Payment gateways

sell products with lightning

in your shop, at the market, or on your phone


e-commerce with lightning

the task:

You want to sell a picture, graphic, wallpaper, or photo.

the plan:

Show an image preview of a file and a QR code that users can scan to pay with lightning. The full image should be available for download only after payment.

E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. At the moment there are some shops that accept Bitcoin, a few are Bitcoin only, and only a handful can accept lightning.

While Bitcoin lightning payments are possible with a simple link or button, real-world commerce has to consider inventory, invoicing, shipping, order tracking, reconciliation, accounting and reports. You need an e-commerce platform.

e-commerce platform

An e-commerce platform will simplify setting up, managing, and maintenance of your shop. Most are free and can be self-hosted, but there are 3rd party hosts as well.


WordPress, Woocommerce, Shopify, Drupal, Opennode, Joomla, Magento, Squarespace, Prestashop, Wix

payment gateways

Typically, a web shop offers multiple payment options, like credit card, debit card or bank transfer. One website cannot possibly connect to all the banks and all the credit card companies. So a web store would rather connect to one or more payment gateways that will handle payments (PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Pay with Amazon, Venmo, Stripe, Square).

Payment processors are complex, highly regulated, and they charge fees.

a better way

Bitcoin and lightning payments are permissionless, trustless, instant, private, peer-to-peer. There are no middlemen, no borders, no censorship. Direct payment from wallet to wallet.

use your own platform

The ideal Bitcoin lightning web shop would be a self-hosted, non-custodial, free and open source platform.

Today (Q2 2023) this would be:

  • unix server
  • Linux OS (Ubuntu, Fedora)
  • bitcoin node (bitcoind)
  • lightning node (LND, Core Lightning, Eclair)
  • BTCPay server
  • wallet (Specter, Sparrow, Electrum)
  • platform (Woocommerce, Joomla, Shopify)
  • payment processor (BTCPay, LNbits)

Now you have a lightning shop! You can sell your products instantly, securely, worldwide, without trusting anyone and without paying any fees.

Unfortunately this setup is technically difficult and likely beyond the reach of a small business. However, there are hosted solutions or 3rd party lightning payment gateways.

use a plugin gateway

There are various options if you already have a web shop and you just want to add lightning payments. They will allow you to accept various currencies, credit cards, Bitcoin, and lightning, but it is custodial and they will charge a fee. Also check first if they operate in your country.