How I'm using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network in the real (third) world!

in bitcoin •  6 months ago

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Hello my fellow Steemians and Crypto investors,

As you know from reading my previous posts I have lately been playing with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.

This time, I not only played with it but used it in the real world, or should I say, in the Third World where it’s most needed.

Topping cellphones in Cuba with Lightning Network and Bitrefill.com

Just like in the last test I wrote about a week ago, I used the Eclair Lightning Network mainnet wallet for Android. If you need details on how to install and use this app please read the step by step description from the previous post.

This time I opened a larger Lightning Network channel, of about $30 USD, to be able to send a more substantial phone recharge to a friend developer in Cuba that has been helping me with the Crypto Millionaire app, and take advantage of the 150% promotion currently going on at CubaCel when you pay more than $24 USD.


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CubaCel promotion. Screenshot taken at Bitrefill.com

I then entered the phone number I wanted to top up, an email address, selected Lightning BTC as the payment option and clicked on the button To Payment. This took me to the next screen where a Lightning payment request address was generated.

Don't even think of trying to type the payment request on your phone, it's a very long string of characters and numbers! The good news is you don't have to. Bitrefill generates a convenient QR code you can scan directly from the Eclair app and, presto, a screen with the request details and a green Pay button will come up.

I foresee that in the future, there will be online services that, like DNS and URL shorteners of today, will make Lightning Network payment requests much more friendly to remember and post online.

Ok, so I clicked on the green Pay button and voilà, the transaction went through instantly, so fast I couldn't grab the screen. Right away I received a confirmation email from Bitrefill.com.

I happened to be chatting with the recipient in Cuba at the moment. He right away confirmed the main recharge came through instantly. However, the extra promotion of $30 USD took a little longer to show up on his phone but eventually, like 30 mins later, it went through as well.


Eclair Wallet LN payment2.png
Lightning Network transaction details. Screenshot taken from the Eclair Lightning Network wallet for Android

Why is this important?

We have it easy in the first world, we have credit cards, 'somewhat reliable' banking systems, debit cards, and hard currency to spend with them.

However, in places like my native country Cuba, most people live their entire lives without ever having access to a bank account or even an electronic card of any kind. They are very much disconnected from world finances and do they everyday survival commerce with either ever inflating cash or by simple bartering.

This experiment I just did is very important for Cuban software developers, room renters, service providers, even for Steemians such as @cubadetodo and @paquetedecuba that, so far, had no reliable way to convert their crypto earnings to use them in real life.

It opens the doors for many thousands (maybe millions in the future) of Cubans to offer their services online, charge in crypto currencies and later monetize those earnings by turning them into cellphone minutes that, work as currency, not only in Cuba but in many third world countries, especially in Africa.

The current promotion by Cubacel makes it even more attractive because, for about $24 USD, they receive $54 in cellphone minutes. Even by selling those at a discount later, they make a nice profit!

Low fees are beautiful!

We all remember that, not so long ago, fees for Bitcoin transfers went as high as $10 USD, most were over $2 USD.

Well, in places like Cuba they make less than $2 USD a day! Imagine having to pay that amount in fees for a phone recharge... It would be a real problem. However, with Lightning Network, I paid a laughable fee of only 0.000000293 BTC (0.002719089 USD). A very small fraction of a cent!

This is indeed very attractive in the third world, much more so than in the first. For people living in the first world, spending $2 USD for a Bitcoin transaction was never really a problem, despite all the fake tears and screams from the FUDsters of 2017 ;).


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Cellphone recharge confirmation page. Screenshot taken at Bitrefill.com

I don't think most people in the third world will open up Lightning Network channels or anything like that. It's way too complicated for them and requires Bitcoin reserves and knowledge they don't have. What will most likely happen is that companies will open channels and let their customers use them for substantially less fees that they would by paying Bitcoin directly or using conventional ways to transfer money.

Next project

I will be sending Nelson Rodríguez Chartrand, a fellow Anarcho-capitalist in Cuba and friend of the @dollarvigilante a phone recharge with LN.

I love it because not only will he receive about $50 in cellphone minutes, that I know for him represent not going hungry for a few weeks, but also, since I'm using Bitcoin's LN and only an email to register, it would be very complicated, likely impossible or very expensive, for Cuban authorities to track who's sending him those recharges.

BTW, his cellphone is 53 559 2500, in case you want to help him too.

