Introducing the #LightningKillsShitcoins Torch

It has been two years since Hodlonaut first passed the #LNTrushChain torch to Fartface2000 and entered the Bitcoin Lightning history books. This community event lasted for almost 3 months, changed hands 282 times, survived two unfortunate stealth attempts (never forget @SerWisdom69 and my fellow Romanian @eduard_btc), and even involved celebrities such as Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter and Square) and Rosa-Maria Rytti (Miss Universe Finland 2015).

The impact of the initiative cannot be overstated. Millions of people have been exposed to the speed, scalability, privacy, and fun of the Lightning Network. It all felt exciting enough to make more bitcoiners open their first Lightning channels on their own nodes, or at least download custodial mobile solutions such as BlueWallet or WalletOfSatoshi. Also, the proceedings were all donated to the Bitcoin Venezuela project, thus giving the entire movement a humanitarian purpose.

Also, I was fortunate enough to have #LNTrushChain recipients on the Bitcoin Takeover Podcast. They include Hodlonaut, Fartface2000, Karo Zagorus, Stadicus, John Carvalho, Zack Voell, Erik Voorhees, Alena Vranova, Patrick Miller (@brickstringtech), Giacomo Zucco & Mir, Slush, and Charlie Lee.

Another fun community event, which demonstrated Lightning’s capacity to handle very small transactions with negligible fees, was the #LNTinyTorch. The idea was to add the smallest denomination of a bitcoin (a bitcent or satoshi) after each step, to show that very small amounts can get paid without any issues. While big blockers were saying that you can’t buy coffee with BTC, the #LNTinyTorch recipients were proving that Lightning can be used to make transactions with negligibly small amounts.

I was the 288th recipient of the #LNTinyTorch and felt really happy to become a part of this community project. Also, I happened to become the first person to hold both the #LNTinyTorch and the #LNTrustChain2 at the same time. So to say that 2019 and 2020 have been boring for the Lightning Network would be major understatements.

Torches Were Fun In The Early Days. Why Start Another One?

Well, my argument is simple: each time we started a torch, we were in the middle of a bear market. Despite the handful of celebrities who joined the projects and expressed their advocacy for Bitcoin, it wasn’t like regular people were taking us very seriously.

Now that we find ourselves in the middle of a phenomenal bull market, the whole world is watching. And since shitcoins are rebounding from their 2017 highs and sometimes even outperform their previous records, the time has come to prove why they are pointless and will become obsolete.

There’s a lot of disinformation that gets spread about Bitcoin and Lightning every day, and no amount of education or advocacy will convince the regular people (who most likely buy into the altcoin marketing) that BTC can scale and be Lightning-fast (pun intended). So my preferred approach is to get them to try the Lightning network and experience it by themselves. Today it’s easier than ever to run a Lightning node or at least download a mobile that you run in a custodial setup (which is orders of magnitude better than using an altcoin hot wallet anyway).

So why not give every newbie the opportunity to become a part of a greater movement which serves as the first introduction to Lightning? The ripples, trons, and dogecoins of the world will absolutely pale in comparison with the speed, network effect, and scalability of the Lightning Network.

Also, why not pay tribute to two of the best Bitcoin community projects ever? It’s been almost two years since #LNTrushChain came to an end, and now that we have more people watching Bitcoin every day we need to help them get exposure to the Lightning Network.

Introducing the #LightningKillsShitcoins Torch

Well, I wasn’t diplomatic at all with this one. But at the same time, it’s extremely reckless to invest in a fast, scalable, but insecure shitcoin network. Lightning has been tested by thousands of people, is more decentralized than most projects will ever be, and has a handful of active development teams which seek to improve it.

Oh, and if you feel offended by the word “shitcoin”, then you better get used to it because it’s on the historical transcripts of the US Congress and therefore is part of the official version of American English. Thanks, Congressman Davidson!

So sure, you can use digibyte or dash (just two random names I picked from the market cap list) to pay low fees. But why would you want to do that? You’re going to deal with a form of money which is fundamentally less secure, has almost no adoption or network effect, and mostly serves the purpose of speculators who want to accumulate more bitcoins.Lightning Network is where it’s at – fast, scalable, private, decentralized, accessible to everyone, and built on the hardest money known to man.

