Creator of World's First Bitcoin Fuel Pump Plans Lightning Support

The creator of the first ever commercial fuel pump to accept bitcoin has revealed a plan to add Lightning Network functionality to his design.

AccessTimeIconAug 31, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:52 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The creator of the first ever commercial fuel pump to accept bitcoin has revealed a plan to add Lightning Network functionality to his design.

The original machine, designed and built by Andy Schroder in 2014, allows users to scan a QR code and send bitcoin instead of more traditional means of payment. Schroder now wants to adapt his design to incorporate the Lightning's off-chain payments, he announced on the Lightning-dev mailing list yesterday.

However, Schroder pointed out some issues he has with Lightning – which he hopes will provide "real-time micropayments" – including that its invoice protocol BOLT 11 does not appear to accommodate refunds. Refunds are a necessity for the bitcoin fuel dispenser, because it runs on a fixed prepayment, and immediately returns any unused credit at the end of sale, he said.

Schroder is currently using bitcoin improvement protocol (BIP) 70, a user-friendly payment protocol that creates a receipt for the customer, as well as automatically providing a refund address to the seller.

He stated in the mailing list:

"I don't really see an option for a refund address like is present in BIP 70. Is this intentional? If so, why do you not see that people would possibly want to receive a refund?"

He also speculated about a possible fix for this problem that would involve fitting cars with an onboard digital wallet, though he conceded this is not a short-term solution.

Fuel pump image via Andy Schroder

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.