World Wide Web Consortium is Actively Working On Lightning Network-Enabled Bitcoin Payments

  • The Word Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is planning to add Lightning Network-enabled Bitcoin (BTC) payments to its API for web browsers.
  • The Lightning Network (LN) is still in its early stages of development, and it will take time before it works effectively, bitcoin developers said.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international body focused on developing standards and protocols for the internet, has reportedly been working on making it easier for users to make payments from web browsers.

W3C is also creating an API that will support bitcoin (BTC) payments made via the Lightning Network (LN) (a second layer solution to enable faster bitcoin transactions). The international standards organization aims to enable LN support for bitcoin payments in the most commonly used browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Having More Payment Options

Although the W3C is not focused on improving a specific payment method such as credit cards, Apply Pay, or cryptocurrencies, the consortium does want to give software developers more options including using the LN to make BTC payments.

Notably, the W3C’s Web Payments Working Group has been actively recruiting bitcoin developers so that they can help add LN support for BTC transactions to the consortium’s API.

According to the W3C, its API might soon support cryptocurrency payments made via the LN as its developers appear to have made substantial progress in integrating the second-layer payment network into web browsers.

Dr. Christian Decker, a well-known Lightning Network developer, sent out an email in August to other programmers to inform them about the second-layer payment network’s ongoing development.

Bitcoin And Lightning May Work "Without Any Major Roadblocks"

Decker, who currently works as an engineer at blockchain technology firm, Blockstream, wrote: "All in all, we should be able to get bitcoin and lightning working with the [specification] without any major roadblocks."

As a member of the Web Payments Working Group, Decker thinks it is important that modern web-based payment systems support cryptocurrency transactions. He told Coindesk

This is exciting because switching between traditional payments and bitcoins and lightning payments could basically be a single click and make it easier for merchants to accept bitcoin alongside these traditional methods.

Dr. Christian Decker

Blockchain-Based Currencies Must Be Included In Modern Payments Systems

As CryptoGlobe reported in August, CEO Andreas Brekken had said the Lightning Network is currently “impractical even for highly technical users.” After testing the LN to make BTC payments, Brekken found that its software had many glitches and there was a very high rate of transaction failure.

However, it appears that progress is being made to improve the LN, and an increasing number of people now consider cryptocurrencies to be a legitimate payment method. Ian Jacobs, the payments activity head at the W3C, noted:

The architecture is designed to enable new payment methods to be used on the web. That should include blockchain-based payment methods.

Ian Jacobs

As CryptoGlobe covered, Pierre Rochard, an experienced software engineer, revealed that he had been working on a software program called Neutrino that allows users to make LN-enabled BTC payments from Microsoft Excel.

Rochard also informed his followers on Twitter that Neutrino was in its early stages of development, and it would take more time before it starts working effectively.

Winklevoss Twins: Wall Street Has Been “Asleep at the Wheel” Regarding Bitcoin

Michael LaVere
  • Winklevoss Twins say Wall Street has been "asleep at the wheel" in acting on bitcoin.
  • Retail investors hold an advantage over institutions in the crypto marketplace. 

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who founded the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, said that Wall Street has been “asleep at the wheel,” in regards to bitcoin in their most recent interview. 

Sleeping on Bitcoin

Speaking with CNN Business on Aug. 22, the Winklevoss Twins explained the value of bitcoin as an investment, while giving their opinion on the risks of the cryptocurrency industry in comparison to the traditional financial sector. 

They were also critical of the established market’s slow acceptance of bitcoin and cryptoassets, claiming that Wall Street has fallen behind in that regard. Tyler Winklevoss argued that retail investors have had the edge of institutions in the market of crypto through their willingness to explore the new asset class. 

He continued, 

“Unlike the internet, which you couldn’t buy a piece of, you can actually buy a piece of this new internet of money. It’s still a retail-driven market, from day one [...] and a lot of people have done really well. Wall Street has been asleep at the wheel.”

In addition, the twins claimed not to be deterred by the high price volatility of bitcoin, and said the risk of missing out was much more compelling, 

“We had to invest because we were afraid of missing out, we couldn't miss out on this future.”

The twins also compared bitcoin to gold, which is becoming a more common financial analogy as investors and analysts view BTC as a digital store of value.