Bitnob has revealed plans to provide Africans with a free 10-second remittance transfer service using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
Bitnob is a Nigerian startup that lets users buy, save, and invest in bitcoin, and in line with its ambition to promote financial inclusion through blockchain technology, it has integrated the lightning network to facilitate faster and cheaper transactions on its app. “With Bitnob’s Lightning Network integration, we now have free, instant, non-reversible remittances of any size to and from the United States, Nigeria, and Ghana,” Bitnob said.
Recently, Jack Mallers, the founder and CEO of Zap Solutions and Strike, a bitcoin payments company, posted a video which illustrated how Bitnob’s lightning service works; the video showed a free and super-fast transfer (happening with 10 seconds) of $10 from his U.S. bank account to the Bitnob account of Bernard Parah, the CEO of Bitnob.
Established in 2015, the lightning network is a layer-2 protocol that operates on top of the Bitcoin network to facilitate faster transactions at cheaper network fees. By integrating the Lightning Network, Bitnob becomes a node within the network, connecting to other lightning nodes for processing transactions. This means that Bitnob users can easily send bitcoin to other platforms and bitcoin wallets that have the lightning network integrated.
Prior to this Bitnob’s landmark achievement, it was being praised for being one of the bitcoin-transacting platforms in Africa that charged the lowest fees. With this new integration, users of Bitcoin have the opportunity to save costs even more. And unlike on-chain transactions where users have to wait for several minutes, Bitcoin users, when processing their transactions with the lightning network, get to confirm transactions within seconds.
Additionally, the lightning network also allows users to send smaller amounts of money that would not have been possible with the on-chain network due to high fees. Transactions however come with limits; while users can receive less than a dollar, the limit of sending varies based on the availability of liquidity and KYC standards. Bitnob users are also presented with other services which include paying for utilities, buying data, and performing mobile airtime top-ups.
Bitnob has grown to now have 11,500 users. The company’s plans to provide Africans with a free, 10-second remittance transfer service via Bitcoin Lightning Network show its strong commitment to being at the forefront of cutting-edge financial technology. The service is, however, still in beta testing.