Today I write about the spirit of the times. This has been a part of my journey since my baptism earlier this year, and I yearn to be in the light during the darkest times.
It's been a trying week for the plebs. Everywhere you look...rug pulls by exchanges. Parasites scamming on telegram. Gosh, even some of our favorite bitcoiners are choosing fiat over privacy. Pleb miners still holding strong tho.
Cult of time
During an ep of 📺 SNL this week, Keyan mentioned the following:
The bitcoin protocol has not changed.
Regardless of what is going on in the world or where you are. Actual pain is being felt by the vast majority of people out there. The downturn in markets, the total collapse of trusted media outlets.
Bitcoiners were built for this.
There is no other reality than the present reality. Continuing forward is the only way. Time is essentially a cult for non-believers of current reality. Time is an abstraction.
➡️ Introducing the Lightning Network ⚡️
Lightning is the first, truly native, Bitcoin Layer-2 technology, that actually scales.
While it does have different security guarantees and a deferred settlement finality compared to on-chain Bitcoin transactions, it is fully trustless (if you do it right!)
It's not a sidechain.
It doesn't use some form of Bitcoin derivatives such as WBTC, renBTC, L-BTC, or rBTC.
It uses real Bitcoin UTXOs.
As of April 2022 (The State of Lightning: Volume 2):
Network nodes are growing at 127% YoY.
Public capacity is growing at 218% YoY.
Payments (in USD) at 410% YoY.
The ecosystem is growing immensely.
Why will Lightning enable rapid acceleration within the Bitcoin ecosystem?
In a nutshell:
Bitcoin is a P2P protocol... based on mutual rules... securing a singular ledger. Lightning is a P2P protocol... based on mutual rules. This implies that the design space is effectively infinitely larger than with Bitcoin. While of course every pair of peers is incentivized to use the most common rules in order to facilitate an efficient exchange of value within the wider network – you're not limited to this.
This implies that the Lightning Network can easily transform into a network running a multitude of "Layer-2.X" technologies & rulesets, adding additional functionality – while still being incentivized to be interoperable with the wider payments network.The most obvious examples are technologies like @lightning's TARO, or the FOSS project's #RGB and @omni_bolt, enabling token issuance on (Bitcoin &) Lightning.A real game-changer for the Bitcoin financial stack. (Consider tokenizing stocks, debt obligations, credit, and more.)
Other ~ Layer-3'ish projects in the spirit of truly decentralizing the web (meaning P2P(!)) include:
@Synonym's #Slashtags, building the Web of Trust
@TBD54566975's Web5 "extra decentralized web platform"
and @ImperviousAi's P2P programmatic layer
Now... it's important to understand that these projects aiming at "decentralizing the web", don't necessarily build "on" Bitcoin.
- @TBD54566975 anchors identities on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
- @ImperviousAi chose to offer an API, that synergizes data transmission with Lightning connections/payments.
- @Synonym's Slashtags doesn't use Bitcoin at all(!) but will be incorporated into their Lightning wallet.
While they technically do not "directly" have something to do with the Lightning protocol ruleset we consider the "standard", they aim at leveraging its network effects and offer solutions for developers to use lightning to its full potential. There is no "lightning foundation" deciding what is and what is not "the" lightning network or "Layer-3" technology. As opposed to data sovereignty & privacy, trustless & non-custodial finance is actually something people care about. We needed a trust-minimized scaling solution for Bitcoin. Now, we have a growing, active network, run by people & businesses who care about financial sovereignty and are strongly incentivized to run nodes in order to preserve trustlessness. Why not leverage this network effect to push new P2P products and services that run
on with Bitcoin? To me, this will be the next big wave.
Overall, everything sounds insanely bullish (lightning has a longer tail.) In fact, it's only been a year since I first posted about this inflection point.
🏃♂️ Some notable things @felix left out:
- The return of more developer only conferences.
- Design space will facilitate exponential dev growth.
- Plebs are turning into devs.
- Bitcoin education is crucial to everything on this list.
🤫 Also left out key major advantage:
- Local pleb communities will thrive during this downturn. Building the future we want to see. >> Has now become the norm.
warmth is hard to find, still won't turn away
calling family just to say hi
enjoying the little things more and more everyday
“A world which increasingly consists of destinations without journeys between them, a world which values only ‘getting somewhere’ as fast as possible, becomes a world without substance.“ - Alan Watts