Bitcoin Obsolescence: The Breez App Now Lets Users Send Lightning Payments With Credit Cards
The Lightning Network has been championed as a 2nd layer scalability solution for Bitcoin, since it allows instant payments with nearly zero transaction fees, as opposed to regular Bitcoin which takes on average 10 minutes to confirm and has high transaction fees. Lightning sounds like an outright miracle at first, until it is realized that the Lightning Network was developed by the centralized company Lightning Labs. It can be argued that the Lightning Network itself is decentralized, but the clients/wallets for the Lightning Network are inherently centralized. An app called Breez just proved that by bringing credit cards into the mix.
Instead of actually obtaining Bitcoin and then sending it to a Lightning wallet, now Breez users can just plug in their credit card to send Lightning payments. As the Breez CEO says “Going into a website and going through cumbersome process just to top up your wallet with a hundred bucks is not the UX we want to provide. We aim to provide a UX that is at least on-par with fiat”.
In other words, even with Lightning, Bitcoin is still not good enough to compete with fiat according to some people. This shows the precarious position that Bitcoin is in, since literally if people are going to use a credit card to send Lightning payments via a centralized client, why not just skip that complicated step and simply use a credit card or PayPal to buy things.
This is perhaps not surprising, because blockchain forensics have ruined the anonymity of the Bitcoin network, and Bitcoin is simply unusable as a retail solution due to its long confirmation times and high transaction fees. Companies like Breez that are trying to make Bitcoin payment solutions are figuring this out, and basically turning Bitcoin into fiat.
It is time for the community to come together and implement changes to the Bitcoin Core code, such as integrating a Lightning-esque network in a decentralized way, since real on the chain Bitcoin adoption is basically not happening, and now Bitcoin is being turned into another centralized payment mechanism, defeating the whole point of Bitcoin’s creation.