Substack, with over 500,000 Paid Subscribers, Adds Bitcoin Lightning Payments

Online publisher Substack announced Monday that it has integrated Bitcoin Lightning payments.

This option to pay in BTC is only made available to select publishers for now and will be further rolled out broadly based on the feedback and demand from early experiments, said the company.

“Today, we enabled Bitcoin payments, beginning with select crypto publications. We will continue to invest in features that offer writers more control over their subscriptions and community,” tweeted Substack.

This integration with Bitcoin Lightning payments was made in collaboration with OpenNode, a Bitcoin payment processor. OpenNode will power both on-chain and off-chain Bitcoin and Lightning payments on the subscription-based online media company.

“With this new integration, writers and publications on Substack can now earn Bitcoin for paid subscriptions,” said OpenNode.

For now, the limited rollout for the service means subscribers to those select few publications will be able to pay their fees in BTC, and the publications can withdraw their earnings in the cryptocurrency as well. Publications have the option to retain their earnings in Bitcoin or convert it to their preferred currency.

As of writing, BTC/USD was trading at $49,600, up 68.6% YTD.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Substack has more than 500,000 paying subscribers, and writers can earn well over $1 million per year on the platform.

“Writers and podcasters have flocked to Substack to regain creative and financial freedom, and Bitcoin is a natural fit,” said João Almeida, Co-founder & CTO at OpenNode.

Earlier this year, the company closed a $65 million in Series B financing and got a valuation of $650 million following the fundraising. VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, which is very much involved in the crypto space, led Substack’s fundraising.

“We’re excited to be working with OpenNode to enable independent publishers on Substack to accept crypto payments,” said Nick Inzucchi, product designer at Substack.

“Having this option will give writers more flexibility and freedom, and we look forward to doing more in crypto as our users demand it.”

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