Shop in Amazon using Lightning!

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It is now available to spend your Bitcoin on Amazon using the Lightning Network. A crypto payments processor Moon, recently announced that their browser extension now accepts any kind of lightning-enabled wallets. 

Pay using your favorite wallet service

Moon has developed a browser extension which allows users to spend their crypto. Now they have implemented lightning network.

“[The Moon extension] will pop up a QR code and it will have the lightning invoice, which you could also copy and paste if you can’t use the QR code for some reason, and you’ll be able to pay with your favorite lightning wallet,”

says the company’s CEO Ken Kruger.

However, before they launched lightning payments, they had about 250 users who has already used Moon to purchase items on e-commerce websites. They just need to connect the extension to exchange accounts, like Coinbase.

Amazon doesn’t receive Bitcoin

Moreover, Amazon never gets paid in Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency gets converted to fiat with the help of a unspecified financial institution, which Ken Kruger declined to reveal. Also, he added that he thinks that almost all e-commerce sites will accept Bitcoin by 2020. And that it shouldn’t matter whether the platform accepts Bitcoin or fiat.

The browser extension is available on Chrome, Brave, and Opera browsers. A Safari extension is coming soon, says on their website. Additionally, Moon allows payments made with multiple cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash. Also, Amazon will not be the only e-commerce site which will eventually accept crypto payments. Moon explains that soon customers will be able to use Moon when shopping on AliExpress, Target, or even eBay.

Considering all this, the company’s CEO told that they will be seeking for a Series A funding in 2019 while continuing learning from the user behavior:

“There’s a lot of opportunities to help solve some of those usability problems and getting people onto the lightning network, increasing adoption in that way. We’re going to engage with other folks in the lightning community to see what people are doing, what they’re working on and if there are any significant gaps. We’d love to step in and help whenever possible.”

Source:

https://www.coindesk.com/you-can-now-shop-with-bitcoin-on-amazon-using-lightning?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=coindesk&utm_term&utm_content&utm_campaign=Organic%20&amp&__twitter_impression=true
https://paywithmoon.com

Image source: paywithmoon.com

A new Lightning App developed an easy way how to receive Bitcoin!

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Yesterday, Pierre Rochard presented his new Lightning app. He developed an easier way for Lightning Network users to get inbound capacity in order to receive Bitcoin. The app will join other services which seek the same mission. Two of them are Bitrefill’s “Thor” and “Lightning Loop” from Lightning Labs. 

The problem

Nowadays the most common problem for LN transactions is that the receiver has to have sufficient funds in his LN channel in order to receive a payment. This makes it particularly difficult for new users to start receiving Bitcoin. Now with the new Lighting Power Users app, it will become easier for users to set up a short-lived channel. This is for users who want to accept a payment imminently for a smaller fee.

How to use it?

https://lightningpowerusers.com/home/

In his medium blog, Rochard elaborates on the few steps that a user has to go through in order to make his payment with the Lightning App. You have to go to the Lightning power users website and install Joule. Next, you need to enter your pubkey, if they are already connected with LN Power Users node, but if not, then you have to enter your pubkey@host:port. Then you have to select how much inbound capacity you would like to request. Again, if you are connected with their LN node, you will be granted an inbound capacity for three days for free, however, if you’re not connected, you want additional inbound capacity or you want it to last longer than three days, then they charge a “capacity fee”. Next, you select the chain fee rate.

“When blocks are full and the mempool (tx queue for entering blocks) is backed up, you can pay less and wait longer for the channel opening transaction,” says on the website. After that, just click on Pay with Joule and Confirm.

Decentralization is Rochard’s goal

Rochard refers to earlier days when users had to submit a Google Form which he would later use to manually set up a channel. Now with this new service, this automates the process.

“I think what I want to see is a large variety of ways to do this. If we rely on just LNBIG or other services, then bitcoin’s not as decentralized. So, that’s my goal. To provide a reliable service,”

says Rochard.

Additionally, Pierre thinks that in the future developers will figure out a way how to completely hide the inbound capacity step. He elaborates on one particular approach which would involve iterations on lightning’s autopilot feature, or just a newer computer science technique such as machine learning.

