MicroStrategy is a business intelligence company that has been involved in the development of the Lightning Network, a layer-2 scaling solution for Bitcoin. Michael Saylor, the former CEO of the company, believes the Lightning Network is essential for the future of Bitcoin adoption and that it will help to drive mass adoption of the cryptocurrency.
Michael at the Bitcoin and Lightning for Corporation event organized by the company gave a hint into how the company is planning to expand the use of bitcoin, especially for big firms around the world. In his talk, the former CEO of MicroStrategy said that they are working on a product that makes the Lightning network available to every one of its corporate account holders as well as extends rewards for employees and customers of those corporations as well.
He explained that one of MicroStrategy’s goals when they started buying Bitcoin, was to build software on the Bitcoin protocol. With the help of the Lightning Network, we can serve “all of our enterprise software customers, all the banks, all the airlines, all the retailers, government agencies, any kind of distributor, shipping companies, logistics companies, HR companies, and insurance companies.”
The Lightning Network is a layer-2 protocol built on top of the Bitcoin network to enable fast, low-cost, and scalable micropayments. It allows users to open payment channels directly between themselves, conduct off-chain transactions, close the channel, and route transactions to parties they do not have a direct payment channel with.
Turning email addresses into lightning addresses
The first application the Bitcoin Maximalist mentioned was turning every corporate email address that has been created in the last three decades of MicroStrategy’s existence into a native Lightning address. “We thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could give every single employee in our customer base a Lightning address.”
He added that the plan to convert email addresses to lightning addresses was expected to take about an hour. “If you have 500,000 employees, I want to spin up to 500,000 Lightning wallets.” Michael gave an example with Amazon, where the accounts of millions of customers who shop there can be turned into a Lightning wallet. These accounts-turned-addresses can become the best spots to reward customers with sats.
Why organizations should consider this option
Michael suggested that transforming these accounts into wallets would benefit organizations when they wish to reward their employees and customers. As a result, organizations can incentivize all their customers with Sats for completing tasks such as filling out surveys, applying for credit cards, conducting transactions, or writing product reviews (like book reviews) similar to those on Amazon.
He explained that, in contrast to the typical practice of organizations spending millions or even billions of dollars on advertising for marketing purposes, they could choose to offer their customers direct rewards in Sats for engaging in various activities. “The idea is that companies spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year on employee incentives and employee bonuses to incentivize their employees to do things, and they spend hundreds of billions of dollars on digital marketing and advertising, buying banner ads from Google or Facebook.”
Why not spend the “50 million dollars” budgeted for ads directly on prospects or customers and give it to them, cutting out the middle person? He summarized the idea by saying that MicroStrategy can serve its customers by using the Lightning network to “give them an address, give them a wallet, and give them rewards.”
Finally, Michael revealed that MicroStrategy can do this because it has built trust with its clients for 30 years and understands what the blockchain can do in the industry.