Late last year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigned to focus his full attention on his other company, Square (now called Block), which had become increasingly invested in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, just like Dorsey himself. We are now starting to see the results of Block’s crypto adoption, as Cash App announced this morning that it is integrated with the Lightning Network, allowing its US users to send bitcoin for free to anyone in the world.
The feature had been slowly rolling out to Cash App customers before today, but Cash App had yet to make an official announcement. The company says the rollout is expected to complete over the “coming weeks,” reaching all US Cash App customers.
Once online, Cash App users will be able to send bitcoins internationally to any compatible external wallet, including those of family or friends or a self-managed wallet, such as Chivo Wallet, blue wallet Where Muun Wallet, for example. Users will also be able to send bitcoin to any merchant that accepts Lightning Network payments, free of charge. Although not mainstream yet, a few merchants have started accepting Lightning payments, allowing customers to do things like order a pizza on the lightning network Where buy gift cards.
Integrating the Lightning Network into the Cash App could also help bolster the growing creator economy, as fans could send bitcoins to show their support for an individual creator or if they accepted Lightning payments.
Cash App explains the benefits of this system, noting that typical Bitcoin network transactions can take a while to process and see higher fees, compared to Lightning Network – whose name is supposed to convey its faster capabilities. Its transactions also take place independently of the blockchain (off-chain), who helps to reduce the costs, time and energy consumption that would otherwise be involved. But the Lightning Network will still benefit from blockchain technology and decentralization, as transactions that take place on the network are then consolidated and recorded in Bitcoin’s main blockchain.
Dorsey himself had shown interest in the Lightning Network, Tweeter in 2019 that this was a “cool example” of ongoing experimentation among #BitcoinTwitter users. More recently, Block’s bitcoin-focused company, Spiral, present its Lightning Development Kit (LDK), which offers a way to easily integrate bitcoin payments into any app. The new Cash App Lightning integration is also powered by Spiral’s LDK – and Cash App is also the first and largest payment app to integrate with LDK today, the company notes.
The LDK deployment is also an example of Block’s strategic vision in action, where one arm can build the tools that are adopted by other Block-owned businesses.