The city of Lagos in Nigeria has recently welcomed its first Bitcoin Lightning Network node. Although the Lightning Network (LN) has been in existence for some time now, its implementation in rural areas is still a distant prospect.
This represents a significant milestone in the effort to more effectively connect the African continent to a Bitcoin-based layer 2 payment network. This development is expected to help to increase the adoption of LN in the rural areas of the continent and help in the growth of Bitcoin-based transactions in Africa.
Megasley, the individual who manages the country’s Lightning Network node, recently shared his proposal for implementing a solution that would allow for low-cost and fast payments to be made in Africa. He emphasized that his goal is to help the people of Africa access quick and cost-free financial transactions.
Specifically, he stated that the best possible outcome for this solution would be if both a Bitcoin holder and a retail vendor in Nigeria were connected to an LN node located within the country. This would ensure a seamless and efficient experience for both parties involved in the transaction
According to data from Bitcoin blockchain discovery platforms Mempool and Amboss, Megasley currently holds the distinction of being the only active operator of a Lightning Network (LN) node in Nigeria.
By maintaining and expanding his node, he aims to make LN payments as accessible and practical as possible for people in Africa. By doing this, he will be able to provide a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective payment solution for the people of Africa and make it more accessible to the population.
The goal is to allow as many people in Africa as possible to benefit from the advantages of LN payments, such as low transaction fees and fast processing times
Mageslie states his vision for the Lightning Network (LN).
He stated that:
“The Earth is crossed by light in 50 ms. Although it moves quickly, several hops can cause these milliseconds to mount up. Also, it can be annoying to wait at the point of sale while your money is being processed.”
He further emphasized that he wanted the payment to be as immediate and cost-free as feasible for the Africans. A Nigerian bitcoin and a Nigerian shop will have the optimal Lightning experience if they are both linked to a node in Nigeria. Due to the slow rate of transactions in Nigeria, he strives to push this into a reality.
He also spoke about the problem of volatility and corruption as the major continental economic challenge
“We need bitcoin because Africa is home to corrupt financial institutions run by corrupt individuals. We will deny them access to financial power so that the immense potential of the African people can be realized.”
The acceptance of bitcoin has grown in nations that utilize the Central African franc, specifically in Senegal and Ghana, due to the presence of bitcoin conferences and forums in these countries. However, while there have been discussions and positive indications of bitcoin acceptance in Nigeria, it is expected that the traditional banking system will implement stricter regulations on the use of bitcoin starting in 2023.
A crucial step toward increasing cryptocurrency popularity and accessibility in Nigeria and throughout the continent is the establishment of a Lightning Network node there. Additionally, Nigeria developed its national digital currency, CBDC, which now has over 270,000 users. To motivate users of CBDC to utilize it more frequently, the Central Bank of Nigeria placed a limit on ATM withdrawals in the nation.
Ken Emmanuel is a Blockchain Content writer, a Web3 Enthusiast and a Social Media Management Strategist, he likes writing educative contents to help people gain more knowledge and get inspired. The growth of any organization he work with is always his priority. He is a Geographer by profession and loves reading.