The week in review: Twitter CEO looks to Lightning Network
Welcome one and all. Please, stay a while and enjoy our wrap-up of this week’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines. It’s bullish goodness for a better financial system.
Does Bitcoin scale? Some say it can’t be used for retail transactions because it can still only process roughly seven transactions per second. Could Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey change all that?
Dorsey has long been bullish on Bitcoin and he’s vowed to help Bitcoin development through his payments company, Square. Now, Square is working on a development kit to help integrate the Lightning Network to BTC wallets, speeding up transactions made using Bitcoin.
The Lightning Network can process more than twenty times the transactions Visa can complete per second. It enables smaller Bitcoin payments to be sent more quickly and cheaply without clogging up the Bitcoin blockchain. By integrating Lightning into wallets, it will be even quicker to transfer BTC across borders.
Square said it’s “only a matter of time until instant, low-fee bitcoin payments are as common as cash used to be.”
They continued: “Because we are a consolidated team of open-source developers, we are in a strong position to coordinate on major projects that individuals may not have the time or resources to tackle.”
Mainstream adoption, here we come.
Third Swiss city accepts tax payments in Bitcoin
The Swiss municipality of Zermatt has just joined Zug and Chiasso as the third city to accept tax payments in the form of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Suisse, a crypto financial payment firm announced earlier this week that using their point-of-sale solution, installed in the Zermatt town hall, residents are able to pay local taxes in Bitcoin.
According to the announcement, taxes paid in Bitcoin are converted into Swiss francs by Bitcoin Suisse and then transferred to the municipality’s bank account.
“An innovative, pioneering spirit is one of the trademarks of Zermatt, which is why we are happy to support residents in providing them with the solutions they require,” said Romy Biner-Hauser, mayor of Zermatt.
Would you like the option to pay your taxes in Bitcoin? Let us know on Twitter.
99.9% of Bitcoin transactions don’t go to the darknet
Is Bitcoin used by criminals? Not according to new research collected by blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis. Their data found that the number of cryptocurrency transactions which find themselves on the darknet, as a percentage of total Bitcoin transactions, was just 0.08% in 2019.
This means the total fraction of cryptocurrency transactions to darknet services has fallen by more than 90% since 2015, when it was roughly 1%.
So why are fewer people turning to Bitcoin to fund their illicit dealings? As more crypto exchanges, like Luno, abide by stringent KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) regulations, law enforcement would be able to track suspicious transactions made using third-part wallets. In addition to this, all Bitcoin transactions are publicly available. While they are pseudonymous, it’s certainly possible to get caught, especially if transactions are large and occur frequently.
Maybe it’s time we put this particular Bitcoin myth to bed?
Cambodia planning centralised digital currency
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is readying a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Reports in Cambodian daily Phnom Penh Post, the country’s central bank will roll out “Project Bakong,” a blockchain-powered money transfer platform that features a CBDC.
The CBDC already has the backing of 11 out of the country’s 43 commercial banks. More financial institutions are expected to join the platform once the project goes live.
Chea Serey is director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC). He explained that: ” Bakong will play a central role in bringing all players in the payment space in Cambodia under the same platform, making it easy for end-users to pay each other regardless of the institutions they bank with. Eventually, we hope to allow cross border payment through the Bakong system too.”
“We are in the final stages of the deployment,” he continued. “It has taken a little longer than expected because we were ensuring that the system is as useful and convenient for the users as possible. We will offer the service as soon as it launches.”