Bitcoin has had scaling issues for quite some time now. Whilst SegWit solves the scalability issues for now, it’s only a matter of time before these same issues create further problems. This is where the Lightning Network steps in.
The Lightning Network enables payments to be taken off-chain, and therefore, speeds up the transaction process. For businesses, this means it’s becoming more realistic and feasible to accept Bitcoin as a payment method.
On-Chain Payments Are Much Slower
BTCPay has emerged as a direct competitor to BitPay. BitPay currently enables businesses – as well as people – to request and send Bitcoin to one another. This implementation could be used in conjunction with a regular POS system to help a business accept Bitcoin.
However, BitPay payments can often take a long time to be confirmed, which isn’t ideal for a traditional bricks and mortar store. This is due to the fact that BitPay is making transactions on-chain – BTCPay is able to solve this issue
Taking Payments Off-Chain with Lightning Network
BTCPay is one of the upcoming payment solutions for e-commerce – as well as bricks and mortar stores – that want to accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Whilst there are a variety of payment solutions that already accept Bitcoin, there are very few using the Lightning Network to facilitate these payments.
Over the weekend it was announced that BTCPay will integrate Lighting Network Daemon (LND) into its payment processing system. This bold move enables BTCPay to speed up transaction confirmation time and reduce transaction fees by using the Lightning Network.
Pushed few commits related to LND integration to @BtcpayServer repo. Basically at this point you could run BTCPayServer on top of LND – you would just need properly configured URI to LND. Follow progress on: https://t.co/EQnD9jKtIh #LightningNetwork #LightningHackday #bitcoin
— Rockstar Developer (@codeoverwhelmin) 24 June 2018
Automated Bitcoin Payment Solutions
For automated solutions, BTCPay has included an API. However, to integrate with an e-commerce website checkout it will require some developer knowledge. Alternatively, users can manually create an invoice in the intuitive backend in seconds and enable customers to make payments in minutes. Another unique feature of BTCPay is that it enables users to create multiple stores in one account. This feature makes bookkeeping simpler, especially if a store has multiple locations.
Competition on The Lightning Network
Whilst the Lightning Network is still in 0.4 Beta, BTCPay looks set to be a pioneer of off-chain Lightning Network payments. There are still some bugs to iron out within the system, and stiff competition in the form of Square. Square already has a large user base of over 2 million merchant accounts, so time-to-market is vital for BTCPay.
BTCPay has the ability to shake up the Bitcoin payments market with its advanced technology and Lightning Network integration. Whilst the Lightning Network is still in beta 0.4, a lot of developers have been testing it out and showing off what it can do. A Portuguese developer managed to build a version of Nintendo’s Pokémon on top of the Lightning Network. Representing a stunning display of just how well the network handles microtransactions at a fast speed, projects like this showcase the true flexibility of the Lightning Network