Jack Dorsey’s Cash App Integrates Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

  • Cash App has integrated the Lightning Network.
  • All users can now instantly send bitcoin across the world.
  • Spiral’s Lightning Development Kit is empowering Cash App’s integration.

Users of Block’s mobile payments platform Cash App can now make instant and free bitcoin payments through the Lightning Network, the company tweeted on Monday.

The integration of Bitcoin’s second-layer protocol for faster and cheaper transactions was made possible by the Lightning Development Kit, an open-source project developed by another company owned by Block, Spiral.

Spiral operates completely independently of its parent company and Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Block and ex-CEO of Twitter, also has little direct control over it. Instead, the self-directed group of developers, designers, and project managers work together to advance the adoption of bitcoin.

The Lightning Development Kit (LDK) is a flexible Lightning implementation geared towards developers who want to integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network into their applications frictionlessly. It abstracts away complexities of Lightning, enabling developers to integrate the network easier and faster into their apps.

Jack Dorsey said in a fireside chat last week with Michael Saylor, the CEO of software intelligence company MicroStrategy, that having Cash App integrate Lightning through the Spiral’s work was one of the proudest moments of his career.

Lightning adoption has skyrocketed since El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender in September, prompting users to use the faster payment rails to buy their daily breakfast on McDonald’s or their morning coffee on Starbucks. Despite critics saying that Bitcoin cannot be used as a means of exchange due to its base layer’s slow settlements, Lightning empowers Bitcoin to handle the smallest of payments for little to no cost.

Now, all Cash App users can also leverage Lightning to send small payments instantly and for free. However, it seems that Cash App cannot yet receive Lightning transactions itself — only send them.

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