A bitcoin scaling solution called the lightning network may soon come to Square’s Cash App for mobile payments.
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, an investor in the bitcoin-oriented startup Lightning Labs, recently announced during an interview with podcaster Stephan Livera that there are plans to integrate the scaling technology with Square’s mobile app.
“It’s not an ‘if,’ it’s more of a ‘when,’ and how do we make sure that we’re getting the speed that we need and the efficiency,” Dorsey told Livera, adding:
“We don’t think it stops at buying and selling [bitcoin]. We do want to help make happen the currency aspect.”
A spokesman for Square did not respond to a request for comment.
Stepping back, in 2018 Cash App reportedly had 7 million monthly active users. On February 5, Dorsey joined a game called the Lightning Torch where each participant adds a little bitcoin to a payment, then passes it onto someone on Twitter that they trust. That Twitter conversation was how Livera invited Dorsey to appear as a guest on his podcast. Now 175 people have participated in passing the digital torch.
“The torch really went viral after Jack took it,” Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark told CoinDesk via text message, adding:
“What I think was so powerful about the torch was that it showed how quickly Lightning enables you to send money, across the internet, anywhere around the world. We’re doing to money what the internet did to information.”
With regards to lightning features coming to Cash App, Stark seemed to confirm Dorsey’s statements. “The podcast speaks for itself,” she told CoinDesk.
Meanwhile, an independent lightning fan named Sergio Abril has created the micropayments browser extension Lightning Tippin, which Stark briefly mentioned on the podcast. Since it launched in December, Abril told CoinDesk that Tippin has garnered 3,111 users with thousands of invoices, facilitating roughly $7,466 worth of bitcoin transactions.
“I’m excited to see more examples of people earning money with lightning as well,” Stark told CoinDesk, referencing both Tippin and the lightning-powered freelance jobs site LND Work.
Abril told CoinDesk he would love it if Cash App integrated or interacted with his payment project and others like it. However, Abril said only time will tell how the mobile app factors into broader network experiments.
Speaking to how Dorsey’s Cash App plays into the emerging lightning economy, Abril added:
“They have the power to bring lightning to the masses and turn it mainstream, there is no doubt about it.”
Jack Dorsey image via CoinDesk archives