Tap-to-pay Bitcoin Lightning Bolt cards strike El Salvador


El Salvador-based Bitcoin (BTC) holders could soon be able to spend their BTC using the “tap-to-pay” feature wherever the near-field communication services (NFC) card readers are available. The cardless pay service would be utilizing the Lightning Network (LN) to facilitate retail BTC transactions.

Contactless card payments are quite popular in the current fast-paced world, and with the help of LN, these services can now be utilized by BTC holders as well. The Bitcoin Lightning services are being introduced in El Salvador by CoinCorner, which has, in turn, partnered with IBEX, a lightning infrastructure services company, to add NFC support across businesses in the country.

The Bolt Card, which is a Lighting payment card, was launched on Oct. 12. CoinCorner said that the motivation for its expansion in the Central American nation, apart from its BTC legal tender, was a barrage of reports about poor user experience that the firm hopes to resolve.

Molly Spiers, head of marketing and communication at CoinCorner, told Cointelegraph that lightning is the future of Bitcoin payment and encourages people to use BTC more, she explained:

“The Lightning Network is designed to make bitcoin transactions as fast and cheap as possible – this will only encourage more people to use bitcoin. We believe that Lightning is the future of Bitcoin payments. “

Bitcoin LN is a layer-2 scalability infrastructure that allows for retail usage and expenditure of BTC in day-to-day life at a low cost and insistent transaction rate. The introduction of tap-to-pay card payment would make way for a seamless BTC user experience in the country, which the firm hopes would also enhance the country’s BTC usage.

Related: El Salvador Bitcoin wallet shows ‘strong sign of adoption,’ exec says

El Salvador became the first country to make BTC a legal tender in September 2021. At the time, President Nayib Bukele led government hoped that the adoption would help the country’s majority unbanked population to gain monetary independence. Within four months of adopting BTC, the country onboarded 4 million users on its government-backed Bitcoin wallet.

The BTC wallets saw $52 million in remittances in the first two quarters of 2022. With the introduction of Lightning-based payments in the country, the retail payment sector could see a bump in BTC use.