Substack now accepts Bitcoin payments on Lightning Network

The online publishing platform is allowing its independent publishers to accept crypto payments from more than 500,000 paying subscribers.

The Substack publishing platform now accepts Bitcoin payments, according to a press release yesterday. The platform achieved this by integrating a Bitcoin API from Bitcoin payment processor OpenNode.

Nick Inzucchi, product designer at Substack, said, “We are excited to work with OpenNode to enable Substack’s independent publishers to accept crypto payments. Having this option will give publishers more flexibility and freedom, and we look forward to doing more with crypto to meet the needs of authors.”

Founded in 2017, Substack provides a home for independent publishers and their readers, and has over 500,000 paying subscribers. The project has already received investment from well-known backers such as Andreessen Horowitz, Fifty Years and Y Combinator.

João Almeida, co-founder and CTO of OpenNode, explained, “Our partnership will allow content creators in the Substack ecosystem to accept payments in Bitcoin, keep their revenue in Bitcoin or convert it to their preferred currency. Publishers and podcasters have flocked to Substack to find creative and financial freedom, and Bitcoin is a natural fit.”

Since 2018, OpenNode has been providing businesses with payment solutions such as optimized APIs, payment buttons, e-commerce plug-ins and hosted checkouts to enable them to securely accept instant Bitcoin payments.

OpenNode’s Bitcoin API will allow Substack to accept Bitcoin payments both on-chain and through the Lightning Network.

Fast payments with Lightning

The Lightning Network is a decentralized level 2 protocol built on top of the Bitcoin network that uses smart contract functionality to improve the scalability of the blockchain and reduce transaction costs.

While Bitcoin can only handle seven transactions per second, with an average block confirmation time of about 10 minutes and variable average transaction fees that exceeded $60 earlier this year, the Lightning Network can handle at least one million transactions per second, process them almost instantly and for negligible fees.