So now that we got the reasons and motivations out of the way, let’s talk about the rules of the #LightningKillsShitcoins torch.

The torch was first created and passed on April 13th 2021, and it bore the initial amount of 1 bit (100 sats). From this point on, every recipient of the #LightningKillsShitcoins torch must add another bitcent/sat to every transaction. This way, the torch remains affordable to everyone even after it changes hands hundreds of times, and the incentive to steal it is always small.

Since the purpose of the movement is to raise awareness about the ways in which the Lightning Network works and increase adoption (come on, have you looked at the base layer fees lately?), it would be ideal to settle torch passings in public social media discussions. The #LighningKillsShitcoins torch first started on Twitter, it was expanded on Telegram for easier communication purposes, but I definitely wouldn’t mind if it reached Mastodon, Facebook, Sphinx, Tik Tok, YouTube, and other platforms. The more people see it, the better.

I’ve purposely picked a powerful message so help people understand that Lightning makes shitcoins obsolete through the least amount of words. So I definitely wouldn’t mind if shitcoin groups and chat rooms were offered with the opportunity to receive the torch and pass it to somebody else. It’s 2021, nobody would refuse a Bitcoin transaction. And if the torch gets lost or stuck, the amount is low enough to allow us to replace it and continue in our mission.

Unlike Hodlonaut’s #LNTrustChain, there is no humanitarian purpose to the project (other than making people switch to sound money), there is no time limit, and there is no maximum number of participants. The point is to make as many transactions to as many different new people – though there can be people who receive the torch twice, it would be ideal to always look out for newbies who are willing to join in.

“Vires in numeris” means power in the numbers – and even though this mostly refers to the math behind Bitcoin, we can also use this small community project to help more people understand how Lightning works and why it’s the future of transactions.

So what are you waiting for? Search for the #LightningKillsShitcoins torch, take it from the latest bearer, and pass it to someone else who hasn’t found out about Lightning yet. If they want to run their own full node, send them this guide to set up a RaspiBlitz (the most tried and tested open source way of running a full node with Lightning).

If they are total newbies, help them install BlueWallet or Wallet of Satoshi on their phones so they can participate – then guide them towards running their own nodes. The Lightning Network was created for times like these, and for situations like this one. Let’s show the world what it can do.

Donate to Bitcoin Takeover, So I Can Open More LN Channels!

All the bitcoins you will be sending to this address will be used to open more Lightning Network channels. Not with big channels like LNBig, but individual node operators who truly care about the decentralization of the network. This is how we build the roads for a truly decentralized and peer to peer payments system: bc1qjmn9cvj5f4s32hj09d7umsd7s5yjwj5yezn34z

If you’d rather send me transactions via Lightning (which is the provably faster, more scalable, more private, and environmentally-friendly option), then transfer 1 bit to this address: lnbc1u1ps8vpw9pp5r373tewfdgvqyp7a5edl0dldfjhprxaqymas75kde2truqe4sscsdq6f38yk6tvd3e4x6rfw33k76twwvcqzpgxq97zvuqsp5hl5eefsjkszpvups8rv9r7jrtszaerw5mq23tu29lhsa9r4pj3yq9qy9qsqyt6dnyeytzk724pldk5e3p8kakt0hy8quxlv9dlydetksr7zlg5jkp5c8eddlh5jvhzsdy0npz9yq9uj0y8ac96vtufrjnqfx8lwaaqpkmapk9

You can also support my work by joining my Sphinx Chat tribe for 1 bit:

Open a channel with my Lightning Network node: 032ef154317acbb4077182eb1e74c75bdb81580fb51c3461c14c062491f9f6723d@6uj64lhhj6ugoufzuvyjxnmknosbpsv6j7gy5znjoobcznhgkp4mwoid.onion:9735

And if you’re more of a fiat and credit cards kind of person, then you can make me donations via PayPal or Patreon. I’ll make sure to convert that dirty money into bitcoin, so you don’t have to.

After having made any kind of donation, you are eligible to join the Hall of Patrons. So if you want me to mention your name in it, then please send me an e-mail and I’ll be sure to cherish your contribution in a way that brings you prestige and recognition.

Vlad Costea

I'm here for the freedom, censorship-resistance, and unconfiscatability. What about you?

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