Last week Jack Mallers the creator of the Lighting wallet Zap, which supports Bitcoin and Litecoin, announced via twitter, a new project titled Olympus. A standalone component and compliment to Zap allowing for fiat to lighting payments in seconds.
What if you could go from fiat in your bank account to non-custodial Lightning payments in seconds? What does onboarding the masses look like?
In a blog post expanding on Olympus, Mallers explains that the project came around from his own desire to remove friction for new users getting into the space and increasing adoption of the lightning network. Asking himself:
What if general consumers never had to experience the limitations and the inherent expensive nature of the bitcoin blockchain? What if they don’t need to understand the layered complexity of channels? What if they don’t need to trust a custodian to own their keys? Someone who has never experienced bitcoin before should be able to swipe their debit card, get bitcoin delivered to them directly onto the Lightning Network, and make inexpensive instant micropayments within seconds of purchase
Mallers created a video showing off Olympus on a freshly installed Zap wallet. Mallers made the payment and had bitcoin deposited to his lightning account in under 30 seconds.
Existing methods that have tried to facilitate these types of purchases, opened lightning channels pre-emptively between participants. However, this still takes time and something Mallers sees ‘as only a stop-gap solution that can’t scale in the long term’.
As such, Olympus instead uses Turbo Channels that allow amounts in a channel to be spent immediately under ‘special circumstances’. In this case if the payment from the buyer has been received, then there is no need to wait for the usual channel confirmations to occur, effectively allowing for instant onboarding.
Olympus is designed as an external service which Mallers hopes other popular lightning clients will adopt. This Modular approach has proven popular in the past as it allows other teams to provide a better service to their users whilst allowing them to keep focusing on their main development interests.
Olympus can deliver BTC in whichever way it sees the best fit: Lightning payment, submarine swap, on-chain, etc.
Despite Mallers objections to KYC/AML processes, users who use Olympus will have to comply with existing laws and regulations regarding the purchasing of cryptocurrencies. It will however, never be required for the base Zap experience.
Olympus is currently in Beta and at this time only supports bitcoin purchases, those looking to test it out can find an invite on Zap’s Website and FiatToLightning.