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How to use Lightning with Fold

Fold provides a few different payment methods that offer up to 20 percent back in bitcoin on your purchase. Below are the payment methods offered along with the platform supported.

  • Credit Card (Mobile)
  • Bitcoin (Web)
  • Lightning (Mobile and Web)

What is Lightning

Lightning is short for The Lightning Network, which is a quicker way to pay someone with Bitcoin. Bitcoin is great, however its common pain points are that it can have expensive fees and slow wait times.

We love Bitcoin, but this can create a tough experience for our customers. Lightning doesn’t have these issues — where Bitcoin transacting is slow and expensive, Lightning is fast and cheap. It’s a lot like a debit card that you can load up instead of having to deal with cold hard cash. Bitcoin has its use cases, but buying your daily coffee isn’t one of them.

The Lightning Network isn’t something we came up with. It’s a protocol that many great people in Bitcoin have helped build. From Elizabeth Stark of Lightning Labs to Jack Dorsey CEO of Twitter/Square — Lightning is the future of trustless, nationless payment, and we’re excited to have you use it.

How Do I use Lightning?

Moving your Bitcoin onto Lightning is as easy as a single Bitcoin transaction and gives you virtually unlimited free* transactions in return. First, you’ll want to download a Lightning wallet for your platform of choice and make sure you have Bitcoin available to send on Lightning.

Custodial vs Non-Custodial

A wallet is custodial when some service that isn’t solely controlled by you owns your keys. While this is not always ideal, it provides some nice assurances for newcomers to the space who are not comfortable with being in control of their own keys. Typically these services provide robust backup options that prevent the user from losing their Bitcoin if the user loses control of their phone.

However, if the wallet goes offline for legal/malicious reason — it is not guaranteed that you will maintain control of your coin. We recommend that you store only low amounts of Bitcoin is such wallets.

Non-custodial is the opposite, meaning you and you alone are in control of your coin. Some wallets give you the option to store your keys in remote storage like drive/icloud, which can be a nice backup should the worst happen.

Android

Non-Custodial Options:

Custodial Options :

iOS

Non-Custodial Options:

Custodial Options :

Desktop

  • Zap (beginner/advanced)

*While Blue Wallet is custodial out of the box, it’s possible to set up your own backend with LNDHub — making it non-custodial

How do I pay with Lightning?

Once you download any of the above wallets and transfer Bitcoin into it, you’ll be ready to send Bitcoin over Lightning. Most of the listed wallets perform automatic channel management for you, so there’s no need to concern yourself with that.

To purchase a Fold card with lightning, simply choose Lightning as the payment option before pressing ‘Buy Card’. You will be presented with a Lightning invoice which you’ll pay from your Lightning client.

I want to open a channel with Fold

If you use a client that allows you to open your own channels, you may find it tempting to open a channel with Fold’s Lightning Network node in order to avoid fees or routing issues.

However, connecting a channel directly to Fold is not the only way to avoid these minor inconveniences. Some nodes in the network are effective routing companions and offer low to zero fees as well as consistent up time. In fact, the Fold development team maintains close relations with some major routers to ensure constant routing ability for customers.

Below is a list of nodes we recommend you connect to to ensure maximum routing capability across the network:

We do not recommend users open channels directly with Fold. However if you wish to do so, the minimum balance required is 0.05 bitcoin or 500,000 sats. Please note that we may close your channel if the following becomes true:

  • No fund movement in 30 consecutive days (including forwarded funds)
  • More than 70 percent of the channels funds are on our side

We maintain our channels rigorously because while Bitcoin is in Lightning, it is locked up. While we employ methods such as submarine swaps with Loop Out, closing channels is the cheapest method for removing Bitcoin from Lighting and into our cold wallets.

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