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Nigerian innovator launches first active Bitcoin Lightning node in the country

The Lightning Network has struck the earth in one of the most challenging operating environments. Lagos, the capital of Nigeria — Africa’s most populous country — welcomed a new Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN) node this week, a vital step to better connect the continent to the layer-2 payments network that sits atop Bitcoin.

The node runs on an old laptop powered by a diesel generator, as Lagos regularly experiences energy and electricity blackouts.

Megasley’s diesel generator and laptop running the node. Source: Megasley 

In a discussion with Cointelegraph, Megasley, who operates the first Nigerian Lightning node of 2023 and the first active Lightning node in the country (other nodes are dormant), shared his vision for bringing instant, low-cost payments to Africa thanks to the LN.

”Light takes 50 milliseconds to cross the earth. This is quick, but with many hops, these milliseconds can add up. And when you’re standing at a point of sale waiting for your payment to clear, it can be frustrating.”

Megasley explained his wish for Africans to have payments that are instant and as close to free as possible. “If a Nigerian Bitcoiner and a Nigerian retailer are both connected to a node in Nigeria, it will give them the best Lightning experience,” Megasley added.

Nigeria Free Routing is live!

The lightning network is now alive and routing on the ground in Lagos .

Please share and support us by opening a channel to us: https://t.co/nClBZbW4zA pic.twitter.com/hGsKobyjzY

— Africa Free Routing ⚡ (@FreeRoutingAf) January 10, 2023

According to the explorer services Mempool and Amboss, the operator is currently the only active node on the map in Nigeria. By spinning up the node, the operator aims to make Lightning payments as accessible as possible to Africans.

Cast your vote now!

When asked about the importance of building out an extensive network of nodes across the globe to facilitate Bitcoin payments, the node runner explained, “If Bitcoin is to succeed, it must become a better, easier, faster medium of exchange than the incumbents. To get there, we need…

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