Source:

https://www.coindesk.com/this-new-lightning-app-aims-to-make-getting-paid-easier
https://lightningpowerusers.com/home/
https://medium.com/@pierre_rochard/how-to-request-inbound-capacity-from-lightning-power-users-605799214474

Photo by Philippe Donn from Pexels

ZebPay Launches BTC Lightning Network Payments

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ZebPay, initially an Indian-based cryptocurrency exchange which was forced to shut-down their services in India, now has come out with an announcement that they now accept Bitcoin Lightning Network payments. Zebpay customers now will be able to use their Bitcoin to make instant transactions. Primarily this is meant for all the Bitcoin enthusiasts who want to spend their Bitcoin like regular cash. 

Regulatory issues

Earlier we reported that during the September of 2018, Zebpay needed to shut down their Indian services because of regulatory issues. This was the outcome of the all-out Indian ban on cryptocurrencies by the Reserve Bank of India. But now the company has successfully found a new place to reside – Malta. Within Malta, they can continue operating with their services. However, the company took a heavy hit because of this particular issue and went from $5 million in trading volume to around $17,000 at the moment, judging by coinmarketcap.com. Additionally, they only have two active trading pairs – BTC/EUR and XRP/EUR.

Paying with Lightning Network on ZebPay

ZebPay claims that by using their services Bitcoin Lightning Network users will be able to “buy virtually anything”. 
“Just identify the store, copy or scan the invoice of the product or service you would like to avail from within your Zebpay account and hit send! Watch your Bitcoin payment shoot across the mainnet in milliseconds,” says on their website.

Also, as a very nice gesture, they are willing to show their users how exactly this works by making an actual test transaction. “..actual because you get to keep what you buy, and test because we will pay on your behalf,” says on their website.

Limits

Currently the maximum amount you can send using the Lightning Network is 0.001 BTC. However, this limit will be revised as they continue working on this.

Needless to say that by using LN on ZebPay you don’t have to pay any fees to the services associated.

Another company which had launched LN payments already some time ago is BitMEX. Earlier we reported that they not only set up their own Lightning Network node but they also published a very detailed article about LightningNetwork and LN payments in general. Have a read, it will be worth it! And start thinking about running your own Bitcoin Lightning Network node. 

We’re happy to see more and more companies accepting Bitcoin Lightning Network. The more we are, the more recognition Bitcoin will get.

Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels

Crypto markets today. The anticipation of a bull-market.

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The situation today, in the crypto markets, is showing quite bloody. While Bitcoin, Dogecoin and a few others seem to be the only gainers in the Top100, all the other coins and tokens are facing a brutal downtrend of around -10% per coin. 

The upside in this situation is that Bitcoins’ dominance is rising at remarkable speeds. Now it is hanging at around 57-58%, depending on the source. A few tweeters claim that last year, at around November, when the huge market spike started, Bitcoins’ dominance grew to 60% and that had initiated the bull-market.

Another thing is that the usage of the Lightning Network (LN) is increasing, thus meaning that in the past 30 days, the value of all LN channels had increased by ~40%, and the number of open channels had increased by almost 11%, which means that people are more actively starting to use the off-chain solution by Bitcoin.

Also this bloodiness in the market might be a sign of a massive Ethereum and Ethereum based token sell-off, where one of the most popular tokens Basic Attention Token (BAT) is falling with ~13%.

Another thing – we cannot not take this massive ETH FUD which is going around the crypto-sphere for granted, and I myself, kind of see a connection between the time when the last bull-market in November initiated. During that time also a lot of ETH FUD was going around the crypto-space, claiming that ETH might never reach $300 in price, but then – boom! It reached a stunning all-time-high (ATH) of $1380. The same refers to alt-coins in general – a massive alt-coin FUD spread around twitter and other social media sites during the time before November 2017.

After that a huge bull-market exploded and basically every cryptocurrency faced its ATH.

Is this year going to be just like the last one?

Another interesting piece of advice traveling around twitter – “turn the chart around, it shows a bull-market approaching.” And this type of advice helped me to see the previous heights of Bitcoin, reaching 17k-18k-19k, the chart itself started to look almost funny in a sense of – can it go even higher? Because the chart started to look like a nail, a wall, something so steep that in no way it could continue growing like that. Why couldn’t we take this action and use it in a bear market, referring to the chart of ETH?
Putting all these little things together, the picture might be showing a bull-market approaching, but then again – aren’t we all looking for excuses for the bull-market? Don’t we all have at least a single alt-coin which’ price has fallen to a rut, and secretly, deep inside, you wish for it to pump?

