Bitcoin’s Use Case for Payments Strengthens with Lightning-Powered App
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell believes that bitcoin’s primary use case is as a store of value, not payments. He said yesterday, “almost no one uses bitcoin for payments.” That could be about to change.
The Chairman of United States central bank when asked about Bitcoin:
“They use it as a store of value…like Gold….that’s not to say we won’t see it & if we do see it yes you could see a return to an era in the US when we had many different currencies…”
— Luke Martin (@VentureCoinist) July 11, 2019
Doubt as they may, the old guard cannot stop the spread of crypto mass adoption. While companies such as Facebook steal headlines with its controversial new digital currency, smaller companies continue to make inroads to crypto mass adoption.
Take Fold, for example. The payment company announced that it has integrated the Lightning Network into its platform. The integration will allow users to spend bitcoin at retail giants such as Amazon, Whole Foods, Southwest Airlines, and Uber.
We’re thrilled to announce Lightning payments within Fold. Shop instantly, cheaply and privately at Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, REI and more. Check it out at https://t.co/R44yPB5Fa6 #reckless pic.twitter.com/m2SSQK0wlH
— Fold (@fold_app) July 10, 2019
Although they have not directly partnered with these companies, the app converts bitcoin into accessible forms of payment for merchants. Fold CEO Will Reeves says the app communicates with the companies’ pre-existing POS systems to function like “prepaid access programs like gift cards, store credit, rails or other options merchants are used to accepting.”
Is Mainstream Adoption Worth Sacrificing Integrity?
Fold’s announcement comes on the heels of the release of Spedn, an app that allows crypto purchases at stores like Nordstrom, Lowes, and Whole Foods. Backed by Gemini, the coin exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins, the platform has received some blowback from crypto diehards. OpenBazaar’s Sam Patterson claims the platform strays from bitcoin’s decentralized philosophies.
“Coup” might be all too fitting a term.
It’s a company running a custodial wallet that sends fiat payments to merchants, and abides by New York state financial regs.
If this is what “crypto adoption” looks like then what exactly is the point? https://t.co/2NuQB6SFfM
— SamPatt (@SamuelPatt) May 13, 2019
Reeves says his company is different.
“We believe that Bitcoin provides a fundamentally better way to pay, one that preserves privacy, resists censorship and is natively global. To this end, we build products that make spending bitcoin a no-brainer, making it as easy to use, rewarding and widely accepted as a credit card.”
Major Companies Will Drive Mass Adoption
He’s not the only one who believes in the adoption potential of digital currency. Jack Dorsey’s latest venture, Square Crypto, stated in May that crypto mass adoption is “inevitable.” Square Crypto is working to integrate the Lightning Network into Square, its $32 billion parent company.
We are close to making our first hire. So let’s set some expectations. True to @jack’s founding tweets, we are building open source projects that will make mass adoption not just possible but inevitable.
Our goal isn’t to make money, but to improve it.
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) May 21, 2019
Other major economic players continue to hop on the blockchain train. JPMorgan, the world’s sixth-largest bank, is gearing up to release its own blockchain token, JPM Coin. Binance Research has dubbed the coin a “stepping stone” toward mass adoption.
And although the development of Facebook’s Libra has been delayed by regulators and criticized by crypto-lovers, it shows that cryptocurrency has caught the attention of the world’s largest companies. Mass adoption is not far behind.