For early cryptocurrency believers many would have assumed bitcoin to become the next PayPal 2.0, but the excitement surrounding the technology fell off as technical limitations emerged. This year’s apps have been designed using the lightning network which is currently in its beta stages but has proven that traditional transaction payments just won’t do.
Technology being built may help cryptocurrency startups overlap card networks and other payment startups. The application getting the most attention for digital payments are small transactions. An app called SatoshiTweets allows users to pay a very small fee from the lightning network to send a tweet from a shared account. One individual payed 10 satoshis to buy an exclamation mark which is a fraction of a fraction of a percent. PayPal’s typical fee structure would cost more than the small transaction itself.
Small transactions open an array of possibilities that are open to mass adoption today. The lighting network is outpacing traditional centralized payments, and adoption into apps and experimentation is spawning a wave of opportunities for the lightning network to benefit.
The lightning network is even being used in the online gambling game Lightning Spin. In order to have a more consistent revenue stream the lightning network is able to charge a tiny fee per play rather than chunks at different stages of the game. Companies building apps over the lightning network also have more control over the development of the app. Companies like Visa offers developers to integrate payments into their apps, however users need to log on into their website which means Visa has a level of control as to who uses their system.
Bitcoin payments can be integrated by anyone into anything without ever having to ask for permission – unlike many other systems.
Lighting seems like a no brainer to implement but unfortunately it is a complex set up. Instructions for paying with lightning are quite long, the convenience is not yet at the level of PayPal but lightning is still a young technology waiting to flourish.