Caught My Eyes, Held My Attention: Congress Gets Bitcoin Lightning Network Preview by Coin Center
Detractors of Bitcoin that otherwise state that no innovative, game-changing updates are forthcoming from its community will have to step back and re-assess with news from late this week.
It has been reported today that during a briefing held in Congress as part of a broader event taking place called the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. While this smaller scale congress primarily focused on discussions regarding the application of blockchain technology for beginners. The conversations steadily turned more political, resulting in some discussions around matters of policy that would be thrown up with new technology.
The latter subject is a particularly pressing one, considering how febrile the blockchain space is, especially when it comes to fiscal regulation, international policy, as well as taxation, and even blockchain scalability in the face of future mass adoption.
We're lucky enough to know that blockchain technology allowed for one kind of innovation that is steadily crowbarring the middleman out of financial transactions between buyer and seller – and that's micro-payments.
— Coin Center (@coincenter) January 18, 2019
These kinds of transactions can take place seamlessly, with minimal fuss, and with a far greater scope of efficiency. One of the examples given was a multi-colored candy machine, or in the Congress' case, this was lightning enabled candy dispenser.
From this, the speaker used a nominal amount of bitcoin, sent across the network to the candy machine through the speaker's smartphone. The end result was an initial degree of incredulity, replaced swiftly by an impressed silence as the machine reacted and dispensed candy in real-time whenever Bitcoin payment was made.
For each of these pieces of candy, a payment of 1 Satoshi was made (Satoshi being the smallest denomination available for Bitcoin).
From buying Pizza for 10,000 Bitcoin per box to Satoshi for candy, the visual examples always work best, and while it seems like a passing novelty, it goes a long way to demonstrate the real use cases for Bitcoin in domestic microtransactions.
The congress itself was a highly attended event and does showcase how innovative Bitcoin is in the wake of detractors, proving that it's still the developing frontrunner in the blockchain space.