Coffee dispensing and vending machines are not anything new. However, using the blockchain and the Lightning Network protocol, Bitfury has developed a coffee vending machine that lets you make Bitcoin payments for coffee.
The machine accepts Bitcoin payments all without high fees or requiring long transaction times. LightningPeach, Bitfury's engineering team behind the development of the new machine, added a device that allows a coffee machine that uses built-in contracts to join the network. They modified an existing coffee maker machine that already had the ability to connect to the internet, making accessing the Lightening Network relatively easy. The machine uses a small Raspberry Pi computer and a unique circuit board to process the transactions.
Even as the discussion goes on about how far cryptocurrency adoption can allow daily and easy spending on regular products and services, this machine demonstrates that there is no such limit. On it, a user makes the Bitcoin payments on their mobile phones by scanning a QR code. This makes it possible to connect their wallet to the machine and thus let the user be charged $2 for a cup of coffee. The machine will convert that to around 15,800 satoshis, the smallest subdivision of a bitcoin. The Bitcoin wallet needs to have Lightning support.
Further, the team says that the chip, which is easier to reproduce, can be installed on other types of devices and "the majority of vending machines” as well, both offline and online. Thus, people can pay with crypto quickly and easily on POS and other vending machines, making it easier to use crypto locally and quickly in malls for instance. The company said they want it to "open the road to other businesses" that want to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
LightningPeach's head of community said the company is concerned with the development of blockchain technology that allows for faster Bitcoin transactions.
The company is not planning a mass-production version at this time but the machine was built to demonstrate whether Lightning-compatible vending machines were feasible at all. They are thinking about whether to scale it.
Bitfury has been at the forefront of leading Bitcoin tech. On Wednesday, they announced a new, more efficient bitcoin mining chip. The Bitfury Clarke application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip delivers 55 mW/GH and a hashrate up to 120 GH/s.