It’s been long awaited, but e-commerce stores now have a new way to accept Bitcoin payments via the Lightning Network. The Strike API is simple to install and can give store owners a fully operational Lightning Network payment gateway in mere minutes. It shares similarities with Stripe – a popular payment gateway – in terms of implementation for ease of use. This nifty API even comes with a plugin for WooCommerce to reduce the amount of coding required to get it up and running.
The Name Behind the Plugin
ACINQ has been developing services designed to help with Bitcoin’s scalability issues since 2014 – making its first successful test payment on the Lightning Network in 2016. Since then, it has gone on to work closely with the Lightning Network community and has been instrumental in refining the Lightning Network specifications.
Making Things User-Friendly
When it comes to a sleek and simple user interface, Strike is miles ahead of its competitors. Traditionally, Bitcoin payment gateway plugins for WooCommerce have been confusing, clunky and, not clear at all – it is a breath of fresh air to see such a clean plugin. While it’s currently only available for WooCommerce, ACINQ is hard at work creating a version for Prestashop and Shopify.
Facing Tough Competition
Strike faces tough competition in the Lighting Network payment gateway sector. Last week BTCPay launched their first fully integrated Lightning Network payment gateway. While its gateway is mainly designed to go in traditional bricks-and-mortar shops, there is an API that can be implemented on e-commerce sites. With more companies releasing Lighting Network payment gateways, in order to cope with demand, the network needs to acquire new nodes.
Late last week the Lightning Network’s largest node got even bigger, with this node still growing in size. At time of writing, it has reached 50% of total network capacity and is showing no signs of slowing down. Rather than singular large nodes, the Lightning Network is designed to have millions of smaller nodes to facilitate off-chain payments.
Keeping up the Pace
The Lightning Network enables payments to be taken off-chain, which speeds up the transaction process. By using a Lightning Network payment gateway on an e-commerce website, users’ transactions can be confirmed in seconds as opposed to waiting up to an hour during peak times. This increase in transaction speed is supposed to cure scalability issues and will breathe a new lease of life into Bitcoin, as well as increase calls for it to become a globally recognized currency.
Slowly we are starting to see more companies adopting Bitcoin as a payment method and this ever-growing list of brands needs faster technology to process these transactions. The Lightning Network is being put through its paces and is proving itself to be the cure for Bitcoin’s scalability problems.