Ben Arc, Bitcoin hardware maker and founder of LNbits joins me to chat:
- Getting into bitcoin hardware hacking and making
- How the LN Bits project came about
- The functionality possible with extensions
- Lightning payment splitting
- boltz.exchange for loop outs
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/arcbtc
- LN Bits twitter: https://twitter.com/lnbits
- Site: https://lnbits.com/
- Github: https://github.com/arcbtc
- LNPoS: https://github.com/arcbtc/LNPoS
- LNBits Telegram: https://t.co/VoR10wtbKp
- MakerBits Telegram: https://t.me/makerbits
- Swan Bitcoin
- Unchained Capital (code LIVERA)
- CoinKite.com(code LIVERA)
Stephan Livera links:
- Follow me on Twitter @stephanlivera
- Subscribe to the podcast
- Patreon @stephanlivera
Stephan Livera – 00:00:08:
Hi, you’re listening to Stephan Livera podcast, a show about bitcoin and Austrian economics. This show is brought to you by Swan Bitcoin. And Swan is organizing an all new West Coast event deeply dedicated to bitcoin and bitcoiners. I’ll be one of the hosts. Join us November 10 and 11th for Pacific Bitcoin. This is a two day experience filled with all kinds of bitcoiners education, workshops and just an amazing experience. There’ll be a main stage with panels and fireside chats as you’re used to. There’ll be a swan dome with deep dive sessions. There’ll be a bitcoin lab, a place for you to get in person support. There’ll be places to lounge and hang out, play hoops, a retro gaming zone, and parties lining up in the days leading up to the event. So you don’t want to miss this one. Come to LA, California in November and be part of this Pacific Bitcoin experience. If you’ve got friends or family who are precoiners or new coiners, this is a great opportunity to bring them along so they can soak up the bitcoin culture also. So if you want to get your tickets, go to Pacificbitcoin.com and of course, use the code levera to get a discount on your tickets. Are you a bitcoin builder or looking to be a bitcoin merchant? Well, you might want to think about using Voltage because they can help you with running your bitcoin node, Lightning node or BTC Pay server node. This allows you to operate your own merchant payment processing solution. And Voltage can help you do this really easily. So now if you’re a builder, you can scale nodes instantly by the thousands. You don’t have to think so hard about how you need to integrate Lightning. It doesn’t have to be an afterthought. Voltage can make this hasslefree for you, whether you are an individual or an organization to integrate and build on top of Lightning. You can get quality liquidity inbound to your node easily and so much more. This used to be a real headache for people, but Voltage is simplifying this so you can go and get your node up and running in two minutes by visiting Voltage.cloud. Mempool.Space is the Bitcoin Explorer built by bitcoiners for bitcoiners. It features real-time transaction tracking and Mempool visualization, so you can quickly get the information you need about your bitcoin transactions. It’s available over Tor and also completely open source, so you can even run your own mempool explorer at home on a Raspberry pi with just one click. Over 1 million people use Mempool.Space every month, and the project is operated freely for the benefit of the bitcoin community without Ads or third party trackers of any kind. Go try it out today over at Mempool.Space. So for this show, episode 407, I’m speaking with Ben Arc. He is a bitcoin hardware maker and also the founder of the LNBits Project. So we chat about his experience getting into bitcoin hardware hacking and making, as well as how the LNBits project came about. Now, this might be really useful for you because it has all these really useful extensions. It’s got a POS function, you can sell event tickets, you can run Satoshi dice, you can use it for Lightning payment splitting, it has automated loop out. There’s all kinds of things we’ll get into in this episode, which I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from. Ben, welcome to the show.
Ben Arc – 00:03:14:
Hello, andthanks for having me.
Stephan Livera – 00:03:019:
Yeah, of course. I have been watching your work for a while. I’m interested to chat with you. I know we obviously will have our disagreements on the political and economic aspects of it, but I think in terms of what you’re building with LNBits and what you’re doing in terms of hardware hacking and software around the community, I’m definitely a fan. So interested to chat with you and chat a bit more about LNBits and perhaps give the listeners also a chance to hear from your perspective, like, what is this project and some of the stuff you’re building. So do you want to just give us a bit of a background on yourself in terms of all the hardware hacking and software and stuff that you’re working on with Bitcoin?
