At the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, the Bitcoin Lightning Network seems to be getting closer to mass adoption as large companies start to partner with Strike. The digital payments platform built on the BTC network announced that it will integrate with Shopify and partner with payment firm Blackhawk and NCR, the world’s largest point-of-sale (POS) supplier.
“We’re proud to partner with Shopify to provide merchants with a cheaper and faster way to accept U.S. dollars using Bitcoin technology,” said the founder and CEO of Strike, Jack Mallers, and added, “The Lightning Network is a global payments network that lowers costs, enhances speed, drives innovation, improves financial inclusion, and brings the power of choice to consumers and merchants.”
Creating an alternative to the traditional payment system, this integration translates into a quick and cheap service that brings many benefits to the consumer chain. It will be available worldwide for anyone with a Lightning Network wallet.
Shopify already supported crypto payments and had added merchant support for NFTs. Coinbase Commerce, BitPay, and CoinPayments.net allow Shopify merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies on their stores. Integrating the Bitcoin Lightning Network, however, opens many new doors.
On the other hand, NCR offers a large list of payment solutions, which means that consumers could use the lighting network to pay for groceries, restaurants, retail, and more.
Strike has officially partnered with Shopify, Blackhawk, and NCR to deliver Lightning powered payments to online and storefront vendors everywhere.
Folks will be able to pay for groceries or retail shopping with immediate settlement over Lightning.
— TXMC (@TXMCtrades) April 7, 2022
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What This Means For Bitcoin And Consumers
“With Bitcoin as the monetary network, the financial system will be cheaper, faster, more innovative, and more inclusive,” Mallers had said before.
Large integrations and partnerships like these make the BTC payments network more accessible. The Strike app has greatly benefited El Salvador’s bitcoin initiative, and bitcoin has also felt the positive consequences of being adopted as a legal tender by a country. However, the world of commerce is, of course, much larger than El Salvador, and implies greater levels of adoption.
“Launching an integration on the Shopify platform is part of Strike’s plans for wider expansion of bitcoin acceptance for commerce both online and in-store.”
Similarly, a couple of tweets by Mallers started a rumor about Apple Pay possibly integrating the Lightning network as well. Although this has not been confirmed, it would be a major addition to the big news because. iPhone users could turn into a huge push toward the Bitcoin revolution.
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Moreover, both consumers and merchants will soon start to see the great benefits of integrating the network and why it is the transformative future of the whole payments system.
Although in the U.S. every BTC transaction is taxed, there’s something to keep in mind: using the BTC network does not imply the purchase needs to be done in BTC, which means that the consumer can pay in USD using Strike, and this would make it a non-taxable event.
This way, USD gets transformed to BTC then back to USD, with no holding time (meaning no gain/loss tax), same low fees, and fast transaction.
But why will consumers want to start using the network and lose credit card points? It might turn into a cycle of events. Merchants can lose around 20% of revenue with chargebacks, which goes to 0% using the BTC network, besides eliminating transaction fees.
Eliminating the chargeback headache is an extremely convenient opportunity for merchants, so many will probably start offering incentives to consumers. This could be greater than credit card points and still mean larger revenue for venues and sellers.
Beyond easing the pains of fiat-to-fiat payments, the meaning of holding BTC is heading toward a plurality of use cases. Being able to use the digital coin as form of payment for so many services all around the world means that the asset could not only be owned as a safe haven to protect savings from inflation and so forth, but it also makes it an useful tool for daily needs.
Lyn Alden explained that this integration “increases the network’s practical permissionless payment capability,” adding that “the more places that accepted BTC at point of sale (on-chain or Lightning or otherwise), the more permissionless the whole network is.”
“This is because, if all you can do with BTC is convert it back into fiat on a major exchange, then it’s easy to isolate it, effectively blacklist addresses, etc. But if you can directly spend it on goods and services across companies and jurisdictions, it’s harder to isolate.”
Bitcoinist @ Bitcoin 2022 Miami
Bitcoinist will be at Bitcoin 2022 Miami in Miami Beach, FL from April 6th through 10th reporting live from the show floor and related events. Check out exclusive coverage from the world’s largest BTC conference here.