Bitrefill, the online retailer that sells gift cards, prepaid talktime and other digital services for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is experiencing a unique phenomenon. The majority of its payments are coming in form of Bitcoin through Lightning Network instead of altcoins.
Bitcoin may be the first and the largest cryptocurrency to exist, but its speed of processing transactions has always been something about which people have complained. And why not – after all, 7 transactions per second is not something that’s going to make it a mainstream payments mechanism. So a large number of altcoins have emerged to solve this problem of Bitcoin. But does it mean that Bitcoin developers are sitting quietly to watch the show? Nope. They too have developed a number of solution to make Bitcoin network more faster, and one of those solutions is Lightning. You might also have heard about it already, and if you want to know about it in detail you can check this page.
Now, the good news is that Lightning Network also seems to be working for Bitcoin in some places at least. We’re getting to know about first such place now, and that place is Bitrefill. The company allows its users to acquire gift cards, prepaid phone talktime, and other digital stuff with a number of cryptocurrencies. And according to its CEO John Carvalho the payments with Lightning Network are continuously growing it at it. In fact, they’ve grown to a point where they’re twice as more as the payments done with any other cryptocurrency.
This interesting bit of information was revealed by John during an interview to The Bitcoin News Show. He said that Lightning Network is now much bigger of a payment mechanism for them than any of the altcoins they accept because now it accounts for as much as 4% of company’s daily sales. It’s also worth noting that Bitrefill is one of those few online retailers who accept Bitcoin payments through the Lightning route. This may be yet another reason behind the high number of Lightning-based transactions for them. Had Lightning Network been more ubiquitous among global retailers, perhaps things would’ve been a bit different.
Knowing the importance of Lightning Network for its business now Bitrefill has also started improving the experience of Lightning users on its platform. Not only it’s building new tools for them but also it’s contributing directly to the development of Lightning Network. For instance, Bitrefill had recently launched Thor, which is a tool that opens a Lightning channel with Bitrefill’s well-connected node for small payments. The tool can be used by anyone to send or receive small amounts of Lightning-based Bitcoin payments via Bitrefill. The company is also working on a number of other Lightning-based tools and services.
It will be interesting to see how company takes advantage of this leadership in Lightning Network based payments. Let’s see which other tools are launched next by them, and how other online retailers react to this news.