Source:

www.coinmarketcap.com

www.coingecko.com

https://goo.gl/vfBdww

Spark Lightning App – LN payments app

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Published just today, August 29, developed by an independent developer Nadav Igvi, that uses “c-lightning” as its backend, Spark is a new web-based GUI (Graphical User Interface) Electron app for Windows, Linux and macOS. Also available for Android users and soon to come on iOS as well. 

Spark is an app with which spending Bitcoins become as easy as tapping twice on the screen of your device. Basically this is what we have been waiting for – an app with a simple GUI for Bitcoin spending over the LightningNetwork. A user can now run their own fully validating Bitcoin node, their own “c-lightning” node, and their own Spark GUI to use the Lightning Network as trustlessly as possible.

With the help of “nanopos”, a Point-of-Sale Lapp (Lightning App) we can use the Spark GUI on a mobile Android device. They have provided a demo video where we can see that with the help of a tablet, which is a common way customers transact with merchants today, we can easily make payments.

Some of Spark’s features include: 

-Simple & minimalistic interface,

-Purely off-chain Lightning Network transactions using “c-lightning” as a backend, 

-Near-zero configuration, 

-Progressive Web App,

-Cordova mobile and Electron desktop builds, 

-Personalizable themes, 

-Automatic self-signed certificates, 

-LetsEncrypt integration, 

-Tor hidden service (v3) support, 

-Code-signing and reproducible builds

What is Spark?

“Spark is flexible in that it can be configured to be run in multiple ways. One way is to run Spark in order to access it remotely via a web browser. Another way is to run it locally with the Electron-based app. A third way is to run Spark as a server and connect to it with the Android app,” says in “grubles” medium blog post continuing that “the simplicity and flexibility of Spark allows it to be used on a variety of devices; from desktops to laptops, as well as mobile devices. Up until now, ”c-lightning” users had to take to a terminal emulator to use Lightning. Now, those users can spend and receive bitcoins over the Lightning Network with the tap of a finger or a click of a mouse!”

These are such great news for the crypto community, and I believe a lot of Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts have been waiting this for quite a while.

In my humble opinion I would compare this to Windows 95. It was simple, but still one of the first widely used operating systems. Now it seems like centuries ago, which is also true, but looking at what we have now in terms of user experience related to LightningNetwork, and comparing to what is more to come for the development – I believe in a year or two we will be looking at shiny, colorful, moving, well thought interactive platforms and apps with simplified user experience and Bitcoin with LightningNetwork will become widely adopted, just like Windows 10. LN needs more active nodes and more channels for better testing. So get your Spark and test it now!

For the requirements and on how to Install Spark, go to the end of the post.

Source:

https://goo.gl/GjTtjB – The original blog post by “grubles” with all the requirements and tutorials on how to install Spark.

BitMex sets up a Lightning Network (LN) node

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BitMex research team set up a LN node along with a very detailed article about Lightning Network in general. In a twitter post BitMex reveals their Public key and invites users to open a channel to their node. Explaining that: “Deposits & withdrawals are still a long way off, but at least this is a start.”

BitMEX blog about Lightning Network

Reddit Acknowledges

The article published in their blog has been evaluated with only positive responses in a reddit thread. Users write that: “Bitmex is the real deal. No KYC, dumped Bcash and credited customers with BTC for it, has an actual cold wallet, called out Ethereum and does good ass research in the space. Much props to Arthur Hayes and his crew”, says a user imbalanewoo.

I would most definitely suggest you to read the article, because it explains the core essence of LN, and the structure how is it working. Pros and Cons, use cases, tutorials how to set up your own channel and many more interesting information about LN development. You can read the article here.

What do you think? Have you opened your LN channel already?

Source:

https://goo.gl/ZnF5GD

You can now send Litecoin (LTC) via Telegram

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In a recent tweet from Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite), he introduces the Litecoin community to a new feature called Lite.im. 

