Turning Bitcoin into a practical currency can really work up a thirst – so why not grab an ice-cold Coke? Now you can, if you have .00000151 BTC and a few seconds to use this vending machine.
Why is this a big deal? Because normally it takes up to an hour to process a Bitcoin purchase. Running on the Lightning Network (LN), the vending machine is able to process Bitcoin payments in seconds.
By using the Lightning Network, crypto adopters are driving potential for Bitcoin to transform from a store of value, like gold, into a usable day-to-day currency.
The Lightning Network is an off-chain scaling solution designed to dramatically improve Bitcoin’s notoriously slow and expensive transactions. Instead of needing to verify six blocks of transactions to complete a purchase, which can take up to an hour, LN works on top of the blockchain and only requires two parties to complete a transaction.
LN also allows micropayments as low .00000001 BTC, compared to the blockchain which has a minimum requirement that is hundreds of times higher than that.
In September, payment gateway CoinGate announced it would start implementing the LN, making BTC transactions through the LN available to over 4,000 merchants. These merchants include Swiss watch manufacturers Chronoswiss and Louis Chevrolet, gaming store Mmoga.com and adult websites Manyvids and Livejasmin.