The Bitcoin Beach Wallet was built for bottom-up bitcoin adoption. It launched in 2020 in El Zonte, El Salvador to help support the Bitcoin Beach project’s vision of creating a circular bitcoin economy. Many of the features of the wallet were designed with and for residents and local merchants who are unbanked and unfamiliar with bitcoin. We published a long-form article about this in Bitcoin Banking for Communities: Lessons Learned from Bitcoin Beach.
The wallet started as a proof of concept for the Galoy open source, bitcoin-native core banking platform. It has since grown into a popular lightning wallet for bitcoin community projects and Lightning enthusiasts globally. The declared purpose of becoming the best tool for bottom-up bitcoin adoption has attracted tens of thousands of active users, and many requests for features that would increase utility and accessibility across countries and cultures.
In 2023, we are unlocking the full potential of Bitcoin Beach Wallet as the Lightning wallet for community building.
Here are a few things you can expect from us this year:
- Name change: It’s time for a name that’s suited for growth. Something easy to say, easy to type, and without a problematic acronym (You can look up BBW on urban dictionary if you don’t already cringe when typing it). So we’re renaming the wallet to Blink. Why Blink? We like this definition:
- Blink (n): a brief flash of light; twinkle or glimmer.
- The name blink represents speed and positivity. It’s the glimmer in the eye of a person who just received their first sats. It’s the embodiment of a transaction zapping across the world, connecting two people who never before could transmit value to each other. It’s an adaptation of “bink,” a word coined by James A. Donald in one of the very first reactions to Satoshi’s announcement of Bitcoin in the Cryptography Mailing List when he wrote “Let us call a bitcoin bank a bink.” (just add Lightning). Pick your favorite origin story, and please share this news with your community so they’re ready for the name change. We’ll be introducing the name in-app, updating lightning addresses to blink.sv and communicating with customers well before changing the name and icon of the app.
- Stablesats: Blink is the first Bitcoin-only wallet that allows users to receive to, send from and hold in a USD equivalent account. This helps overcome short-term volatility of bitcoin, which is a main friction point for new user and merchant adoption. The value is held constant using Stablesats - an open source project which uses a derivatives trading strategy to create “synthetic USD”, allowing anyone to manage their exposure in the transition from today’s global reserve currency to tomorrow’s in one app.
- Any display currency: There are 180 currencies recognized globally. As a person using bitcoin for the first time, having the ability to use your own display currency is critical for smooth onboarding. 30 currencies have already been introduced, and more will be added in future releases. Don’t see your currency? Hop into the new Blink Telegram group and let us know what currency you’d like built into the wallet.
- Any language: Our goal is for Blink to be available in every language where there’s a bitcoin community project. We’ve grown from 5 to 15 languages this year, and have many more in progress. If you’d like to contribute to an in progress or new translation, you can hop into the Translating Blink Channel on Mattermost.
- Merchant features: Circular economies thrive when merchants are able to onboard to and accept bitcoin simply and reliably. Blink makes it easy and flexible to receive payments over Lightning and on-chain by enabling many ways to get paid:
- LN address: All users have a Lightning address such as firstname.lastname@example.org. (BTW, the legacy email@example.com addresses will continue to work)
- Lightning cash register (Web POS): This receive-only web application can be shared with and saved on anybody’s phone as an app, so the entire staff of a business can receive payments into one account - in sats, or automatically converted to dollars upon receipt. Try it out: pay.blink.sv/community
- Printable Paycode (LNURL): Creating a new invoice for each purchase isn’t always convenient. With the printable paycode, businesses, fundraisers, street performers or anybody else can display a physical printed QR code that customers can scan and pay in seconds. View an example at pay.blink.sv/community/print
- In-app bitcoin education: Users of Blink can earn sats for learning the basics about bitcoin. The education section will be growing by 6x over the coming months to feature a more in-depth set of lessons and quizzes to help people understand more about the history and principles that make Bitcoin and Lightning unique and powerful.
- Nostr integration: Blink isn’t only for onboarding newbies. It’s also a go-to custodial wallet for tipping, testing or traveling. As such, we’ve already implemented NIP-57 (zaps!) and will be providing blink.sv NIP-05 identifiers for users, coming soon™.
Watch the recent community call to dig deeper into all of the above:
Try out these features and more by downloading Bitcoin Beach Wallet today from blink.sv. We have other exciting features in the works, and would love to hear your feedback as the wallet evolves. Connect with us on twitter at @blinkbtc and join us on Telegram at t.me/blinkbtc to help drive bottom-up bitcoin adoption around the world.