Cryptocurrency payment service provider CoinGate has just launched a trial program that will allow 100 merchants to test transactions on their service’s variant of the Bitcoin Lightning Network. According to the July 10 blog post that announced the news, some of the merchants who will be participating in CoinGate’s trial program will include online stores with crypto-based merchandise, adult entertainment websites, and sports betting websites as well as server and hosting services. In fact, according to the post, the bitcoin Lightning Network payments service has been available since July 1.
For the 100 lucky merchants who will be enjoying all the benefits of the Lightning Network through CoinGate’s service, this is not only a chance to try out the new technology risk free but it also represents move forward in the right direction as they have one less obstacle to accepting payments in bitcoin or any other digital currencies.
What The Pilot Entails
Similar to what the company’s standard service offers, CoinGate’s Lightning Network service will handle all the finer details of the crypto-to-fiat exchange. As mentioned earlier, the initiative will be risk-free and this means that the company will be covering all the costs in case any of the merchants lose funds due to the relatively young nature of the software. Still, this is a great advancement considering the fact that many of the lightning network applications are yet to reach the beta stage.
Many experts argue that the Lightning Network has not yet reached its full potential and is therefore not ready to support significant or large-scale commercial transactions. Rytis Bieliauskas, the CoinGate CTO is of a different opinion though.
“It’s a very new technology. Inevitably there will be some bugs, either in our implementation or in the Lightning Network. It will help, not just us, but the whole community because the bugs we find might help the whole protocol,” he said in an interview with CoinDesk. “…so it will take 1-2 years for consumer applications to develop and probably more for merchants to start adopting this more actively.”
Bieliauskas believes that CoinGate is headed to a great place by being one of the first payment platforms to test the waters of payments using the Lightning Network.
Support Is Mounting
Most of the merchants who applied for the trial were businesses like collectible maker Bitgild which offers gold coins and silver engraved with QR codes for real digital currencies – they, therefore, cater to customers who are already familiar with and fascinated by the Lightning Network’s potential.
Also in the mix are a number of adult entertainment providers including the Romania-based LiveJasmin which boasts of up to 40 million daily visitors and is arguably the biggest mainstream merchant to experiment with the Lightning Network.
“Instant payments are the most important from our point of view,” Tamás Szerencse, head of payments at LiveJasmin, said about the platforms decision to join CoinGate’s trial.