An interview with Roy Sheinfeld on consumer adoption of bitcoin

Part of Azteco's “Adopting Bitcoin / Action Leadership” series to celebrate the people and companies driving consumer adoption of bitcoin.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

“Breez was founded with the purpose to help bitcoin evolve from store value to a medium of exchange”

Roy, co-founder and CEO of Breez explains that they are developing tools and services that are built on top of the lightning network.

By lowering the barrier of entry when it comes to the technical complexities, Breez makes it simple for both end-to-end users and developers to interact with the lightning network.

“We want bitcoin to be an every day-to-day currency. For people to use, to transact, to pay for their groceries - for their everyday commerce in bitcoin. That is why we started Breez.”

“Lightning is bitcoin. It's just a more scalable form of interacting”

Breeze strategy on driving consumer adoption is twofold;

  1. The Breeze wallet; an app that helps people to interact with the lightning network and send bitcoin transactions in a scalable manner. The scalability with the lightning network has specific advantages. For example, the transactions are cheaper over time and instead of waiting for on-chain confirmation the lightning transactions are lightning fast.

  2. The Breeze SDK; a non-custodial lightning as a service. Essentially a software developer kit which offers other companies, vendors and services to integrate lightning payments into their own services and applications.Breeze has various partners working in different verticals in integrating the Breeze SDK into their own specific domains, tailored to their own specific needs. Swiss bank Relai as an example who are using the Breeze SDK to offer lightning fast bitcoin purchases.

“Breez is opening the world of peer-to-peer payments to everyone”

“Previously to Breeze it was quite hard to interact with the lightning network and you had to understand the technical artifacts. Instead of becoming a lightning expert in order to build a solution that involves the lightning network, we just make it simple and accessible. By offering end users an interface to the lightning network in a similar way that they have in other familiar applications. By offering developers our SDK they just need to interact with a very simple API in order to send or receive lightning transactions.

“Making it simple for people to interact with lightning - that's the common thread. We're lowering the barrier of entry when it comes to the technical complexities both for end users and for developers.”

“Use bitcoin only if it solves a real life problem for you”

“I'm not a bitcoin evangelist in a sense that I don't encourage people that don't need bitcoin to use bitcoin. I think people that need to use bitcoin can find the right tools and the right means for them to interact with bitcoin.”

Roy explains that what he typically encourages people is to download multiple apps, download multiple wallets, interact with as many services as you can and you need. And then decide why and how to use bitcoin.

“I think the high fee environment will remain and that presents a challenge to end users to onboard to the lightning network”

High fee environment will continue to present challenges to end users when adopting bitcoin.

“I would just recommend one thing; if you're thinking about interacting in bitcoin, meaning executing an on-chain transaction, instead think about doing your first steps in the lightning network. Because if you do that you can pay for a lightning channel in advance and be better prepared for a high fee environment situation.

“There's also still a challenge when you want to off-ramp from bitcoin to fiat. Luckily we have a nice on-ramp solutions, Azteco is one one of them, but off-ramping is still a bit of a challenge so if you are thinking of using bitcoin as a bridge solution and then off-ramp back to fiat, think about it in advance and make sure you have the ability to convert your bitcoins to fiat.”