One often heard complaint about Bitcoin and other similar projects is how this technology is very difficult to use. Younger generations seem to struggle less with this new concept of money. Although Bitcoin is far from granny-proof at this stage, a recent Lightning Network trial confirmed things are heading in the right direction.
Older Generations and the Lightning Network
From the perspective of using Bitcoin as money, it quickly becomes apparent there is a lot of work left to be done these days. Not only is Bitcoin relatively difficult to obtain for the average person on the street, effectively “owning” BTC involves a fair bit of work as well. It is not a compelling alternative for most people, and changing that narrative will not be easy whatsoever.
Even though Bitcoin wallets have become more user-friendly, they are still subjected to a steep learning curve. Sending payments to other people is still complex, as it usually requires scanning QR codes or entering details manually. Neither of those options is appealing to consumers, regardless of their age. Especially for elderly people, dealing with this fancy yet cumbersome technology is not something they have been looking forward to.
One possible solution comes in the form of the Lightning Network. This new scaling layer streamlines Bitcoin payments. Users can open and sue payment channels for proper peer-to-peer payments. Moreover, these transactions are both cheaper and faster compared to how the Bitcoin network operates normally. It is widely considered to be a vast improvement, even though it can always be improved upon.
Hey @Ibelite we just passed the #LNTrustChain ⚡️ torch to your grandmother! Pretty sure we created history here by conducting a Lightning transaction to the oldest living person at 88 years old! Glad to be part of this LN fun! 🐸😀@hodlonaut @starkness @labitcoineta https://t.co/JTo9eybsEX
— CoinGecko (@coingecko) February 19, 2019
Big was people’s surprise when it turned out even the elderly have – seemingly – no problems using the Lightning Network. More specifically, a Bitcoin user’s grandmother – who is 88 years old – has successfully conducted a Lightning transaction without any real problems. While this may be a very unique exception, it does show there is more to this technology than initially meets the eye.
While most of the details regarding this procedure remain unclear, it has been confirmed by several people the experiment was successful. This is also the first time one can truly call Bitcoin to be financially inclusive, rather than financially “awkward”. Stories like these highlight the potential of what Bitcoin can become in years from today. It is also a good example of why people need to learn to look beyond the price per BTC.
I just want to say THANK YOU one more time to @coingecko @hodlonaut and @starkness ! My 88 year old grandma now has the torch and I took this fantastic picture of her before she goes to bed 🙂 pic.twitter.com/1RmLt32c2L
— Ibelite (@Ibelite) February 19, 2019
It is evident Bitcoin still has a very long way to go. It may not become a mainstream form of payment for the foreseeable future. However, the Lightning Network shows interesting things can happen if people are willing to make it work. It is now up to this elderly person to keep the momentum going and broadcast an LN transaction of her own in the near future. These are very exciting times for the world’s leading cryptocurrency.