The major Bitcoin payment service provider now allows payments with the Lightning network. This could be the long-awaited breakthrough for offchain payments.
It’s been a long time coming, and the bitcoin community has been waiting a long time to read a headline like this on BitPay’s blog:
“BitPay Supports Lightning Network Payments: Accept & Make Cheap, Scalable Transactions”
That’s what we read on the blog today . Finally. BitPay is excited to announce support for Lightning payments. This not only offers customers “simple, risk-free and secure crypto payments”, but also “cheap and more scalable Bitcoin payments”.
Does this mean Lightning payments aren’t “simple, risk-free, and secure”? Or is that just a slightly awkward wording?
BitPay’s co-founder Tony Gallipi announced the Lightning integration today at the launch of the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. For customers and merchants, Lightning brings Bitcoin transactions with low, even negligible, fees. Instead of the size of the transaction in bytes, the fees now depend on the transaction sum. Plus, Lightning payments are potentially much faster because they’re actually instantaneous.
Merchants don’t need to do anything to integrate Lightning. You can now find the option in the checkout with BitPay.
Lightning is not easy to find in the BitPay checkout. Because there you have to select the wallet with which you want to pay. If you don’t enter any, you can also pay like this, but only with Bitcoin and other coins, not with Lightning. So I selected “BlueWallet” and found the Lightning Invoice I was looking for. Then I sent the payment, which somehow got sent, but stayed on “Pending”. In the BitPay checkout, the time within which you should pay has expired.
At first I feared that I had lost a fifty by taking the test. However, about 30 minutes later, my wallet deleted the old transactions again.
Then I gradually scaled up the amount. $5 went right away, $10 took a moment to go through, whereas $20 and up started problems. But that can, as always, be due to my wallet or the fact that BitPay cannot keep up with creating liquidity in the channels due to the high demand.
When it works, Lightning payments are “simple, secure, cheap, and fast.” But depending on the circumstance, they can also become difficult, uncertain, expensive, and slow. And anyway: The fees for Bitcoin transactions onchain are currently less than 10 cents per transaction. Lightning isn’t always that much cheaper. Depending on which nodes the payment passes through, fees can range from under a cent to as high as 10 cents.
Nevertheless: If you keep in mind that Lightning works well, especially with smaller amounts, up to around 10 euros, you will have an increasingly solid, potentially much cheaper and, above all, extremely fast payment experience. Now also with BitPay.