Block's CashApp turns on bitcoin transfers via the Lightning Network for US customers

Block's CashApp turns on bitcoin transfers via the Lightning Network for US customers
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  • Cash App users will be able to send bitcoin anywhere for free via the Lightning Network, the payment platform said.
  • The Lightning Network speeds up transactions across the bitcoin network, due to how it handles blocks.

People using Cash App can now use the Lightning Network to transfer bitcoin, the Block-owned payments platform provider has said.

This integration will enable customers to make bitcoin transfers faster than before, and at no cost, it said in a post to Twitter late Monday.

"Lightning Network is now available on Cash App. It's the fastest, free way to pay anyone in bitcoin," it tweeted.

To use the feature, Cash App customers need to scan a Lightning QR code using the camera on their phone, then confirm the payment details and hit "Pay." That will send bitcoin to a Lightning or on-chain address.

Most US customers can use the new feature, except for those in New York, the app provider said. It didn't respond to tweets asking when Cash App users in other countries would get it.

"At this time, New York residents aren't eligible for Lightning," Cash App said on Twitter


The Lightning Network is a layer 2 for blockchain and cryptocurrency, meaning it operates on top of an existing blockchain network — bitcoin, in this case. According to MIT's Digital Currency Initiative, the Lightning Network allows for instant payments, micropayments and scalability.

Bitcoin aggregates transactions into blocks every 10 minutes, and after six blocks, or about one hour, payments are considered secure. The Lightning Network doesn't need the confirmation of these six blocks, which makes it faster.

"On the Lightning Network, payments don't need block confirmations, and are instant and atomic," the MIT group said in a paper online.

The Lightning Network, which has been operating since 2018, has been touted as a bridge to mainstream adoption of bitcoin once people recognize the advantages of instant and free transactions on bitcoin.

Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as Twitter CEO to focus on leading Cash App's parent Block, has spoken in glowing terms about the technology. He has stepped up his company's involvement in bitcoin projects since resigning.

Another fan is MicroStrategy boss Michael Saylor, who covered Lightning in his company's bitcoin for corporations 2022 conference.


But other leading lights in technology have come out as skeptics, including Moxie Marlinspike, creator of encrypted messaging app Signal. He has criticized much of crypto's so-called decentralization and security, arguing that it was far from this in reality.