Startup Fold provided Bitcoin payment via Lightning Network at Starbucks and Whole Foods

Startup Fold provided Bitcoin payment via Lightning Network at Starbucks and Whole Foods

The Fold payment platform introduces the Lightning Network protocol, which allows users to make purchases at Starbucks, Whole Foods, AMC, Home Depot and Southwest Airlines for bitcoins.

Although customers will transfer BTC, payments will be settled in any currency chosen by the seller. This eliminates the risk of cryptocurrency volatility for sellers, while expanding the pool of potential customers who would prefer to carry out transactions with Bitcoin.

The protocol integrates with existing payment systems at point of sale, dealing “directly with prepaid programs, such as gift cards, store credits, or other options that vendors are used to,” said Fold, CEO of Will Reeves.

There is no direct connection between Fold and any of these big sellers. Transactions are displayed on the company’s financial balance as a gift card purchase or in another way, depending on how Fold integrates with a particular outlet. This integration does not require “no effort on the part of the seller” and does not require the installation of new hardware or software.

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Reeves sees Lightning transactions as a way to attract consumers to use cryptocurrency, not just as a means of preserving capital, but also as a method of payment.

“Customers go to the Fold app, where they are presented with a list of available sellers. Then they choose the name of the product and how much they want to spend, ”Reeves said.

Fold does not require a deposit and allows customers to manage any wallet of their choice. After filling out the invoice, it “immediately displays a barcode or other payment method” generated using the seller’s own gift card API. The whole process takes about 30 seconds.

“We believe that Bitcoin provides a fundamentally better payment method that preserves confidentiality, resists censorship and is initially aimed at being global. To this end, we create products that simplify access to BTC, making it as easy to use and profitable as possible, ”Reeves said in a statement to the company.

Fold will not charge for service, but expects to receive a margin from merchants for attracting new customers. According to Reeves, the company “generates income” and “does not depend on venture capital investments.” The startup is developing in the thesis.co incubator and has “thousands of users with a volume of tens of thousands of transactions worldwide.” Although he said that most users are based in the United States.

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In the future, Fold will release an update that will allow customers to earn bitcoins using the application. And earlier the company introduced
Lightning Pizza is a Domino pizza service for Bitcoins using the Lightning Network.


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