Fold — a payments startup which is based in the United States — has enabled Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, and other well-known retailers to acquire Lightning Network (LN) payments.
For those who do not know, Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network is actually a second-layer solution that is geared towards solving the scalability limitations that weigh down bitcoin.
The network allows only the net results to be recorded on the blockchain as it keeps the majority of transactions off-chain through opening payment channels that exist between users.
An official July 10 blog post made it clear that Fold’s participation will help retailers to settle LN payments of users through their prepaid access programs that support various currency choices. The payments are usually based on satoshis – which is one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin.
Users will choose a retailer and use their Lightning wallet to pay the relevant invoice. In all this, the Fold site will process LN payments.
Once the payments are settled, the users will receive a gift card pegged at a maximum of $25. After some time, the individuals will be able to redeem the card either online using alphanumeric code or in-store via a barcode.
Evidently, many will attest LN support at major retailers being beneficial in terms of accessibility and scalability. Beyond that, Fold focuses on providing various services while sticking to crypto principles: where there is a non-custodial system (mandatory signups), no altcoins support, and no Know-Your-Customer (KYC) checks.
For that matter, Amazon, Uber, and Starbucks are not the only beneficiaries, the Lightning payment service that Fold provides will also be accessible to other companies such as Target, Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, AMC, and many more.
Fold has now decided to follow the footsteps of third-party crypto payment processors that are already enabling users to apply lightning applications at major retail and e-commerce locations.
Another startup Moon unveiled in April a web browser extension that allows online shoppers to purchase on Amazon and similar sites using their Lightning wallets.
The startup will also act as an intermediary, just like Fold — to allow the shopping sites to handle or process the crypto indirectly.
As early as 2015, Bitcoin payments service was already implemented in Fold while retailers like Starbucks could use.
Labs — a blockchain development firm — released a non-custodial way receiving funds method that involves Lightning Loop and Lightning offramp on March.