Visa Partner Zap Raises $3.5 Million To Expand Bitcoin Payments

… While Zap’s charismatic young founder Jack Mallers… shared the milestone in conversation with Forbes.

While Mallers’ idea of a payments network for bitcoin is nothing new, Chicago-based Zap has distinguished itself by being one of the more sophisticated operations using a new platform built on top of bitcoin, called the Lightning Network, that can instantly confirm settlement instead of the 10 minutes it normally takes. In addition to being faster, the Lightning Network sidesteps the fees associated with bitcoin, which are much cheaper than traditional fees when sending large amounts, but have proven prohibitive to people looking to use tiny amounts of bitcoin in daily transactions. 

… By moving the transactions off-chain and reducing the fees associated with smaller transactions, Mallers believes he’ll have an edge over a rising tide of more mature cryptocurrency startups, including cryptocurrency giant Coinbase, also working with Visa. 

“Our users today, don’t ever know we’re using bitcoin when they’re using dollars. It’s just kind of like we’ve melted it in the background… I think tens of millions of people will be using this stuff in the next few years, and that just takes a little bit of capital.”