I Went To A Bitcoin Meetup. Here’s What I Learned.

  • Privacy. Lightning payments are done on a network of off-chain nodes. There is no lightning block explorer, and transaction details are not visible to the whole world.
  • Speed. Lightning payments are what they sound like. Fast. Someone in the group mentioned they use Muun wallet. Muun is self custodial, with keys encrypted on the device. No sync time, it just worked immediately. Sending a transaction was instantly received, similar to a 0 confirmation time in Zcash.
  • Transaction cost. The first lightning transaction I sent cost 6 cents in transaction fees. Not as low as the fraction of a penny for a Zcash transaction, but 6 cents is totally reasonable, and better than a $50 BTC transaction fee I remember paying in 2017.
  • Ease of use. I assumed I would need to find an exchange to transfer BTC to BTC lightning. No way did I want to provide KYC anymore or make an account with yet another exchange. But get this. In many lightning wallets, your balance does not differentiate between on-chain btc and btc lightning. Your balance is just your balance. When you send from that balance, you can send to either an on-chain address or a lightning address. The UX is seamless.

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