Since the soft fork of the Bitcoin Blockchain on August 24, 2017 known as Segregated Witness, second layer solutions for bitcoin scaling, such as the Lightning Network, were now able to be implemented.
According to CoinDesk, the participating merchants will “trial a Lightning-enabled version of its service, one which taps into the open-source tech meant to make bitcoin transactions fast and cheap.”
CoinGate CTO Rytis Bieliauskas notes the Lightning Network is still in its infancy and for this reason any funds lost in the pilot will be reimbursed.
“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.”
While the front end is still complicated for the average user, these trials are crucial for developing user-merchant friendly cryptocurrency payment solutions for instant transactions with nominal fees that are compatible for the mainstream.
The implications for global commerce, with the use of a borderless currency such as bitcoin, and the competition posed by low fee instant micropayments against traditional payment entities, such as credit card companies, can not be understated.
Some of the merchants participating in the pilot include Bitgild: a source for gold and silver bars and coins, Supynes: an electronic music festival taking place July 26-29th in Lithuania, Nuvoo: a cloud mining contracts platform, Bacloud: providers of dedicated servers, VPS and Web Hosting, and domain names, and Eichenhain: a distributor of organic foods.