Video of the @dollarvigilante's visit to Cuba and his meeting with Nelson Rodríguez Chartrand

Hope you like and resteem this post! Also, please share your experiences with LN.


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Meme generated at imgflip.com/memegenerator


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Meme generated at imgflip.com/memegenerator

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So, have you used the Lightning Network yet? What particular software did you use, what did you buy? How was the experience?

Do you have other exciting apps and tools you want to share with the community of crypto investors?

Do share your thoughts on this post with the Steemit community in the comments below!

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What have you been doing this crypto winter?

  1. Accumulating patiently like a professional hodler.

  2. Panic selling like a hopeless noob.

If you answered 1, go ahead and download Crypto Millionaire from the link below. This app will help you diversify in a smart way, especially right now that' it's such a good time to buy the millionth of supply of top coins on the cheap.

If you answered 2, sell everything and become a pimp. It's the only way you will be able to keep selling bottoms, haha!


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INVEST SMARTLY!
DOWNLOAD CRYPTO MILLIONAIRE from Google Play

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CHECK OUT MY PREVIOUS POSTS:

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Don't forget to tell the community what you think of this post in the comments below.

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Happy crypto investing!

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the first time I heard it was use for real world use case. Bitcoin lightning network is solving so much problem in the bitcoin right now on scalability issues. I hope this could be a long term solutions. Great job trying it out @cryptoeagle

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Thanks @hiroyamagishi,
I plan to continue using it in the future. The low fees and instant availability of funds make it very useful, especially in third world countries where every penny counts. regards

That fee is so minuscule. The LN is great for these day-to-day transactions.

"What will most likely happen is that companies will open channels and let their customers use them for substantially less fees that they would by paying Bitcoin directly or using conventional ways to transfer money."

This may be good for people who can't bother with the technical aspects, but I see this becoming problematic as these companies will likely tack on additional fees. The middlemen always get greedy!

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Yes, they will, still it'll be much better than what they have now.

We are talking about people who have never even seen the internet or just very recently, less than 5% of Cubans can access the internet, most only do so sporadically, it's too expensive and censored.

Also, it brings the risk of centralization and censorship, but again, much better than nothing, which is what they have now. Best regards @techwizardry, very interesting blog, gonna be following more for crypto related news. Is Parley worth it? thanks for commenting

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The Castros really wanted to keep Cubans in the dark all these years. Shame!

Is Parley worth it?

It's great for sharing links. Reddit on Steemit type of thing.

wah this is really amazing!! thanks for sharing!

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I heard it was use for real world use case. Bitcoin lightning network is solving so much problem in the bitcoin right now on scalability issues. I hope this could be a long term solutions. Great job trying it out @cryptoeagle

Very cool! Upvoted and followed!!

nice informations @cryptoeagle
thank you for sharing
I am a new follwer for you
resteemid

"Well, in places like Cuba they make less than $2 USD a day! Imagine having to pay that amount in fees for a phone recharge... It would be a real problem. However, with Lightning Network, I paid a laughable fee of only 0.000000293 BTC (0.002719089 USD). A very small fraction of a cent!"

Wait! If someone makes $2 USD daily, then that's only $60 USD in a month (30 days).

I currently live with approximately a $267,40 USD pension-like monthly income (in Central Europe, not from a third world country!) and I can't imagine how someone could live with $60 USD/month!

Steem and Steem Dollars (SBD) should have a wider acceptance.
Imagine that you recharge your phone with Steem and/or Steem Dollars (SBD).
Absolutely zero transaction fees. No transaction fees at all!

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Notice I said "less than $2", the average salary is actually $29.6 USD a month, as recognized by the statistics office of the regime itself. Cubans manage to survive thanks to the black market, the underground economy and family members abroad that have escaped and send remittances and, phone recharges like the one I describe in my post.

Source:
https://www.cubanet.org/noticias/296-dolares-mensuales-ascendio-el-salario-medio-cubano-en-2016/

Google translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=es&sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cubanet.org%2Fnoticias%2F296-dolares-mensuales-ascendio-el-salario-medio-cubano-en-2016%2F

regards @xplosive

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Yes, I know you said "less than $2 USD".

I just calculated with daily $2 USD and said I can't image how someone could live with that income, while I also live with a low pension-like income, but not so low!
$29.6 USD as a monthly income is even more ridiculous!
That's actually less than the half of the previously mentioned $60 USD!
So they are officially living with less than $1 USD/day?
I seriously didn't knew that the situation is that bad in Cuba!

