CoinGate has announced a new pilot program, allowing 100 merchants to test a Lightning Network-enabled version of their service, making Bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper.
Since the Lightning Network is only now becoming a reality and is still very untested, CoinGate will cover any funds that are lost due to glitches or bugs in the software that may occur.
Other caveats apply too, such as the BTC 0.042 per transaction limit (around USD 270 at time of writing). Transactions larger than this limit will have to be made on the original layer, but USD 270 still covers the majority of everyday transactions.
Coffee, groceries, gas, and even small electronic purchases could all be done on the blockchain. With transaction fees becoming more expensive than a Western Union transfer during times of traffic congestion, the Lightning Network will greatly alleviate the number of transactions the blockchain has to handle.
Despite the unfinished nature of the network, CoinGate still believes there is much benefit in testing out its capabilities anyways, as it will provide valuable feedback for not only CoinGate but those working on the Lightning Network.
CoinGate’s CTO, Rytis Bielauskas, told CoinDesk:
“It’s a very new technology. Inevitably there will be some bugs, either in our implementation or in the Lightning Network. It will help, not just us, but the whole community because the bugs we find might help the whole protocol.”
Coingate is a payment processor that already accepts over 50 different cryptocurrencies and is partnered with companies like ShapeShift, Simplex, and PrestaShop.
With more purchases being made online, and a growing percentage of those online transactions being made with cryptocurrency, long-term scaling solutions like the Lightning Network are a necessary step in order to remain a viable payment method against credit and debit cards.
Lightning also opens up a new set of possibilities, such as micropayments or in situations where transactions are made repeatedly to the same recipient.
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