A developer with a German background Matthias Steinig has dedicated enough resources to develop Lightning Network-enabled technologies in order to serve consumers. He has also created two projects to date which are remarkable and Lightning-based. One of his notable inventions is the rentable electric bicycle, fondly referred to as “Lightning Bike, which enables the users to pay for “boosts” for a small amount in bitcoin.
The Lightning Bike
A closer assessment of the bike reveals that its rental system has two major components operating on cheap Raspberry Pi hardware. Interestingly, it has a stable code written in Python, and this implies that it is relatively easy for commercial developers to adjust and improve if need be. The first principal component is the server component, which authorizes the bike’s battery to deliver a boost to the bike for a given prepaid length of time. On the other hand, the second part of the bicycle includes a wireless receiver and an LCD screen.
The bike is not so cumbersome process-wise, and the user makes a payment as low as 250 Satoshis (which is not up to two cents in market value at the moment). According to Matthias Steinig;
“Once the payment has been made, the system will power on for the selected time, and you can start driving!!! After the end of the paid time, the system switches off, and the power supply is interrupted – of course, you can continue driving, but only with muscle power. The program returns to the home screen, and you can book new time again. If it did not work, the start screen would be displayed, and you can try it again.”
The Power of Lightning and Micropayments
One of the major deterring factor why Bitcoin has not been in the mainstream has been the question of payment for trivial things. It has also been a subject of many debates in the crypto ecosystem as to whether or not Bitcoin should be used to pay for something as trivial as a coffee. In an attempt to tackle this issue, a school of thought believes that the size of BTC blocks should be increased to accommodate this with low transaction fees, while the second school of thought (the most realistic school) suggested the second-layer protocols, such as the Lightning Network.
Judging by Steinig’s invention, items ridiculously smaller in unit and money value than a cup coffee can be purchased. Another notable feature of the Lightning Network is its ability to facilitate transactions with speed of light; this makes it a viable option for payments. No doubt, the invention of Lightning Bike would further boost the capacity of the technology and make it widely accepted in the world.