All the best to you in Cuba!
I really hope that the situation in your country will soon change for the better for all of you!

Best regards,
Xplosive.

So will it save Bitcoin?

Just part 1,703,294 in the process of moving cryptocurrency forward.

Projects like you are describing all add to the totality of this Crypto ecosystem. We need to sift through many projects to find what works. LN is a big step for BTC yet, from what you describe, is still to complicated. We need that. Someone will take the bull by the horns and simply it.

The hundreds of thousands of projects on blockchain all add up. We came a long way since the first of the year yet most fail to see it. They focus upon price. That is why last few posts on STEEM have cut to the core....there is a lot going on in spite of the FUD and "problems" on here.

The industry is growing up.

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Second layer is the way. I know it sounds cliche, like a certain meme and hollywood drama like but it is ;)

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Thanks for telling me about this.

Wonderful report! Lightning is such a game changer.

didnt know they make ~$2 a day. And yeah, too complicated and those who do the job for the "easy ppl" wont do it free either...

i always try to read your blog @cryptoeagle . they are full fill of information.
i want people to know more about from your blog and this why i resteemed it.

Resteemed.

Thank you

Thanks sir it will help me a lot... Your Crypto Millionaire app is running amazing.☺

This is a great way of sending money to Cuba. It is very difficult here in Cuba to receive payments. Anonymity and avoid high fees is crucial. This a very good way!

The more I learn about the Lightening Network the more I want to use Bitcoin Cash.

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Finally! A Bitcoin Cash believer! Perhaps you can explain to me how its developers plan to transmit the terabyte sized blocks needed for Visa level transactions in under 10 minutes, over slow internet connections and the great firewall of China?

See, I believe Bitcoin Cash is an evolutionary dead end, but I'd love if someone proved me wrong and I learned something new.

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No idea. Its going to be fun to watch. I hope they both succeed.

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Exactly, those who know the answer don't really want to use Bitcoin Cash.

“There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”
― Ayn Rand

I heard it was use for real world use case. Bitcoin lightning network is solving so much problem in the bitcoin right now on scalability issues. I hope this could be a long term solutions. Great job trying it out @cryptoeagle

this is great man!
it good to see that we can use the lightning network to top up our mobiles!
can we pay our bills with lightening network?

This is good. LIghtning Network is working fine as planned by the developer.

BTC is rising towards moon and similarly the STEEM!

This is really good stuff..

thanks for this information dear...

bitcoin is unstoppable...

this is so cool fab dear. this is so easy by the way. well I didn't use this Lightning Network yet but will think about it for sure

Are philanthropists and social innovators using crypto yet?

What lightning network is doing seems like a huge opportunity that could be applied in other ways too. What about mass education of how to use cryptocurrency?

thanks for best information! crypto

This post has received a 39.85 % upvote from @boomerang.

Thanks for sharing cryptocurrency update providing news

Important topic .... Thanks for share this sir. ... Keep doing good work. Best of luck.......

You have a good blog, I followed you. I hope that you follow me, let's develop Steemit together and develop even…

very good your article continues like this

bitcoin is very powerful....it change many peoples life

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Hello @cryptoeagle you got an upvote for your post.. Nice Post...we should to help each other i hope you can understand. Can visit my profile also can follow me on @ekader ..can upvote and comment https://steemit.com/travel/@ekader/cameron-highlands-just-awesome-place-must-you-should-to-go and

https://steemit.com/intruduceyourself/@ekader/steemit-journey-how-hard-the-journey-is#

Thanks for sharing this cryptocurrency news update providing.....I appreciate this bitcoin.
Best of luck my friend.

Hopefully this will address the scalability

I'm holding till it hits 50,000 then im taking some profit

wow @cryptoeagle, keep it going.
I just followed u!

Wow!wonderful post
thanks for sharing

Thank you for sharing. Nice informations @cryptoeagle

Thanks for sharing cryptocurrency update providing news.
I appreciate your every crypto news.

Ironic. Bitrefill is a centralized liquidity hub and is not peer-to-peer.

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Please inform yourself about the Lightning Network ...

Excellent information, necessary for many, thanks for helping us a little more on the subject, the truth was half lost, well I would say complete

Great news thanks for sharing.

the first time I heard it was use for real world use case. Bitcoin lightning network is solving so much problem in the bitcoin right now on scalability issues. I hope this could be a long term solutions. Great job trying it out @cryptoeagle

Awesome work.
keep it up