The Bitcoin (BTC) community is buzzing with excitement as a recent experimental dubbed as the “lightning torch,” is gaining traction across the globe. Aimed at showcasing the benefits of bitcoin’s lightning network over the traditional payment systems for money transfers.
The bitcoin community wants to showcase the potential the Bitcoin Network as a hassle-free, quick and inexpensive way to transfer money across the world, without the involvement of a third party, unlike Mastercard and Paypal.
A unique concept, the participants are observing a sort of a global relay race. By the means of social media platform Twitter, participants are passing the “torch payment” from one person to another, adding 10,000 satoshis (worth about $0.34 at press time) every time they pass the torch ahead.
In doing so, the community is raising money for charity and to spread awareness about BTC. While some call the chain the “LN Trust Chain,” as whoever holds the torch, has the responsibility to pass it on to someone trustworthy. Someone who will not break the chain by keeping the payments to themselves. The LNTrustChain even has its own “https://twitter.com/search?q=LNTrustChain&src=typd” target=”_blank” rel=”external noopener noreferrer” data-wpel-link=”external”>hashtag.
While others are calling it lightning “reckless,” after all it’s just an experimental software and users can lose money if they (or the software) makes a wrong move. The naysayers have also developed a Twitter hashtag dedicated to this fact.
Well so far, the “torch” has seen over 139 people hailing from at least 37 countries, according to the pseudonymous torch ringleader, who goes by the name Hodlonaut. The participants also include some notable names of the cryptocurrency industry including Andreas Antonopoulos, advocate and Mastering Bitcoin author. He tweeted:
Heretical thought of the day:
Playing #LNtrustchain is better than watching the Superbowl.
Ok, I lied. Anything is better than watching the Superbowl for this geek.
— Andreas ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? (@aantonop) February 3, 2019
Other notable participants thus far include Anthony Pompliano, Morgan Creek Digital founder and Lightning Labs engineer Joost Jager.
Where it all began
Well, all good/bad thing the idea started with a whim. Hodlonaut initiated the chain on 19th January, he tweeted:
Hodlonaut told CoinDesk –
“The reason I started this was just to have some fun with the lightning network and maybe spread more awareness. I thought it would maybe do five or six hops and then die, without many people noticing.”
The Happy Participants
One of the users stated on the website:
“The #LNTrustChain showed the world: 1. Lightning works and it’s amazing. All of us who’ve used it in a solo context (buying stickers, playing games, etc) already knew it, but this experiment was the first widespread public demonstration of its power.”
Antonopoulos said to the publishing that this experiment is a way to test and uncover the problems with the technology. Moreover, participating is not that easy, anyone willing needs to set up a lightning node, that is a hard enough task. He added that there are other tricks involved as well. Antonopoulos elaborated,
“To be able to ‘play’, your [lightning network] node must be well connected, with enough capacity and well balanced (local vs remote balance). Since a lot of that is not fully automated yet, it poses a challenge for node operators and an opportunity to test their setup. As the amount gets bigger, it is harder and harder to find routes and keep it going.”
In addition to testing the network, a new tech is also being testing. The so-called “hodlinvoice”, a tech by LND was used in the wild for the first time.
— Joost Jager (@joostjgr) February 1, 2019
The initiator of the chain shares his ecstatic-ness over its traction:
“The way this has played out has completely blown my mind, and made me realize how awesome the bitcoin community is.”
How long will the Torch go
The torch did experience a few hick-ups, most notably when a Twitter user by the name of edward_btc wanted to showcase the vulnerability of the token, he stole the torch on Jan. 31.
So I’m currently proudly holding the Lightning Torch.
I'll seize it because i can, and no one can stop me. This is bitcoin,
— Eduard (@eduard_btc) January 31, 2019
As expected the BTC community did not want the torch to die out and bombarded edward_btc with angry notes. The CEO of Lightning Labs, Elizabeth Stark said:
Are you really going to be *that* guy? Seriously? ?????
— elizabeth stark (@starkness) February 1, 2019
On one hand, edward_btc claimed that he received death threats for his action and on the other, he claimed that he intended to send the torch out eventually. But another user Klaus Lovegreen swooped in and started a new torch before edward_btc got around to sending/returning.
Is there anyone with some dignity around that that can be trusted with the Lightning Torch?
Send me an invoice for 2,510,000 and we continue #LNTrustChain
— Klaus Lovgreen (@KlausLovgreen) January 31, 2019
Since then, the torch has managed to hop 30 times already.
There’s a hard-coded limit to how large the torch can grow, 4,390,000 satoshis, which worth about $150. Once the torch reaches that threshold the community plans to donate this sum to a charitable cause.
In most likeliness, it will be given to Bitcoin Venezuela, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of cryptocurrency in the troubled South American country.