Bitcoin consultant Pierre Rochard has indicated that he has created a Lightning Network (LN) plugin for Microsoft Excel, the most popular business development tool by a wide margin. The plugin is for ‘power users’ and those proficient with Microsoft Excel.
The Neutrino Microsoft Excel plugin
The plugin is known as the Neutrino, and it enables those using Microsoft Excel to make payments via Bitcoin on the Lightning Network, a second layer application on the bitcoin core network which ensures transactions are fast and cheap. Payments can be made within a few clicks with the plugin, though the plugin itself is for experienced analysts. While some have criticized the Lightning Network as being inherently flawed, these fears are generally overblown. It does not yet have the capacity for large-scale transactions, but the network itself is running very smoothly. It is easy to test small transactions, the only real flaw being that the wallets are not very intuitive or user-friendly.
The plugin itself is not for regular users, but for people with technical capabilities. However, most Excel users in large institutions will have the skills to operate the plugin, and there is little need for people who are not using Excel frequently to use this method to send payments, as opposed to simply downloading an LN enabled wallet.
Is this really necessary?
Big firms are focused on blockchain projects and have not been overly enthusiastic toward bitcoin and existing cryptocurrencies. But an Excel plugin could bypass the typical institution-level rubber stamping procedure and put BTC integration right in front of the analyst or developer. It would be a very interesting advance if developers used Excel to make payments which were then automatically recorded in the spreadsheet (payments are made outside of the Excel files and recorded afterward, which is in some ways a duplication of work). As noted by Pierre Rochard on Twitter –
“99.99% of finance and accounting has Excel on their desktop. They send the most pmts. The user interface of open, decentralized finance is @msexcel. A plugin is tablestakes for any crypto project. Integrating with @lightning’s gRPC API using C# is a joy!”
As vast as the world of business may be, the reality is that the majority of financial data is kept in hundreds of millions of Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files. It is ironic that Bitcoin is, in a very real sense, permeating into the world of fiat finance via Microsoft Excel, such that analysts now have the option of transacting in Bitcoin while developing for fiat.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.