A new technology promises to make bitcoin useful to pay for things, and not to hoard

Bitcoin is torn by opposing impulses: to be a store of value, like digital gold, or the internet equivalent of cash, used for everyday purchases like cups of coffee. It’s the tension at the center of bitcoin’s long running “civil war“—to date, the notion that bitcoin should be more like digital gold has prevailed.

But one solution that could turn a clunky store of value into a means of cheap and quick payments hit a major milestone last week, tilting bitcoin’s future towards one...


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