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John Carvalho, the chief communications officer at BitRefill, a Stockholm Sweden-based firm that allows users to “top up [their] mobile phone using Bitcoin”, explains that “there are many, many altcoins that could easily claim to be successful at many facets of blockchain, but I don’t think any can claim to be more secure and safe than Bitcoin.” As explained by Carvalho, BitRefill also “allows people to live on crypto by providing gift cards, top-ups, bill-paying, and new ways to transact over the Bitcoin network.”

Carvalho, who is currently involved with designing bitcoin-related merchandise at Bitcointel.Pro, told CryptoGlobe that transactions involving other cryptocurrencies may not be as fast as BTC transfers. He argued that the Lightning Network (LN), a second-layer payment solution for crypto networks, has helped in significantly reducing the amount of time required to process bitcoin transactions.

According to Carvalho, the “success” of a cryptocurrency project “is subjective” and that “lots of blockchains ‘work’ just fine for transferring smaller amounts of value.” But he emphasized: 

Cryptocurrency will start playing a much larger role in worldwide payment infrastructure by using Bitcoin and Lightning Network as “rails” for entirely new ways of abstracting money for payment processing in various ways.

Bitcoin ETF Is Not “Needed”

When questioned about whether he thinks a Bitcoin ETF is necessary, Carvalho remarked:

No, I don't think Bitcoin “needs” an ETF. I'm not sure it will be the catalyst for new money that people hope for either. If a person or entity wants exposure to Bitcoin, they already have options. I'm also not a big fan of large central custodial pools of Bitcoin, it's a recipe for disaster.

In response to a question about whether he believes the Lightning Network (LN) will play a key role in helping the Bitcoin network scale effectively, Carvalho explained: 

Definitely, the Lightning Network really expands Bitcoin's utility and capacity for transacting. This isn't just about being fast, cheap, micro, or high frequency either. We will see new things built on top of Lightning in many of the ways people have been off-the-mark with other blockchains, things like tokens, privacy, streaming payments, and more.

“Bitcoin, Not Blockchain”

Commenting on the “Bitcoin, not Blockchain” (or vice versa) narrative:

The Bitcoin-Not-Blockchain concept is fundamental at heart, it is a way of communicating to new entrants and speculators that a blockchain is a specific design solution mean to solve a specific set of problems. Many “blockchain” projects ignore the fundamental utility and propose doing things that really don't benefit from using a blockchain. You'll find lots of quotes from me explaining why centrally-controlled blockchains are bad, or how a blockchain is self-referential and not mean to track physical-world “meatspace” items.

In a recent interview with CryptoGlobe, Sheila Warren, the head of blockchain efforts at the World Economic Forum (WEF), a Switzerland-based non-profit organization “committed to improving the state of the world,” said that blockchain technology has several useful applications such as helping to improve supply chain management processes and document authentication.