The reason why most altcoins exist today is that they want to offer better speeds at lower fees than BTC. However, the Lightning Network could soon negate that argument. According to recent data, these altcoins might not have any use in the future as the Lightning Network continues to improve.
What The Data Shows
The data comes from an e-commerce store called Bitrefill. The company mainly just sold top-ups and mobile phones online. However, it later added gift vouchers in July 2018. It started to offer various vouchers, including those from Uber, Amazon, and Hotels.com. This meant that shoppers could purchase anything using crypto.
While at first they only accepted BTC, Bitrefill soon began to accept altcoins. The altcoins they added were litecoin, dogecoin, ether, and dash in 2016. It was also one of the first e-commerce stores to offer Lightning Network integration in 2018. At the times, there were no user-friendly wallets offered for the LN.
Sweeping Away The Competition
Despite coming late to the part, the LN has proven quite useful. It now accounts for more payments than any altcoin in existence. This is according to John Carvalho from Bitrefill. In fact, he said that it was double what most altcoins trade.
On a recent appearance on the Bitcoin News Show, he said that about four percent of their sales daily take place via the LN. However, he explained that on chain payments still make up a majority of their sales. Despite this, it was still more than any altcoin they accept on a typical day. He also mentioned that the LN payments were growing steadily daily.
Bitrefill’s Thor Service
Carvalho also talked about their new Thor service. The service lets customers open empty lightning channels connected to the well-connected Bitrefill node for just a tiny fee. This channel will connect to a lightning wallet, which will let holders receive BTC instantly with almost no fees.
Carvalho explained that this tool was easy to use for those who wish to start accepting lightning payments. An alternative to this is to ask someone to open a channel to you. You can also open the channel yourself and make outgoing payments. To maintain the open channel, you will need to have BTC in the lightning wallet. However, it is tricky to achieve this the first time.
Bitrefill has seen a lot of interest in the new product. It shows that the LN has support from the masses and it could essentially kill the altcoins.
Will Altcoins Really Die?
Altcoins may not entirely die out due to the LN. This is especially so for altcoins that formed for other purposes other than to challenge BTC on cost. For instance, some altcoins were formed for the purpose of anonymity. These coins can be quite useful for people who wish to safeguard their identities online. Besides that, LN has yet to be deployed widely enough. Thus, it might not be possible to tell whether it will develop any issues when scaled in the real world.
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