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What Bitcoin Did #95 Using Lightning in Retail with Sergej Kotliar From Bitrefill

Published on April 12th, 2019 by DSholla

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“You can’t moralise for people who want to take short cuts when that means you can get something in their hands today.” — Sergej Kotliar

Interview location: Skype

Interview date: Wednesday 10th April, 2019

Company: Bitrefill

Role: Founder & CEO

The Lightning Network offers to solve a problem for Bitcoin with retailers. While Bitcoin was originally seen as online money, a way of improving digital commerce, the slow confirmation times and high fees led to many retailers abandoning it as a payment method.

While some Bitcoiners challenge the online commerce narrative, promoting Bitcoin as a store of value, there are people want to spend Bitcoin, and there are retailers want to accept it.

Bitrefill changed the game with Bitcoin and ecommerce by allowing for purchases with 0 confirmations, but this is not the solution for everyone. Lightning is a potential solution for retailers but does come with its challenges, from UX to channel capacity.

Bitrefill is leading the way in building support for Lightning in retail, both by accepting Lightning payments but also with their Thor product, selling channel capacity on the network. In this interview I chat with their founder and CEO, Sergej Kotliar, we discuss the challenges with Lightning, custodial v non-custodial wallets and UX.

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