Ben Arc – 00:03:55:
Yeah, there seem to be when I started actively developing things and trying to make things and contribute back into the Bitcoin ecosystem, there seemed to be a lack of a kind of maker space in Bitcoin. People were experimenting with Raspberry Pis and putting full nodes in Raspberry Pis, but they weren’t using microcontrollers for smaller devices. So I went to one of the Lightning, the first Lightning hack day by FULMO, when the Lightning Network had more or less just launched. And there was a great project there, which is a sweetmachine it had a full node in it, and there’s a QR code. And if you scan the QR code, it will take you to a website where you could select them some sweetsand they would pay invoice and then it would spit the sweetsout of the sweetsmachine. At that point, there was still this kind of idea that with the Lightning Network, everything would have a node in, that that was kind of something which would happen. But then people kind of start to realize, obviously, if you have an on-chain transaction for opening channels, it all becomes quite expensive. And that’s probably not if you’ve got sweetmachines or arcade machines or secondary devices, it makes more sense to have just a microcontroller in there which can just request an invoice from a node, display the invoice check, see if it’s been paid, and then turn whatever on, whether it be the sweet machine or the arcade machine to activate a credit or something. So that was something I realized. I didn’t have the skill set to be able to do it, because before that period, I was a teacher and I taught some electronics with my kids, who I used to teach. So I had like a very rudimentary understanding of electronics. And I played around with a little bit with some Arduino type devices. So I did a little bit of research, found a great little microcontroller, the SP 32, and then thought, okay, so I’m going to do a bunch of projects and just base them off this microcontroller, keep it as simple as possible. And the first thing which I tried to create was the Sweet machine. And at that point I had to have a little paper display so I could display a QR code and then somebody would pay it. Then it could check to see if the invoice being paid and then it could turn on the relay and then spit out the sweets. Then from there I realized that I could plug in a keypad into the microcontroller and then I could input an amount and request an invoice. And they were like, okay, there’s a point and sale. Great, cool. So I was like the first sort of point and sale I made. I really like these little e-paper screens as well at that point. But then there was a couple of hangups. It was like, well, I didn’t really want to have an e-paper screen. I want to have a static QR code. So as soon as you start actually building and actively developing for a technology, you might hit some roadblocks and then you can be more or less guaranteed other people are going to hit those roadblocks. So after the point of sale, the project I was working on was an ATM. And the ATM needs the ability to be able to spend my funds because it’s going to pay someone out some money. And at that point, nodes and custodial services like OpenNode or LMPay or nodes like LND and C-Lightning, you couldn’t have multiple accounts. You had one account with an admin key, which meant that if you had any service or hardware which was paying out funds, it would effectively have your admin key. So someone could get the admin key, they could steal your money. So I wanted a way of being able to split up my funds into lots of little accounts which will have their own API keys. So it was another thing which was needed. And then also a problem which I was having was every project I’d make, I’d have to make like six different versions of the project because I wanted people who had an LND node to be able to use. I wanted people who had a C-Lightning node to be able to use it. I wanted people who just wanted to use a custodial service to be able to use it. And they all have different APIs, so it’d have to have like an LND version of the POS or C-Lightning version of the POS and a (inaudible) version of the POS. So it made sense to have a middleware piece of software where I could connect to funding sources and then just reuse that piece of software and it would just have a standard API, then I could just develop my point of sale for that standard API, and it wouldn’t matter what the funding source wasn’t. That was another pain point, which I was starting to feel actually actively tinkering away and developing. This was all taking ages, by the way, because I was learning on the job, but I hadn’t programmed really before.
Stephan Livera – 00:07:42:
Right. And this is over the precess of years. Right, because you would I mean, if we’re talking Lightning hack day, that was 2018, or there were multiple hack days, to be clear, but some of those early ones, I know the German Lightning community is quite a strong scene, and so they had a lot of Lightning hack days. And I know you were involved, and I know you’ve obviously been around the scene at various conferences and various events and often being participating in things like or leading a workshop on, say, a hack table where you’re teaching people, okay, here’s how you use these different pieces of commodity hardware to create some kind of bitcoin project or a Lightning project. And so I think it’s really fascinating to see the evolution of that over time. And now we’re coming to now you know this LNBits for listeners, just to understand, so maybe they’re not as familiar. What is LNBits.
