Ive been here since a long time and I've never really had a compelling reason to run a full node other than to verify my own transactions. But since the inception of the lightning network and all the funny / cool / silly apps that are cropping up, I decided to fire up my own to explore the programmability of layer 2. I feel like L2 has the potential to attract more web devs and js script kids like myself to this space.
Has there been a significant increase in nodes since the inception of LN?
Edit: Would also like to mention that im running on a pi3b+ i found for $ 30 with a 1tb external hard drive that cost me like $ 50. Im using the memory card to boot from an usb stick because my mmc kept getting corrupted. Syncing took pretty long like 5 weeks, dont know if that is normal, but might have to do with my setup.
Edit 2: I followed this excellent guide https://github.com/Stadicus/guides/blob/master/raspibolt/README.md