The Lightning Network has struck again. In a small but significant development for Bitcoin (BTC), a new type of BTC address has been introduced: the “Lightning address”. These unique IDs are specifically designed for use on the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 payment protocol that runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
A user-friendly addition to the means by which Bitcoin users can send, receive and even collect funds, Lightning addresses can be custodians or users can connect to their own nodes. Crowdfunding is one of the most popular real-world uses of Lightning addresses.
Cointelegraph spoke with Geyser Fund Chief Technology Officer MetaMick to better understand how to use lighting addresses and why crowdfunding is a low-hanging fruit for this technology. Geyser Fund is a crowdfunding platform similar to GoFundme but using Bitcoin and Lightning.
Lightning addresses are “email-like identifiers that allow users to send value to each other through Lightning. They’re easy to remember and reusable (unlike bolt11 lightning addresses),” explained MetaMick, the director of Geyser Fund technology Cointelegraph tried the service and managed to raise funds in no time:
Creators can now receive their project contributions in their flash addresses. ⚡️
Launching a crowdfunding project has never been easier!
— Geyser (@geyserfund) December 16, 2022
These wallet addresses can be created on custody solutions such as Wallet of Satoshi, CoinCorner or BitRefill, and quickly synchronized with Geyser Fund:
“Just link your wallet to Geyser, and all donations go straight to your wallet.”
Crowdfunding has long been an area of focus for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Thanks to Bitcoin’s censorship-resistant and self-sovereign properties, it’s one of the most efficient ways to send money online.
The first widespread use case of using Bitcoin to raise funds was the 2011 Wikileaks campaign, where Julian Assange collected thousands of Bitcoin when access to banking services was cut off. More recently, protests by Canadian truckers used Bitcoin when the Canadian government shut down USD-based crowdfunding solutions; it was a similar story with protesters in Nigeria.
However, Lightning Addresses advances funding in terms of speed and usage view. Transactions on the Lightning Network can be completed almost instantly, compared to the 10 minute average for regular Bitcoin transactions. Lightning is ideal for frequent small payments, such as those made in physical stores, or for sending small donations to creators around the world.
And thanks to Lightning addresses, Bitcoin users can now fundraise even faster and with a simple user experience. Additionally, Geyser avoids acting as a custodian as all funds are transferred directly to creators’ Lightning addresses through “hodl bills”. The result is a trustless and noncustodial process, a key tenet of the Bitcoin philosophy.
Related: Not medical advice: Bitcoiner implants Lightning chip to make BTC payments by hand
Ultimately, while there are still hurdles to overcome with the Lightning Network, such as the need for more user-friendly wallets and better integration with existing payment systems, it’s clear that the Lightning Network has the potential to revolutionize the way payments are made. , and the money is collected online.
As more users adopt the Lightning Network and reap the benefits of these new addresses, we may see a significant shift towards more efficient, cost-effective, and censorship-resistant online payments.