Xapo Bank, an international private bank headquartered in Gibraltar, has integrated the Lightning Network to improve its Bitcoin (BTC) capabilities.
On March 2, Xapo officially announced a partnership with the Lightning Network infrastructure platform Lightspark, which allowed the firm to implement Lightning on its platform.
The integration enables faster and cheaper transactions on Xapo, reducing blockchain confirmation waiting times and transaction fees on the original Bitcoin network.
According to the firm, Xapo Bank members will now be able to instantly pay for small purchases of up to $100 at any vendor accepting Lightning payments. High-volume transactions will not initially be supported with the integration.
The new integration was introduced on Feb. 27 as part of a new update for Xapo bank’s apps on the App Store and the Google Play Store.
According to Xapo Bank CEO Seamus Rocca, Bitcoin’s transaction confirmation can take up to one hour during periods of high usage, which makes BTC unsuitable for small daily payments like groceries. By integrating the Lightning Network, Xapo allows its customers to pay with Bitcoin without having to convert it to the U.S. dollar, he said.
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Bitcoin average confirmation time has seen a huge spike in mid-February amid a massive activity on the Bitcoin network, with the mempool size reaching November 2022 levels. According to data from YCharts, BTC confirmation time hit nearly 600 minutes on Feb. 19.
Rocca also noted that Bitcoin payments are especially crucial during times of hyperinflation, economic uncertainty and political turmoil.
Founded in 2013, Xapo operates a private bank as well as a Bitcoin custodian and wallet regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission. The company is known for combining traditional banking with crypto by offering USD and BTC accounts in one place.
Xapo claims that, at the peak of its Bitcoin custodianship, the firm held more than 800,000 BTC ($18.7 billion) for family offices, funds and high net-worth individuals. Such an amount of Bitcoin is more than 4% of the entire number of all BTC in circulation.