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Bitcoin Lightning Network Reaches New Heights as Merchants Ramp up Adoption

4 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • With the Lightning Network, sending Bitcoin is instant and very low cost.
  • Bitcoin Lightning Network to allow for instant, global, cash-final payments while eliminating legacy processing fees like interchange.
  • Industry players and merchants are diversifying the usage of the Lightning Network.
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The Bitcoin Lightning Network possesses several advantages over traditional card networks. Several merchants and vendors are witnessing the real-life utility of the network. 

Launching the instant borderless gateway on the Bitcoin Lightning Network represents a significant milestone in the evolution of cryptocurrencies. The Lightning Network is a second-layer protocol built on the Bitcoin blockchain that enables fast, cheap, and scalable transactions. With this technology, users can send and receive Bitcoin payments instantly and without the need for intermediaries.

The launch met with widespread excitement and anticipation from the cryptocurrency community. The Lightning Network has been in development for several years. And the launch of this feature is a significant step forward in adopting Bitcoin as a mainstream payment method.

A significant increase in the adoption of Lightning Network nodes and channels accompanied the launch of this feature. Many businesses and individuals began setting up Lightning Network nodes and channels enabling them to send and receive Bitcoin payments instantly, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional payment methods.

Why Choose the Lightning Network?

One of the main benefits of the Lightning Network is its ability to enable micropayments. This means users can send and receive minimal amounts of Bitcoin. Previously impossible due to the high fees associated with on-chain transactions. With the Lightning Network, users can send and receive payments as small as a few satoshis. Making it possible to pay for things like articles, videos, and other digital content with Bitcoin.

Another key benefit is its scalability. The Lightning Network enables millions of transactions per second, making it possible to process large volumes of transactions without slowing down the network. This scalability is critical for the widespread adoption of Bitcoin as a mainstream payment method. It ensures the network can handle the transactions needed to support global commerce.

The launch of instant borderless payments on the Lightning Network has also significantly impacted the Bitcoin ecosystem as a whole. It has increased the utility of Bitcoin, making it more attractive to businesses and individuals who want to send and receive payments quickly and inexpensively. 

More Utility Helping Network

According to data from Bitcoinvisuals, a Bitcoin (BTC) on-chain tracker, the number of nodes on the Lightning Network has now reached 18,024, compared to 3,000 in 2019. Unique channels also surged to 75,533, while duplicate channels are at 4,732. Integrations from Strike, among others, have helped the network reach new heights. 

At the same time, the number of Bitcoins locked in the Lightning Network (LN) skyrocketed from 1,089 BTC in 2021 to 5,508 BTC. The locked bitcoins are currently valued at $1.48 billion.

Lightning Network Capacity Source: Bitcoin Visuals
Lightning Network Capacity Source: Bitcoin Visuals

This increased utility has, in turn, driven up the price of Bitcoin, as more people are willing to buy and hold the cryptocurrency as a store of value and a means of exchange. The Lightning Network, in particular, has played a crucial role in enabling faster and cheaper transactions on the Bitcoin network. As a result, leading to its increased adoption.

Bringing Lightning Network to the World

El Salvador’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender has also contributed significantly to the growth of the network, as it has increased the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. The Chivo Wallet, the government’s official Bitcoin wallet, has leveraged the network to provide fast and low-cost transactions to its users.

In Africa, the adoption of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, has been driven by the challenges associated with the U.S. dollar, such as inflation and currency devaluation. Bitcoin and the Lightning Network have enabled Africans to conduct cross-border transactions more easily and cheaply.

The integration of the Bitcoin Lightning Network with platforms such as Cash App and Twitter has also contributed to its growth. Cash App, for instance, has leveraged the Lightning Network to provide faster and cheaper transactions to its users. Twitter’s launch of its tipping service for creators has also increased the visibility and adoption of the network.

Helping Users with Bitcoin Payments

Different firms and platforms are actively working to bring/showcase the real-life utilities of the said network. One of the leading names, Strike, collaborated with Clover to allow customers to pay with Bitcoin using any Lightning-enabled app.

Similarly, ZEBEDEE, a payments processor built on the open Bitcoin Lightning Network, launched instant borderless payments headed by (Philippines) and Bipa (Brazil). The respective team shared the announcement with BeInCrypto. 

André Neves, CTO and co-founder of ZEBEDEE told BeInCrypto, 

“In order for Bitcoin to take its place as the native money of the Internet, which really means the main form of money for the modern age, we have to make it so intuitive and simple to use for the average person that it ceases to be about Bitcoin, it’s just global money.” 

Later added that such development will allow users to ‘select high-quality global providers with the push of a button and send instant transactions worldwide in seconds.” Various companies are now using the network. According to the latest data, around 300 merchants have incorporated it.

Some Challenges Need Attention

Despite the many benefits of the network, some challenges need to be addressed. One of the main challenges is the need for widespread adoption. While many businesses and individuals have adopted the Lightning Network, it still needs to be used more widely, and many need to familiarize themselves with its capabilities.

Another challenge is the need for a better user experience. While the Lightning Network is fast and cheap, it can be difficult for non-technical users to set up and use. This has been a barrier to adoption for some users. More user-friendly interfaces and tools will be needed to make the Lightning Network more accessible to the public.

Overall, the launch of instant borderless payments represents a significant step forward in the evolution of cryptocurrencies. It can revolutionize how we send and receive payments. Making it possible to send and receive money instantly and inexpensively across borders. While there are still challenges to be addressed, the network is a promising technology that could play a vital role in the future of global commerce.

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Shubham Pandey
An engineer and an accountant by degree, Shubham ventured into the crypto world to pursue his passion. He believes digital currencies will redefine our economies in the decades to come, which drove his transition into this industry. Shubham has a multicultural background, having lived across India, Qatar, Oman and Australia. He is currently settled in Melbourne. As a News Writer, Shubham aims to actively analyze trends in the crypto world and break it down for everyday readers.