A side view close-up shot of a slice of thick crust cheesy pizza on a wooden board

Product image courtesy of Zodiacphoto/Shutterstock

Remember 9 years ago when bitcoin was used, for the first time ever, to purchase goods? A programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz confirmed that he bought two pizzas from Papa John’s Pizza in America for a total 10,000 Bitcoins on May 22, 2010. During that time, 1 Bitcoin was worth 0.0041. This means that the 10,000 BTC were worth only $41. Imagine its price today! From then on, it was dubbed as the Bitcoin Pizza Day which is celebrated every year by the crypto industry. Cointelegraph considered it as an important, yet comical milestone for the digital currency.

Today, through the use of the Lightning Network, a significant number of people purchased pizza with bitcoin this week, according to a story on CoinDesk.

Moreover, Fold, a San Francisco-based Bitcoin payment app that launched the web-based Domino’s portal. It basically makes the transactions on fiat pizza on behalf of eager users of the Lightning Network. The product lead of Fold, Will Reeves, said:

“We’re trying to make bitcoin fun again and illustrate that lightning is at a point where it is mainstream-ready.” (Will Reeves)

This latest feature from Fold, Lightning Pizza, claims to be the “first Nation-wide retail service powered by lightning payments meant to spread utility and spur awareness and adoption”. Furthermore, people can choose pizza from Domino’s for collection or have it delivered to any address located in the US. Payment is done using the Lightning Network with Bitcoin, allowing the off the chain transaction to be validated almost instantly with a fee of less than one US cent, according to an article from Bitcoinist.

On top of that, the developers of the application promised in a tweet that:

“Every order is 5% off, $0.01 transaction fees, instant settlements and 30 min delivery time”.

The report on CoinDesk regarding the Fold web application added that it intends to incorporate lightning, over the next six months, to all of its shopping options. This includes Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Whole Foods, Uber and Target. Given that these partnerships aren’t official yet, the crypto startup puts orders on behalf of the users and convert the payments to fiat to provide a smooth experience. It continues to be noticed how this will factor into the revenue model of the company once the lightning options are out of the preliminary stage.

Of the Domino’s experiment, Reeves said:

“The average purchase was $25, … Since the average lightning payment is usually less than $5 so this was able to stretch the Lightning Network to higher value payments for the first time at volume.” (Will Reeves)

A side shot of a stack of Dominos pizza boxes

Product image courtesy of Seika Chujo/Shutterstock

Based on the real-time Lightning Network statistics provided by 1ML, the network, all in all, performed new record highs this week with a total of $2.4 million facilitated over 26,588 payment channels. Specifically a 39 percent growth was shown in comparison to last month’s numbers. Reeves mentioned that the orders received came in from every state all around the U.S.

“It was pretty evenly spread across the country, which was great to see.” (Will Reeves)

After the Fold-lightning union, CoinDesk added on its report that Reeves also mentioned the company intends to establish Fold app’s mobile versions for both iOS and Android. This startup which is made up of seven people and is incubated by Thesis, a venture studio, is raising funds as the moment and seeking to diversify its retail brand offerings. In addition to that, Fold presently serves 1,500 monthly users, nearly 35,000 total bitcoin transactions facilitated since the establishment of the app’s first version in 2014. Up to now, the project that has been greatly bootstrapped was seed funded by Boost VC. Moving on. Reeves revealed the plan is to partner with startups in the crypto wallet services for direct integrations.

“The largest barrier to conversion was setting up a new lightning wallet, … We’ve learned a lesson that in order to grow the lightning ecosystem we not only need the best products, but the best education as well, … We will incorporate that into our plan going forward.” (Will Reeves)

More than wallet integrations, Reeves also announced that Fold is also teaming up with Casa, a custody solutions startup, for a direct integration with its browser extension so that hardware node owners can also use it to buy pizza.

At the same moment, Square’s Cash App will support and integrate lightning features sometime in the future, as stated by the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey during a recent podcast. Cash App is last December’s most often-downloaded finance app on Google Play, according to a report on Invest In Blockchain.

Ultimately, a bullish outlook for the possibilities of the innovative technology for 2019 in terms of mainstream adoption. What do you think of the Lightning Network? Should other companies integrate the technology in their businesses as well? Let us know in the comment section below!