Bitcoin Lightning Wallets Are Gaining Traction in 2019

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Lightning-centric bitcoin wallets are gaining traction in 2019 and making small transactions affordable by reducing network fees.

Coelho told CoinDesk the wallet's built-in lightning marketplace, offering connections to external services like the crypto exchange ZigZag, the blog Yalls and games like Lightning Roulette, facilitates nearly 10,000 referrals a month.

Competition across the marketplace is ramping up with a crop of new wallets seeking funding to support lightning development, sources told CoinDesk.

In June, the Lightning Labs wallet launched and attracted 2,000 downloads within the first 24 hours.

That same month, the bitcoin wallet provider Samourai Wallet announced a partnership with the French lightning node-maker Nodl to make the mobile wallet lightning-compatible.

Plus, Mallers added, Zap now has more than 25,000 desktop downloads and 1,000 active TestFlight users on iOS. "Not only are they downloading it, but the applications are actually checking assets because they're using it and the wallets are open," Mallers said.

While Bluewallet has far more American users, Coelho said his company's wallet also appears to be gaining traction in Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, based on App Store data and the times that users interact with the product.

Lightning Labs developers told CoinDesk the startup will offer premium services for wallet users in the future, but collecting fees from users isn't a priority for their team either.

"It wasn't very clear how a lightning wallet would make money. A lightning wallet's point is to help with scaling," Mallers said.

Open-source wallets like Bluewallet and Zap de-prioritize the business model as they seek to stabilize the product with the help of volunteer contributors.