Lightspark Powers Xapo Bank Lightning Payments - Hear From Our Engineers

Mar 02, 2023

We are thrilled to announce Xapo Bank as our inaugural closed beta partner, marking Xapo Bank the first bank to offer Lightning-based Bitcoin payments. While we cannot yet disclose all the details of our current project, more to come soon, we’re excited to share some insights into our approach and how Xapo Bank is capitalizing on it. 

But before we dive into that, let us provide some context.

The Lightning Network is an open-source, peer-to-peer network built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, enabling fast, secure, and low-cost transactions. However, during our initial investigations into Lightning, we determined that it needs to become more "enterprise-grade" to meet the needs of businesses and large organizations. 

We decided to focus our engineering efforts on four areas:

Firstly, we recognized that setting up Lightning nodes can be challenging. To address this, we created hosted node infrastructure that simplifies node provisioning and funding, reducing the learning curve from hours to minutes.

Secondly, keeping a Lightning node running necessitates constant manual management. We addressed this by adding release management, notifications, and operational support to provide a highly reliable, 24/7 operation.

Thirdly, payment reliability can be inadequate, particularly for larger payments, and ensuring payments arrive at their destination can be challenging with Lightning. We tackled this problem by intelligently automating channel and liquidity management.

Finally, adding support for Lightning payments can be complicated. As a result, we built a set of client and service SDKs for developers to connect their products to the Lightning Network easily.

Today, Xapo’s customers can use their wallets to make instant payments to the growing number of merchants who accept Lightning payments. In addition, Xapo can offer high performance and reliability for its payments product thanks to Lightspark’s enterprise-grade infrastructure. In partnership with Xapo, our goal is to explore additional mainstream commercial use cases for Lightning over time, and help establish Lightning as the primary open protocol for value on the internet.