The mainstream media, namely CNBC, witnessed the power of Lightning. “We transmitted bitcoin from Miami to a Ukrainian in Poland, who withdrew it as cash, all in less than three minutes,” the article’s snappy title states. Alena Vorobiova was the recipient, and her face at the video’s conclusion also says it all. Gleb Naumenko, a bitcoin developer, assisted in the operation, while MacKenzie Sigalos represented CNBC. She moderated one of the most engaging panels at Bitcoin 2022 and was still in Miami at the time of the experiment.
“What is the bottom line?” It works exactly as bitcoin proponents claim.
Vorobiova spent less than three minutes installing a crypto wallet to her phone, sending bitcoin from the United States to Poland via the Lightning Network, and withdrawing the equivalent in Polish cash from a bitcoin ATM in the southwest city of Wrocaw.”
That, my friends, is the power of the Lightning Network. Let us examine how this situation came to be and why it is critical for refugees worldwide. And, in fact, for everyone.
How Much Money Was Sent by CNBC?
According to CNBC, “money providers frequently charge 10% or more in transfer costs when sending $100 from the United States to Ukraine.” However, as you may have heard, her country’s current position is somewhat difficult. She is currently in Poland, more precisely in the city of Wrocaw. There are fifteen bitcoin ATMs located on the premises. Fortunately, at least one of them allowed Lightning transactions, and they included the following:
“She wound up with 170 zloty, the Polish money, which is equivalent to approximately 100,000 sats or $40. The ATM operator charged a fee of ten zloty, or approximately 5.5 percent of the total transaction.”
That is, of course, the ATM’s take. While this is the simplest method, it is not the ideal method for converting BTC to fiat currency. The Lightning Network fees “were fractions of a dime,” and you’d be well to keep that in mind. Additionally, “In Poland, for example, there are over 175 bitcoin ATMs, allowing refugees who escaped with bitcoin to convert it to fiat currency.”
However, an advanced tip is that you do not require a bitcoin ATM that takes a 5% commission to convert BTC to fiat currency. The network is liquid globally due to the high value and demand for BTC. Individuals who comprehend it and own fiat currency wish to exchange their bills for BTC. In any event, “the process demonstrates how migrants who lack access to cash and cannot access their belongings can bank using cryptocurrency wallets.”
How did this entire situation occur?
As it turns out, the BTC that CNBC transferred to Poland originated with Peter McCormack of What Bitcoin Did. He “trained CNBC how to utilise the Lightning Network to deliver immediate payments to anyone in the globe” last August by sending them “100,000 satoshis, or sats (the smallest denomination of bitcoin, approximately 0.00000001 BTC) from his account to ours.” The total amount transferred was approximately $50.”
CNBC concludes the report by quoting a frequent Bitcoinist guest. Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation informs the mainstream media of what we all know:
“Even though I’m in California, I can instantaneously transfer you any amount of money to your phone at any moment.” We are not concerned with your status as a refugee. It makes no difference if you lack a Polish passport or bank account. None of this matters.”
Such is the bitcoin network’s strength. And if you use Lightning, all of this may occur in a matter of seconds for “fractions of a penny” in fees.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.