If there’s anyone in my family who is excited about the lightning network it has to be my mom.
She’s not someone you’d call “well-versed” in bitcoin and the technology behind it, but she does know a thing or two about the practicality of bitcoin.
My mom is from the Philippines and sending money there from Nigeria isn’t straightforward.
The last time my family and I tried to send money to the Philippines my dad had to get in touch with someone from the Filipino community in Nigeria and transfer the money to another who was headed to the Philippines on holiday. It took about 3-4 days before my relatives received the money.
That long and cumbersome process got my sister and I looking for easy ways we could send money to our relatives in the Philippines.
We both knew that bitcoin was the answer, but we weren’t sure how we could send bitcoin in such a way that it would be easy for my relatives to cash it.
I tried explaining bitcoin to my aunt but she looked confused and uncertain if it government supported it. But that made my sister and I more determined to look for a way to make it work.
In April my sister came across a tutorial on how Filipinos could fund their GCash account with Bitrefill. GCash is a popular mobile money provider in the Philippines, while Bitrefill is a platform where you can buy vouchers with bitcoin.
After watching the tutorial a couple of times, my sister and I decided to try it. We experimented with sending 500 pesos to our cousin. My mom watched as I used my Bitnob app to pay for the GCash Bitrefill voucher via the lightning network.
“Is it that fast?” my mom asked as she saw the QR code disappear from the computer screen when the lightning payment went through.
Not so long after I completed the transaction, my cousin massaged my mom saying that he received the voucher and loaded the 500 pesos into his GCash.
“Take that for your meryenda,” my mom massaged my cousin. And in case you were wondering “meryenda” means “snack” in Tagalog.
This simple transaction stuck with my mom and is now one of those moments she loves talking about.
At the time of writing this story, it’s the day before Mother’s Day in the Philippines. My mom has already asked me to surprise my aunt with some pesos to celebrate her on Mother’s Day.
Who am I to say “no”?
I’m so glad that sending money to the Philippines is no longer a hassle, thanks to Bitnob via the lightning network.