Bitcoin Is Bad for Payments, But Lightning Solves This: Samson Mow


Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Samson Mow says Bitcoin (BTC) is bad for payments but the Lightning Network solves this.

Mow — who is also a co-founder of formerly top cryptocurrency exchange BTCC — made his remarks in an interview for SFOX blog on Aug. 15.

Lightning changes the whole equation

Mow conceded that he doesn’t yet have an everyday use case for Bitcoin (BTC), quipping that in daily life, he still uses credit cards, not cryptocurrency. The top coin, he argued, is designed in such a way that has an altogether different purpose: 

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“It’s more of a store of value and a medium of wealth transfer. It’s not something you would use every day in payments. I’ve said this before, and people have twisted around and said I hate Bitcoin, but Bitcoin is bad for payments.”

For payments, Mow said, we have the Lightning network: instantaneous and virtually free — designed exactly with everyday payments in mind. 

As a payment system, he recalled, Bitcoin takes ten minutes on average for transactions to be settled — this being an average, it can also take as much as three hours at times.

And while Mow may still be using credit cards, he noted that Lightning — as a virtually zero-fee network — has the potential to change the whole equation once it reaches wide adoption.

There’s Bitcoin, and then there’s everything else

Bitcoin is in a class of its own, Mow argued. Since its creator disappeared, no one person or entity is backing, marketing or actively controlling it. He said: 

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“Someone coined the phrase ‘Bitcoin had a virgin birth.’ None of the altcoins have that. They’re all copies of Bitcoin’s concept […] without that kind of virgin birth […] someone is able to assert authority over the network and control the roadmap or have influence over that.”

Mow had this summer remarked that Facebook’s “Libra is so screwed,” noting that the project had the confused aim of being both open and closed at the same time. He proposed that the social media titan “should’ve just used Bitcoin.”

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Author: Marie Huillet

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