the speed and fees associated with each.
On-chain BTC transactions can take anywhere from 10 minutes to about an hour to confirm, whereas Lightning Network transactions are confirmed almost instantly. Furthermore, on-chain BTC transactions have higher fees than Lightning transactions. In terms of transactions per second, on-chain BTC can handle about 5 transactions per second, whereas Lightning Network is capable of handling up to 1,000,000 transactions per second.
The Lightning Network takes a massive load off of the Bitcoin base layer and allows for near-instant, almost free BTC transactions. This is a big win for Bitcoin in terms of mass adoption because it addresses one of the main criticisms of BTC—slow transaction speeds and high fees.
Learn more about the Lightning Network in our blog!