An Austria-based cryptocurrency startup has completed what it believes to be the first Bitcoin ATM transaction made using the Lightning Network (LN).
Coinfinity, which operates out of Graz, already held the distinctions of deploying the first Bitcoin ATM and web-based cryptocurrency trading platform in Austria.
On Tuesday, the company marked another historic achievement, completing the first off-chain Bitcoin ATM transaction across the Lightning Network.
The transaction was completed in the Coinfinity office, and the company posted a German-language video demonstration of the purchase on YouTube.
Believed to be a potential long-term solution to Bitcoin’s network congestion, the second-layer Lightning Network will allow users to make transactions through off-chain payment channels. LN transactions settle nearly instantaneously and can be executed for extremely low fees, which proponents say will enable Bitcoin to once again become a viable payment system for small-value transactions in addition to a secure, censorship-resistant store of value.
Though still in alpha-stage testing, the main Lightning Network already has 395 nodes and approximately 1,000 open payment channels. For reference, Coin Dance data indicates that Bitcoin Cash — the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap — has 1,197 active nodes on its network.
Last month, the Lightning Network had its first “pizza transaction,” when a brave user used an LN payment to buy a router from TorGuard. Previously, the company had begun accepting LN payments for its VPN service, but this was the first recorded instance of an LN payment being used to purchase a physical item.
More recently, developer Jack Mallers released a beta version of Zap, a cross-platform LN wallet that lowers the amount of technical knowledge required to set up an LN node on either the testnet or mainnet.
However, while Lightning Network development and adoption continues to speed ahead, mainnet users must remember that the software — which has not received a production release — likely still contains bugs that could potentially cause them to lose their LN funds.