Over this week, more than 150 people were able to buy pizza using the Lightning Network with Bitcoin.
On Wednesday, the cryptocurrency payments startup Fold launched its web-based payment gateway Dominos. This gateway allows Bitcoin’s Lightning Network users to buy pizza using conventional currencies like dollar. Will Reeves, the production manager at Fold startup said in this regard:
“we intend to make Bitcoin attractive again and show that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is in a condition to be in the mainstream of Bitcoin transactions.”
The Lightning Network has gotten its name due to the high speed with which it makes transactions. The idea behind the Lightning Network is that not all transactions need to be registered in the distributed public ledger of Blockchain. For example, imagine a number of transactions take place between you and one of your friends. In this situation, you can ignore registering the transactions in the Blockchain network and do them outside the Blockchain.
Its process is that you first create a payment channel and register its opening in the Blockchain network. This channel will be open for all transactions, and only in case this channel is closed, you will need Blockchain for transactions. Then the final status of all the transactions done via this payment channel will be registered in the Blockchain network.
The web-based payment application, Fold, is set to use the Lightning Network in the next 6 months in many shopping services such as Starbucks, Whole Foods, Dunkin Donuts, Target, and Uber. Since these collaborations will not take place in a very formal way, Fold startup has left orders up to customers, and in order to integrate this platform, it will convert payments to fiat money.
We should wait and see how the income model of the Fold company will change in the future through launching its main version after the trial Lightning Network version. Reeves stated regarding Dominos:
“the average amount of shopping in Dominos is 25 dollars, and since the average Lightning transactions is less than 5 dollars, this project can increase the payments of the Lightning Network.”
According to data from 1ML website, the Lightning Network set a new record in the past few weeks by more than 26,588 payment channels for trades worth $2.4 billion, which compared to last year, had a 39 percent growth. Reeves stated that they had received orders from all states of the U.S.:
“seeing people’s orders from all across the country was great.”
Reeves said that after integrating the Lightning Network and Fold, this startup intends to develop the Fold cellphone application for Android and iOS users. The seven-person startup Fold, which got its initial capital from Thesis company, is currently trying to attract capital and create variety in its products in order to attract more customers.
According to Reeves, Fold has about 1,500 customers each month and has registered 35,000 Bitcoin transactions since the launch of its application in 2014. The startup company Fold has so far developed its vast projects with the little capital it has received from the Boost accelerator, and also it intends to collaborate with cryptocurrency wallets startups in the future.
Reeves said in this regard:
“the biggest challenge in converting Bitcoin to fiat money was creating a new Lightning wallet. Despite the fact that the number of monthly orders was 1500, only 10 percent of them converted their Bitcoins to fiat money. Because using Lighting wallet was hard for people. We learned a big lesson from this, and it is that if we want to develop the ecosystem of Lightning, not only do we have to develop the best products, but also we have to teach how to use them best to users. We will surely take this into consideration in our later programs.”
According to Reeves, in order to directly become integrated with Casa toolbar, it is trying to collaborate with Casa startup. In this way, the owners of hardware nodes will be able to use their nodes to buy pizza as well.
Currently, Fold is the only team that is hardly trying for the public acceptance of the Lightning Network. In February 2019, this company launched Koala Studio with a chess game on its Lightning Network which enabled users to bet with a nominal amount of Bitcoin. Also on this platform, users finished 3,536 activities via the Bitcoin main freelance website LND Work.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, said in an interview recently, that this company’s Cash App will support Bitcoin Lightning Network. The variety of projects implementing the Lightning Network makes Reeves more eager to achieve his aims. In relation to Fold’s collaboration with Casa, Reeves said:
“We are hoping that our collaboration with Casa leads to the development of Lightning all across the world.”