The Lightning Network Speeds Up Bitcoin Payments

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More big companies adopt blockchain technology

While there is a lot of speculation about which direction Bitcoin will go in, more big companies are taking to blockchain technology. The premise of the technology has too much potential for them to ignore.

Amazon, for example, is working in migrating their cloud services as well as their supply chain management to the blockchain.

Walmart is working on a food safety blockchain project, and will already be implemented in less than a year — September 2019.

Microsoft is working on similarly providing BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service) to their SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). They are no strangers to blockchain technology, however. Microsoft was already in 2015 utilizing the Ethereum network for its Azure cloud solution.

Like Microsoft, both IBM and Oracle are considering blockchain solutions to complement their existing portfolio. IBM has already entered a five-year contract with the Australian government, which will see the tech giant provide blockchain-based security and automation solutions.

Regardless of whether or not Bitcoin holders are entering a bull or a bear market, there is no sign of blockchain technology going away anytime soon. Quite the opposite.

The Lightning Network could speed up Bitcoin transactions

One of the reasons that companies like Visa and Mastercard are not yet considering adopting blockchain technology is the low transaction volumes. Bitcoin and other favorite cryptocurrency tokens are not however at the level of the major credit card companies.

The Lightning Network has emerged as a potential solution to this problem. The concept is to create a pre-blockchain on top of Bitcoin’s actual blockchain, which will facilitate much faster transactions. This means that purchases made through the Lightning Network are not registered on Bitcoin’s blockchain until the channel has been closed.

So what is a channel? To make a payment through the Lightning Network, two people can use a common Bitcoin address to make unlimited transactions between each other. This address is referred to as a channel and can be used to make small regular payments to each other. When no more trades are needed, the channel can be closed, and the transactions will be recorded on Bitcoin’s blockchain.

Bitcoin could see more mainstream use with CoinGate

The project has received backing from Jack Dorset, the founder of Twitter and Square. It has also received support from a payment processing company called CoinGate, which will now help facilitate Lightning Network transactions. This means users will have the option to pay with Bitcoin when using sites like, Bitlaunch, Livejasmin, and Manyvids.

A Spanish hardware hacker by the name of Ricardo Reis has also demonstrated how the Lightning Network can enable vending machines to accept Bitcoin payments. In a video released by Reis, he shows how he purchases a bottle of Coke from a modified vending machine.

This is great news for Bitcoin. The more everyday uses there are for Bitcoin, the more it will increase in popularity. It’s difficult to see how Bitcoin will lose its value as long as these developments are happening all around us.

I’m a freelance writer and full-time curious person. My main interests are philosophy, politics, art, culture, science, and how they’re all interlinked. When I’m not writing, I’m fronting a band, producing records, and making videos. I’m also currently working on launching a YouTube channel that will focus on culture and politics. I think blockchain technology is fascinating because of the huge potential it has to revolutionise not only the financial sector, but society as a whole.