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Bitcoin contactless payment story


The Lightning Network (LN) has just gotten a little faster, as the Bolt Card, as the name suggests, now allows Bitcoin (BTC) users to pay for goods and services utilising contactless technology.

On the Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea, a data analyst from CoinCorner, the firm behind the card, put the Bolt card to the test. During his lunchtime research, “MSW” used eight different point-of-sale (PoS) devices.

MSW merely hovered the NFC-enabled Bolt Card near any PoS device that was showing a Lightning invoice. Prior to the release of the Bolt Card, MSW 20 used the LN to pay for 20 breakfasts, lunches, drinks, and snacks:

“It felt perfectly natural and operated exactly as you would anticipate!” MSW said of using the Bolt Card.

“When compared to scanning QR codes, it’s a significant leap forward in terms of user experience. Getting to know some of the local companies on the Isle of Man and seeing how they’ve embraced the Bolt Card has been a benefit for me.”

Data analyst compared the cost of paying with Satoshis (Bitcoin’s smallest value) vs sterling pounds

MSW, a data analyst at heart, compared the cost of paying for refreshments using Satoshis (Bitcoin’s smallest value) vs pounds sterling, the Isle of Man’s currency. The pound’s worth is slightly higher in light of recent bear market price activity.

MSW’s graph of his Lightning Lunches. The value of Sats spent (blue) is higher than pounds spent (yellow). Source: Twitter

The LN is a Bitcoin-based layer two technology that is perfect for rapid payments and micropayments. Prior to the Bolt Card, buyers from El Salvador to the Isle of Man would scan a QR code to pay over the LN.

Tourism in El Salvador up 30% since Bitcoin adoption

“Not as efficient and user-friendly as we need it to be for a wide audience,” according to Danny Scott, CEO of CoinCorner. QR code payment is cumbersome and inconvenient:

“Unlocking a phone, accessing an app, scanning a QR code, and then completing the transaction are all still required. In compared to what we’re used to for in-person payments now, this is a step backwards in terms of user experience.”

The Bolt Card is compatible with industry protocols such as Lightning and LNURL, in a typical Bitcoiner fashion. “We’ll investigate various thoughts around how to improve The Bolt Card, as well as the user experience for all Lightning use cases,” Scott says.

From huge payment integrations like Cash App to grassroots groups and people making micropayments, the Lightning Network continues to flourish.

“Real items for the real world,” Scott adds of the Bolt Card, another Bitcoin payment innovation. In the end, it advances the “hyperbitcoinization” process.

The advancement in payments contradicts FTX CEO Sam Bankman-recent Fried’s comments, in which he suggested that Bitcoin payments have “no future.”

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