The scope of application of the Lightning Network is expanding: the first Bitcoin ATM transaction made using the network was completed.
An Austria-based cryptocurrency startup Coinfinity is reported to complete the first Bitcoin ATM transaction made using the Lightning Network (LN).
Coinfinity is already known for having made a number of innovative moves like deploying the first Bitcoin ATM allowing a person to exchange bitcoins and cash as well as introducing a web-based cryptocurrency trading platform in Austria.
But the company isn’t going to stop. That’s why another landmark event became known a couple of days ago was quite an expected continuation . Coinfinity completed the first off-chain Bitcoin ATM transaction across the Lightning Network.
The Lightning Network is a decentralized network of “payment channels” that is based on the bitcoin blockchain. Users who install the Lightning software and establish connection with the network have the option of opening up payment channels with other users. Being an in-development solution to the bitcoin scalability issue the Lightning Network allows to make micropayments between two parties without a necessity to broadcast directly to the blockchain which contributes to reducing transaction fees, increasing the speed of the whole payment process as well as enhancing privacy. Though Lightning Protocol 1.0 was released in December, 2017 it has already won attention from the side of developers.
Being initially proposed with an aim just to make the Bitcoin network more useful, the unique Lightning Network is progressively developing and showing the growth of Lightning nodes. Despite the alpha-stage testing, the main Lightning Network already has 417 nodes and over 1,000 open payment channels.
In January, the first “pizza transaction” of the Lightning Network took place in the framework of which a user purchased a router from TorGuard through an LN payment. It was the first recorded case of an LN payment utilized for buying a physical item, nevertheless, the company had started to accept LN payment for its VNP earlier.
The development and implementation of the Lightning Network is gaining momentum. However, users should be aware of the fact that the software before a production release may have some bugs and errors that could potentially result in LN funds losses.
Let us also recall that in January the San Francisco-based tech company Blockstream announced the launch of the micropayment processing system called “Lightning Charge” with a view to provide developers with an easier way to build payment apps on top of the Lightning Network.