What is Lightning?
You can pay for blog posts with Bitcoin and Lightning. You may have heard of Bitcoin, but what is Lightning?
When paying with Bitcoin, this transaction is processed via the blockchain. This is also called an on-chain transaction.
A Lightning transaction is when a Bitcoin transaction is processed over the Lightning network.
The Lightning transaction is not processed via the blockchain, but on another technical layer (second layer) and therefore this is also called an off-chain transaction.
So Lightning is not a new cryptocurrency, but Bitcoin in a different form. Just as there are bills and coins for euros and dollars, these currencies exist in digital form in your bank account.
It is the same with Bitcoin and with Lightning. Lightning is Bitcoin, just in a different form.
You convert your digital euros or dollars in your bank account into banknotes by withdrawing cash from your account at an ATM.
You do the same when you convert Bitcoin to Lightning.
If you already own Bitcoin, send a few Satoshi (smallest Bitcoin unit) from your Bitcoin wallet to a Lightning wallet and you can pay with Lightning everywhere.
Lightning is digital cash
Lightning is more or less digital cash. It is particularly suitable for the payment of a few cents or satoshi (sats).
A Lightning payment is executed immediately and is transferred from the payer to the payee after a few milliseconds. A Lightning transaction is not recorded on the blockchain and thus there is no need to wait for several blocks to ensure a secure payment.
The cost of a Lightning transaction is in the millicent range, making it cheaper than any other cryptocurrency and therefore cheaper than any PayPal or credit card payment.
A Lightning payment is:
- Fast – from the payer to the payee in just a few milliseconds.
- Cheap – only a few Satoshi and thus cheaper than any other cryptocurrency or PayPal or credit card payment
- Secure – A Lightning payment is securely routed and posted through the decentralized, global Lightning network.
- Anonymous – A payer can make a payment anonymously without having to sign up or register with a service.
- Final – An executed Lightning payment is finally credited to the payee and cannot be reversed.
All these features make Lightning a perfect payment method for small amounts.
Lightning is especially predestined for Internet payments for digital content with an equivalent value of a few cents.