Watch as we send out bitcoin from Miami to a Ukrainian in Poland

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Watch as we send bitcoin from Miami to a Ukrainian in Poland

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Alena Vorobiova had not believed much about bitcoin prior to Russia got into Ukraine inFebruary Fast forward to surround closures and shelling on her home town, money scarcities at ATMs throughout the nation, and the reserve bank suspending electronic money transfers– and she chose to provide bitcoin a shot.

Whereas cash service providers typically charge transfer charges of 10% or more when you send out $100 from the U.S. to Ukraine, bitcoin’s Lightning Network, which is a payments platform developed on bitcoin’s base layer, slashes the expense of deals to essentially absolutely no.

Vorobiova and CNBC chose to put Lightning payments to the test– with the proficiency and translation abilities of bitcoin designer Gleb Naumenko, who is presently hiding in the western part of Ukraine as the war raves on.

The bottom line? It actually does work in addition to bitcoin boosters state it does.

The procedure of downloading a crypto wallet onto Vorobiova’s phone, moving bitcoin over the Lightning Network from the U.S. to Poland, and withdrawing the equivalent in Polish currency from a bitcoin ATM from the southwest city of Wroc ław took less than 3 minutes.

Alena Vorobiova withdraws Polish zloty from a bitcoin ATM in Poland.

Sending sats from Dallas to Miami to Poland

Last August on a journey from Houston to Dallas, Peter McCormack– creator and host of the popular What Bitcoin Did’ podcast– taught CNBC how to utilize the Lightning Network to make instantaneous payments to anybody on the planet.

The guide took less than 60 seconds and included 4 standard actions: We downloaded the Blue Wallet app and produced a one-time billing in the kind of a QR code. McCormack scanned that QR code utilizing a comparable app on his own phone, and after that moved 100,000 satoshis, or sats (the tiniest denomination of bitcoin, about 0.00000001 BTC) from his account to ours. The overall transfer was comparable to about $50

Eight months later on, from a hotel space in Miami on the sidelines of the Bitcoin 2022 conference, CNBC chose to pay that understanding– and a few of those sats– forward.

Read more about cryptocurrencies from CNBC Pro

On a three-way video call with Naumenko in Western Ukraine, Vorobiova in Southwest Poland, and CNBC in Miami, we followed a really comparable series of occasions.

With the assistance of Naumenko, Vorobiova downloaded the Muun wallet app, a various kind of self-custodial wallet for bitcoin and Lightning, made a four-digit pin, and produced a billing as a QR code. CNBC then recorded that QR code utilizing the scan mode in the Blue Wallet and moved over 50,000 of sats from McCormack. The charges totaled up to portions of a cent. (For functions of the experiment, Naumenko moved another 50,000 due to the fact that the bitcoin ATM had a minimum withdrawal quantity.)

Bitcoin designer Jeff Czyz informs CNBC that Lightning wallets work due to the fact that they all need to carry out the Basis of Lightning Technology, or BOLT, requirements, which specifies a layer-2 procedure for sending out payments throughout the Lightning Network.

“A Lightning wallet app is akin to a bank, in that sending money between banks requires them to speak the same language,” stated Czyz, a designer with Jack Dorsey’s group referred to as Spiral (previously Square Crypto). That typical language is the BOLT requirements.

“The Lightning Network consists of nodes connected by payment channels, which are used to forward payments across the network without the need to trust intermediaries,” continued Czyz.

Alena Vorobiova withdraws Polish zloty from a bitcoin ATM in Poland.

Just like the tutorial in the cars and truck, the procedure of moving sats from Miami to Wroc ław likewise took about a minute.

From there, Vorobiova– who followed her sibling and niece to the Polish city of Wroc ław to assist them get settled– went to among the fifteen bitcoin ATMs in Wroc ław and asked for a withdrawal.

She achieved this by utilizing a QR code that the ATM spit out. She scanned the QR code into her phone utilizing the Muun app, moved her bitcoin into the ATM’s account, and the ATM in turn released the cash. She wound up with 170 zloty, the Polish currency, worth about 100,000 sats or $40 The ATM business took a cost of 10 zloty, or about 5.5% of the overall deal.

“That’s the same flow as making a payment for a good or service using Lightning,” discussed Czyz.

For Vorobiova, this was more of an enjoyable experiment. She has the ability to go back and forth from Ukraine to Poland, and she informs CNBC that she is following the assistance of Ukrainian regulators to simply utilize charge card for the time being.

But the procedure highlights how refugees without any money and no other way of accessing their valuables can utilize crypto wallets for banking.

Some Ukrainians utilize it to assist in peer-to-peer deals, while others have actually discovered that Lightning is a low-cost and quick method to get contributions and remittances from throughout the world. In Poland, for instance, there are more than 175 bitcoin ATMs, enabling refugees who got away with bitcoin to cash it back out for fiat currency.

“Me sitting in California, I can still send you any amount of money instantly to your phone anytime,” stated Alex Gladstein, chief method officer for the Human Rights Foundation, which has actually been supporting activists in Ukraine considering that2009

“We don’t have to worry about the fact that you’re a refugee. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a Polish passport or a bank account. None of these things matter,” continued Gladstein.