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Portland's Lightning Network Block Party

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A street party in Portland, Oregon celebrating the Bitcoin Lightning Network turned heads, and provided real-world use cases for the technology.

The Bitcoin Beach-style street fair featured vendors, artists, and food trucks, all accepting payment via the Lightning Network. Fiat money, naturally, was banned from the event.

Clay Graham, founder of Rapaygo, a company focused on bringing Lightning Network payment solutions to small businesses, called it “grassroots evidence” that “America is adopting Bitcoin.”

Graham told Cointelegraph that the event could be called a success if “people could spend Bitcoin freely as they would fiat.”

Ultimately, he said, "fifty people [spent] over 4 million Sats in three hours, three food carts and seven vendors selling anything they want while even supporting use cases like 'tipping the DJ.'"

The event was MC’d by veteran Bitcoiner Dennis Porter, who flexed the LN payment speed on Twitter:

Recent interest in Lightning network technology has only been growing – in the time since BTC began to fall from its all-time high price of $69,000 USD in November 2021, the number of Bitcoin locked in Lightning has grown by 11%.

Now, Kraken is adopting the technology to offer instant deposits and withdrawals with virtually zero fees, and the world’s first transaction of Tether in a Lightning channel has just been performed by BTC-powered service provider Synonym.

The technology worked great according to those at Portland’s Lightning Network party, with Graham saying it was “easier than cash, all cheaper than cards and…tons of fun on a sunny day.”

“Kansas City has already reached out on how to boilerplate this party," he added. “Remember that within a year of Bitcoin Beach, El Salvador announced legal tender. Now we can have Bitcoin Beach in every town.”

Adan Kohnhorst is a globally-based writer and producer with a focus on alternative culture and emerging ideas. He’s a founding member of Shanghai-based media outlet RADII, and the founder of Mind Body Globe, a blog covering intersections of travel and wellbeing.

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