Bitcoin's Open Secret: Lightning Is Making Better Online Payments Possible

PayPal 2.0? That may have been a rallying cry for early bitcoin believers who saw the cryptocurrency as a superior form of payment, but excitement tapered off as bitcoin ran up against technical limitations. Yet, the idea may now be coming back in vogue – apps being built on the layer-two technology lightning network, which this year entered beta, already showcase transactions traditional payments systems just can’t do. In that way, the technology might allow the cryptocurrency to leapfrog the card networks and other payment startups using traditional rails. The application that’s getting the most attention is the ridiculously small digital payments lightning makes possible for the first time. For instance, an app called SatoshiTweets allows users to pay a very small fee via the lightning network to send a tweet from a shared Twitter account. After using the application, one user tweeted: “I bought an exclamation mark.” The

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