European Central Bank: “Bitcoin potentially holy grail for international payments”

Last Updated: 3 August 2022

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a new research paper entitled “Towards the holy grail of international payments.” Interestingly, Bitcoin, among others, is mentioned as a “credible” possibility. “After more than 1,000 years of searching, the holy grail for international payments may be found in the next 10 years,” the ECB said.

Bitcoin and the Lightning Network

According to ECB researchers, the ‘holy grail’ of international payments needs to fulfil a few requirements. Payments must arrive at their destination instantly, be cheap, be able to reach the entire world and settle in a secure medium like central bank money. “The search has been going on for many centuries,” writes the ECB representative.

“The Bitcoin network – complemented by additional layers like the Lightning Network to ensure speed and transaction capacity – has some properties that make it potentially suitable as the holy grail for international payments,” the ECB (!) said.

Although they ultimately conclude that Bitcoin is the least suitable candidate of all the alternatives. According to the study, connecting domestic instant payment systems and digital central bank money are the future. The latter is no surprise, since the research comes from a central bank itself. However, that they are already considering Bitcoin and the Lightning Network as an option is a victory in itself

Lightning Network development continues

Meanwhile, the Lightning Network continues to evolve. Strike is a payment provider that focuses entirely on the Lightning Network and will soon come up with its own payment card. “It starts with a ‘c’ and ends with a ‘d’ and in between is the country code of Argentina.

In addition, the capacity of the Lightning Network has increased by over 100 percent in the past year. Whereas last year we were at a capacity of 2,150 bitcoin, the Lightning Network now has a capacity of over 4,400 bitcoin.

So the Lightning Network is on the rise on all sides and has now also appeared on the European Central Bank’s radar as a serious option to become the “holy grail” for international payments. We may be in a bear market, but fundamentally bitcoin is more than in good shape at the moment.


  • Ivan came across the topic of cryptocurrencies in early 2016 and, as an author and enthusiast, has been intensively involved with the topics of cryptocurrencies, blockchain and STOs ever since.

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