Lightning, Duplex and the Search for Scalable Bitcoin Micropayments

Like most emerging technologies, bitcoin exists in a gap between what could be possible should the technology mature and its abilities today.

For instance, there may be no older and bigger 'buried treasure' use case for bitcoin than its ability to serve as a protocol for micropayments. Compared to credit cards and PayPal, the latter of which defines a micropayment as less than roughly $5, bitcoin is divisible into 100 million smaller units called Satoshis, valued at $0.000002 at today's price levels.

Proponents have long theorized that this divisibility, coupled with a wider adoption of bitcoin, could create conditions under which all manner of digital media, now largely subsidized by advertising and events, might be paid for through bitcoin micropayments.

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