The application is compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows operating systems. The first version is designed for those who run a Lightning Network node.

The startup Sparkswap announced the launch of a new desktop application that allows users to buy Bitcoin with fiat money, such as the US dollar, to send it directly to their Lightning Network (LN) wallets.

In a post published on September 16th in its corporate blog, the company explains that purchases of Bitcoin through Sparkswap Desktop are instantly transferred to users’ LN wallet without the company taking custody of the cryptocurrency.

The above is possible because the process runs as a Lightning Network atomic swap, in which users only have to rely on open source software and not on the company. These direct exchanges are usually made between two blockchain platforms without intermediaries.

The company adds that, for the moment, only the purchase of bitcoins is supported. However, they hope to support mobile platforms and make BTC sales in the future. They also note that this first version of the application is aimed at users who are already running a Lightning Network (LND) node. In the event that they are not, the startup clarifies that users should use Lightning, Zap or Node Launcher applications, which facilitate the installation of Bitcoin and LN nodes and optimize the use of Sparkswap Desktop.

Configuration and Security Measures

To start using the tool, users must download the application, which is compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows operating systems. Besides, they can compile the source code from GitHub.

The configuration requires being connected to the existing LND node, after which a live Bitcoin/USD price feed appears for the purchase of BTC. This allows users to transfer US dollars from their bank accounts, without being charged fees. The company adds that US dollars will be instantly available for qualified customers. Otherwise, the transfers will be settled in a few days.

It is further stated that the dollars are kept in a deposit account domiciled in the United States, subject to periodic third-party audits and contractual controls that seek to ensure that the funds are not used for anything other than refunds in dollars. The startup explains that users’ USD transfers are not subject to bankruptcy proceedings of Sparkswap or any of its affiliates.

Last April 2019, this startup raised almost USD 4 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). The project aims at creating a non-custodial exchange platform in order to take advantage of the scaling and speed functions of Lightning Network and atomic exchanges. The Mainnet tests had begun in January 2019.

The operation of Sparkswap resembles that of Boltz, whose launch in the alpha version also occurred last April, with the objective of creating an instant, no-account and non-custodial digital asset exchange platform, built on Lightning Network. Boltz exchanges crypto assets between a Lightning network channel and a blockchain. In addition, it uses underwater exchanges and a hash time locked contract (HTLC) that conditions the ownership of an unspent transaction output (UTXO) to the payment of an invoice in LN.

By Willmen Blanco


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