Spark Swap, the new crypto startup that raised nearly $4 million in a recent seed funding round, has announced its support for USD, allowing customers to purchase bitcoin units directly through their Lightning wallets.
Spark Swap: Harnessing the Power of Lightning
The purpose of the funding round was to build a “non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange” atop the ever-popular Lightning Network, which seems to be growing in popularity as of late. Bitcoin is the oldest and most established cryptocurrency in the world, but this comes with a few disadvantages, the first one being its speed. Given its age, bitcoin’s technology suffers in terms of its transaction times, which typically require a few days to complete.
Compare this with the transaction capabilities of blockchains like Ethereum and EOS, which both utilize smart contracts to complete transactions within the scope of a few hours or a few minutes.
Bitcoin may have given birth to the crypto industry, but in some areas, there’s a lot to be desired, which is where the Lightning Network appears to be gaining momentum. The platform touts its own quickness and claims it can boost the rapidity of bitcoin payment speeds tenfold. The problem, however, is that the Lightning Network is still not a mainstream application, and few businesses have integrated it into their infrastructures.
That’s where enterprises like Spark Swap come in. In a recent interview, Trey Griffith, the founder of the company, explains:
We’ve long wanted to support BTC and USD as a trading pair since it’s the most important and popular trading pair. We decided to build it the way we did in order to make it accessible to a much larger group of people who currently lack a convenient option for buying bitcoin without giving up custody.
All a person needs to do is download the company’s desktop app and connect it to an LND Lightning Network node. They must complete the company’s identity verification process and transfer USD funds into their account. Once this is done, the customers can initiate trades and receive bitcoins in exchange for their dollars.
Brett Gibson, a partner at Initialized Capital, states:
This product delivers on the promise of bitcoin as a self-sovereign currency while still delivering a convenient user experience by building on the Lightning Network.
Use Is Up, Up, Up
According to one source, use of the Lightning Network has been growing heavily over the past month, with “nodes and payment channels on the rise.” One of the big benefits of the Lightning Network, other than its speed, is the fact that it can handle a wide range of payments, from very small to very large. These payments settle instantly on the network and allows Bitcoin to scale as many as several million payments each day.
Thus far, nearly 10,000 Lightning Network nodes are already in play.