Crypto payment service provider Bitpay has added support for the Lightning Network, a layer two protocol on the Bitcoin blockchain.
BitPay, which bills itself the world’s largest provider of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment services, says Lightning nodes offer zero risk and secure crypto payment processing. Additionally, BitPay’s merchants and their customers now have access to cheaper and more scalable Bitcoin payments.
“BitPay’s integration with the Lightning Network offers customers more choice and merchants more ways to be paid leveraging blockchain technology,” said Tony Gallippi, BitPay’s Co-founder.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that BitPay’s wallet app itself has not yet enabled the Lightning network. Instead, merchants can receive payments from Lightning-enabled wallets like CashApp and Strike, in addition to over one hundred of other crypto wallets, specifically those using an off-chain payment channel.
As the most popular layer 2 scaling solution for Bitcoin, the Lightning Network solves several challenges that prevent the original protocol from being used for micropayments and other transaction types. It also enables payments to be processed faster and more privately than they would natively on the primary coin’s blockchain.
The feature had been swiftly rolling out
Lightning Network was introduced in 2018 and has seen increased usage among bitcoin holders in recent years. That trend has risen at a faster pace over the last year as the number of nodes on the network grew by two thirds in 2021.
“Fees on the Lightning Network are much lower, typically costing a fraction of a cent. For merchants, this means customers pay less when using crypto and they have access to a new fast growing base of customers who prefer to pay using the Lightning Network. For customers, paying with crypto is as efficient as any other payment method. Payments become more economical with the Lightning Network,” BitPay said.
BitPay facilitates the acceptance of cryptocurrencies by monitoring, validating, and confirming client transactions on each blockchain. On the merchant side, Bitpay allows clients to settle in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, and has recently added options to settle in multiple stablecoins.
BitPay allows users to purchase cryptocurrency directly in the App with bank cards thanks to a partnership with payment provider Simplex. In total, it currently supports 12 cryptocurrencies including BTC, BCH, DOGE, ETH, LTC, WBTC, XRP and stablecoins BUSD, DAI, GUSD, PAX and USDC.