Having recently crossed the 2,000 mark of active nodes with 5,801 open channels on the main network, the Lightning network is gaining maturity faster than anticipated. The network essentially adds a second layer on top of the bitcoin blockchain which in turn enables super fast and low-cost bitcoin transactions.
As it stands the payment protocol that operates on bitcoin has had its total network capacity roll over to $150,000 – this is a huge milestone for the payment protocol especially considering its age. Still, there is more in store for the technology.
BitMari, Zimbabwean pan-African blockchain-based remittance service startup recently made history by successfully performing the first ever bitcoin transaction using the Lightning Network. The game-changing Lightning Network test transaction was completed with a Nigerian bitcoin trading platform known as Tanjalo. This particular achievement is proof of greater things ahead not just for payments services in Africa but also for the entire bitcoin community since users of the network will be able to make lightning-fast bitcoin transactions at close to zero costs.
Zimbabwe has been struggling with extremely high inflation rates which makes sending money to other countries extremely difficult. This applies across the board to several other African countries where the citizens only have a few money- transfer options thus forcing them to put with the extremely high transaction fees they pay to institutional bankers.
BitMari was founded with the idea of tackling the problems that the continent’s residents face when it comes to sending money across the borders by using the resources of the blockchain technology. With the entry of the Lightning Network, this rapid advancement in cross-border payment will be easier and also happen sooner.
“International average cost of remittance is approximately 7% yet, the cost of sending money to and from Africa can be as high as 20%. 20% is $2 out of every $10. These $2 may mean very little to you and I but in some areas of Africa, it could be the cost of a daily grocery trip,” reads a message on the platform’s website.
In less than five months, the Lightning Network has grown rapidly enough to topple the dominance of the much-touted Bitcoin Cash network. Therefore, its potential as universal payment service provider offers a lot of opportunities in all parts of the globe. All that is needed is a bit of exploration.