Major cryptocurrency payment service provider BitPay has added support for the Lightning Network (LN), Bitcoin’s (BTC) Layer-2 scalability solution, granting users access to a faster and cheaper method of transacting their BTC.
In an announcement shared with CryptoSlate today, BitPay co-founder Tony Gallippi noted:
“BitPay’s integration with the Lightning Network offers customers more choice and merchants more ways to be paid leveraging blockchain technology.”
Lightning, what is it good for?
The Lightning Network is a so-called Layer-2 payment and communication protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. The solution allows transactions to be processed off-chain, taking the load off the mainnet and improving the network’s scalability. As a result, payments made via the LN can be processed not only faster but also cheaper thanks to lower fees.
Following the integration with BitPay’s Payment Processing Platform, merchants can now receive transactions from crypto wallets that support the LN, including CashApp and Strike. In their turn, consumers now have a “low-cost alternative” when they make payments at BitPay-enabled dealers.
Notably, BitPay merchants won’t need to make any changes to their existing setups to start accepting Lightning payments However, BitPay’s wallet app does not currently support the LN—at least “yet.”
Another step toward mass adoption
Meanwhile, American retail clothing brand Pacific Sunwear of California (PacSun) has become one of the first BitPay partners to accept BTC payments via the Lightning Network, the company’s CEO Michael Relich noted, adding:
“The Bitcoin Lightning Network provides our customers with instant payments and exceptionally low network fees, and creates more opportunity for all holders of Bitcoin to shop online at [our store].”
As CryptoSlate reported, the total value of BTC locked on the Lightning Network exceeded $130 million in late February—and that figure has already grown to just over $162 million since then.
However, despite significant growth in 2021, the solution arguably still remains a niche product. But with giants such as BitPay adding support for it, perhaps this is about to change.
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