Bitrefill is a cryptocurrency cellphone top-up company and one of the first companies to embrace the bleeding edge technology to integrate near-zero fee Lightning Network payments for its mobile phone top-up service. Their aim is to open Bitcoin Lightning Network payments for many products and have started off by selling gift vouchers to Amazon and other brands.
Sergej was asked about the reason for his decision to implement Lightning Payments as Bitrefill was one of the first businesses to integrate such payments. He stated that they have been monitoring the technology and scaling Bitcoin to the masses can be possible only through payment channels.
There were discussions about how Lightning Network was not the only project implemented to improve payment experience, Some of their other contributions include optimizing bitcoin payments and wallet management, integration of different altcoins, off-chain integrations. Lightning Network has been growing rapidly with over 3000 nodes. Sergej was asked about the availability of the technology in the market, he said:
“It’s definitely ready enough for early adopters already, the experience with the Android wallets available is already quite good, despite being beta. The main things missing are good wallets for desktop and/or iOS, that doesn’t require running a full node.”
He also stated that transfers between different exchanges were already ready and they are waiting for it to start happening soon. Sergej also spoke about the important metrics used for measuring Lightning Network development. He stated:
“Most metrics can be gamed, see Goodhart’s law, but we look at all of them and keep a close eye. For us, we have the privilege to be able to track our own metrics which we know are real – real payments happening to us, and real channel capacity opened to us.”
Lightning Network is technologically advanced and it enables a whole range of new possibilities like cross atomic chain swaps and submarine swaps but Sergej was inclined towards the simple payments, developing a good user experience for Bitcoin transactions and also to help people earn and receive coins with ease. New prototypes have been developed but there is no surety of its implementation.
He also spoke about integrating exchanges with Lightning’s transactions. He believes that being able to instantly transact funds in and out of an account is a great feature and wants it to go live as soon as possible. The interview also included discussions about the hurdles faced by Lightning on its path to mainstream adoption to which he said that opening new exchange platforms that support Lightning for deposits and withdrawals will help them overcome such hurdles.
Sergej spoke about the fact that Lightning was more about enabling new things and fixing problems rather than creating a new business. When he was asked about the type of business Lightning would make obsolete, he stated:
” I guess the answer here is the same answer for which businesses bitcoin would obsolete”
Additionally, he discussed tradeoffs and how different people have their own perspective while valuing such tradeoffs. He spoke about the tradeoffs Lightning faces and believed that it would not be the only solution to solve all the scaling problems but it was one of the most exceptional way to grow until something better and much smarter is created.