Lite.im was developed by a blockchain start-up Zulu Republic. The new Litecoin feature will enable users to use Litecoin services with text queries. Lite.im will first be rolled out in the Telegram messenger app and with this feature the user will be able to send commands to check their LTC balance or send their funds to a wallet or and e-mail address.

The company’s future goal is to enable LTC transactions via text messages (SMS), so that users with poor internet connection can use the LTC blockchain.

Needless to say that with Lightning Network’s (LN) app called Zap, Jack Mallers, the developer, has already come up with a solution for sending small amounts of BTC via text messages, but the iOS app is still in production.

Source:

https://goo.gl/QfqVFz
http://zap.jackmallers.com

Zap: A Lightning Network wallet for the community

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Recent tweets from Jack Millers, who is a collage drop-out, a hard working developer with strong intuition and obsessed with bitcoin, has developed a desktop app called Zap. 

First videos on how to use this app were published on August 2017, so I assume thats around the time when the app was built. 

But today, a few hours ago, he posted on twitter several posts on Zaps’ updates. For example, now there is a new feature called “Zap Connect” which allows your desktop node to accept incoming connections from other devices, like Zap iOS. Jack has made this so easy, that your desktop node will provide a simple QR code, which you can scan with your mobile app and you will immediately will be connected to your desktop wallet.

Also another great new feature is the “Zap LN iMessage widget”. When opening iMessage, on your keyboard features you will see a Zap icon option, with which you can create a LN (Lightning Network) invoice. You can text it to a recipient of yours and he can click it and pay it within seconds.

Jack has provided videos on how he connects his mobile to the desktop node and uses the mobile app, it looks really smooth and easy to look at. Just as he says on one of his last tweets on this thread: “Can’t even tell we’re using BTC”.

Also he adds that all this will be open source and free. 

It is great to see the Lightning Network evolving into easier customer interfaces and better to understand apps and features. This is a great achievement for bitcoin and the crypto-community in general. 

Source:

Jack Millers’ thread on Zaps updates:
https://goo.gl/QfjnjT

Jack Millers’ CV website:
http://www.jackmallers.com

Demo walkthrough of Zaps’ desktop app:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhpg_8D2FPI
Website:

http://zap.jackmallers.com

Satoshi’s Place – Experience Lightning Network

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A new, interesting internet site has attracted the crypto community attention called Satoshi’s Place. It is a drawing board/online collaborative art-board game, powered by Lightning Network. A canvas with 1 million pixels, where 1 pixel represents 1 satoshi

Crypto Graffiti Wall

Judging by the tools given, it works almost like if Microsoft had an online paint software, where everybody can paint their message. It is like a digital graffiti wall, where pixels can be painted over indefinitely and people are not holding themselves back. The canvas is full of classic wall phrases like “Jonathan is a *****” and “Trump is ***” or “Jacob loves Rose” plus a few meme pictures, paintings and a whole lot of rudeness and nicknames.

Powered by Lightning Network

The purpose of this project is to let users experience the power of micro-payments, says Lightning K0ala, which is the developer of this website. Lightning K0ala is a twitter account with very little info about him, expected to be one of the Bitcoin Core developers. 

Under his thread on twitter a few people compare this site to the already known “The Million Dollar Homepage”, which was made by an English student Alex Taw on August 26th 2005. Alex just wanted to raise money for his university education. The homepage consisted of 1000×1000 pixel grid, where image-based links were sold for $1 per pixel, and the aim for this website was to raise 1 million dollars. Later on this idea inspired other websites that sell pixels. 

Similar Projects in the Past

Lightning K0ala doesn’t hide the fact that he got his inspiration from the Million Dollar Homepage and Reddit place. 

Reddit place was an April fool’s day experiment, which allowed users to create a massive art project overt the time frame of 72 hours. Each user could change the color of one pixel every five minutes, anywhere they wanted and as many times they wanted. All this has been summarized into a single 4 minute video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnRCZK3KjUY). 

Overall this interactive Lightning Network interpretation has gained a lot of support in the community and people are excited to try out the Lightning Network platform to perform micro-payments. A great way how to introduce the possibilities of Lightning Network. 

Source:

https://goo.gl/AJJnLr
https://satoshis.place
https://goo.gl/seMZxL
https://goo.gl/cbDdsd

Photo by satoshis.place