The Lightning network provides a convenient payment method for people who do not want to contend with Bitcoin’s fluctuating transaction fees or slow block verification. Some companies might find it difficult to implement, though, as there’s no real standardized process for it.
Strike has been the answer to this problem. It offers an API and a dashboard that allows merchants to quickly and easily accept Lightning network payments for Bitcoin. The Bitcoin mainnet platform went live on Thursday, according to the developers.
“We are proud members of the Lightning development community, and we have released and are maintaining all the open source tools that you need to run a Lightning node and ‘be your own payment processor.’ But we believe that some businesses may be interested in a tradeoff where they get most of the benefits of Lightning, while keeping their integration costs as low as possible. This is what Strike is about,” the team wrote in its blog.
The system works by taking Lightning transactions on a merchant’s behalf and then sending the resulting Bitcoin to its wallet when a minimum threshold of at least 0.1 BTC is accumulated.
Although it sounds like a trusted third party ordeal, it doesn’t require any trust beyond the threshold established by the user of the platform.
Using the platform is free, outside of a one-percent transaction fee for each payment processed and the 0.0005 BTC charge for any manual withdrawals.
The future of the Lightning network itself is not all rose-tinted, though. We’re seeing the network become more centralized as it matures, with certain nodes gaining more popularity because of their size and some even monopolizing parts of the ecosystem that run on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
As much as LN improves upon Bitcoin’s payment system, as long as this kind of centralizing effect continues to exist, the more privacy-minded may want to pass up the opportunity to participate, and choose instead to invest in altcoins.