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Block’s Cash App Integrates Lightning Network for Bitcoin Transactions

Payments platform Cash App is making the Bitcoin Lightning Network available to customers in the United States over the next few weeks.

3 min read
Jack Dorsey. Image: Shutterstock

Cash App—a mobile payments app developed by Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly Square)—is making the Lightning Network, a layer-2 solution that speeds up Bitcoin transactions, available to users in the United States. 

“Rolling out in the coming weeks, Cash App customers in the United States will be able to use the Lightning Network to send Bitcoin for free to anyone, anywhere in the world, within seconds,” Cash App announced in a prepared statement. 

“Customers can send Bitcoin internationally from Cash App to any external compatible wallet to a friend, family members, a self-managed wallet, or any merchant that accepts Lightning Network payments, with zero fees.” 

Jack Dorsey shifts focus

In November 2021, Dorsey stepped down as CEO of social media giant Twitter, which, in turn, gave the former Twitter CEO more time to focus on what was then called Square, the digital payments company where he also serves as CEO. 

A month later, Square rebranded to Block, generating discussions about the firm’s potentially deeper focus on crypto-related projects. 

“The name has many associated meanings for the company—building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome,” Dorsey said at the time. 

However, the rebrand was not welcomed with particular enthusiasm at the time, with Block’s stock price falling by 6% within 24 hours of the rebrand announcement. 

Today’s news is the latest in a growing line of pivots to crypto-projects under Dorsey’s full-time leadership for the recently rebranded payments firm. 

Block’s crypto embrace

In November, the then-named Square released a white paper for a decentralized Bitcoin exchange. The key reason why the payments firm hasn’t turned to the Ethereum network for the project comes down to Dorsey’s outspokenness against the number two blockchain. 

A seemingly innocent screenshot tweeted by Dorsey in August 2021 included a tweet that said, “the Ethereum Foundation is bankrolled by their premine. Them paying a researcher who is going on podcasts proclaiming Ethereum is Bitcoin is exactly why we consider it a scam.” 

Last week, Block also signaled its intention to get into Bitcoin mining. The payments firm wants to offer mining rigs that are cheaper, quieter, and easier to maintain than the current offerings. 

None of this should come as much of a surprise, given that Dorsey has become one of the loudest advocates for Bitcoin in recent times. 

In June last year, Dorsey said, “whatever my companies can do to make [Bitcoin] accessible to everyone is how I’m going to spend the rest of my life.” 

“If I were not at Square [Block] or Twitter, I would be working on Bitcoin. If it needed more help than Square or Twitter, I would leave them for Bitcoin,” he added.

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