Ben Arc – 00:08:35:
Well, I was very slowly leading up to the reason LNBits started to exist. And it will all make sense as I’ve just been renting about hardware, but the points of sale in Berlin and Moose(inaudible), and it’s a very good point, actually, that without the Lightning hackdays, none of this stuff would exist. And without the just the support and the access to great minds, people like, you know, Stephan Snigirevof Specter Wallets, he was really helpful. Every time I see my conference, I’d have a bunch of questions for him. He’s helped me along a little bit, and the workshops are kind of off the back of that in there. You kind of feel that they were able to make such huge impact on the stuff I was building. So am I able to kind of encourage people to also as soon as you teach people how to actually actively build on these little hardware devices, they start making cool things. They start making hardware wallets and points of sale and everything. Anyway, so we had one of these points of sale, and it was an EmpHireStack Apps, which is one of these. It’s a second off the shelf product by this company called M Five, but it’s an ESP 32 inside there that was running in the iconic bitcoin bar, Room 77. And it was doing well. It was doing lots of payments. And Jorg Platzer the owner. One of his issues was he didn’t know what payments going into his node were for drinks and whether the payments and he’s a cypherpunk, old school cypherpunk, pre-bitcoin crypto-anarchist cypherpunk, but he was like, you have to pay taxes. So he needed like an export to CSV feature as well. And it’s connected somehow to this little point of sale that connects to this middleware where I also wanted different accounts. So then all of those ideas kind of came together and I hung out a lot with Tim Bootstrap Bandit as well of LN Pay, and we chatted a lot and I loved LN Payand we exchanged a lot of great ideas and it just all came together to be this start this free and open source custodial thing. And there’s this other idea if you want to attack regulation, one of the best ways to do it is make running things easier. So it’s like when the original cypherpunks were attacking some of the crypto regulation at that time, they just made running that software easier for people and then more people could run it and it was easy to make mockery of the laws, the archaic laws around it. So the idea was if you could run like a piece of software and you could be the Uncle Jim model for your friends. Family or whatever. Or the whole world. If it made it easy for you to run your own little open node. Would that be more effective at kind of attacking or making it easier to bypass regulations when it comes to running money transfer custodial services? So that was another idea. So anyway, it all came together and then I think Christian Roots was actually over visiting of Raspiblitz project and we were talking about it and I think I was like, oh yeah, I really want to make this thing and I might write it in PHP. And he’s like, no. And I said, if I make it, can we get it on the Raspiblitz? And he was like, yeah, you can’t make it in PHP if you want it on the Raspiblitz, I’m afraid so. How about Python somewhere? Okay. Python somewhere. I’m looking at eight Python APIs and I find Flask, which is a really small API backend API. And then I start developing it just I think it’s like HTML and like the Bootstrap CSS library thing and it’s very clunky, but it works. Like I have this middle layer software where I can have multiple accounts and I can connect to any funding source and then I can just develop for this middle layer software, which is great. And then I had a little tab in there for called extensions. So the other idea was a lot of us actively developing and syncing around with this new software. We would make these little projects. Like I made like the first LN url withdraw faucet online sync. LN faucet and I was very popular. People wanted me to open source it, but it was just trash in the back and every time someone would build one of these little projects, they would be replicating a lot of work, they would be connecting to an O, requesting invoices, checking if the invoice has been paid, blah, blah, blah. So it also made sense as a development tool in the stack, you could include this thing in and it would take all the heavy lifting out and you could just build those little slivers of functionality and actually, why not have those slivers of functionality in the software itself as extensions? A kind of like a WordPress type thing where you can extend it in the direction which is relevant to, you’ll know, in the direction which is relevant to you. So that project was clunky and I think I put a bounty out to have it just sort of audited and refactored and Fiatjaf and AnarchoValera. They got in contact about that and then when they started working that’s why I love Bounties. Because when you put out a bounty. Some be like. Oh great. You know. I get to work on some software with relates to Bitcoin and I get to help build something cool and they get paid as well. And then once that’s happened, they know the software and they think of things which they want to build themselves on the software and they were just like stuck to it then. They have been constant contributors. I think that’s probably the primary contributor if you look at all the commits. And then came a big refactor headed by Alira, where we switched to Quasar, the front end Quasar, which is a very nice if you want to develop a piece of software, it’s a very nice way to make a soft piece of software look nice. It’s like a CSS VUE library which you can use framework. And then it looked good, it looked legit and had also been refactored and it worked pretty well, but it couldn’t do sort of async stuff. So then Fiatjaf came in and he brought in Quarter, which is this async version of Flask. And then it started to get a bit more fancy in the backend. So we could have extensions like listening for when invoices are being paid and then get it to a thing. And it’s great as a tool built for my own needs, I just use it. If I’m building like a point of sale, I’ll use all LNBits. It’s easier. And I think a lot of other people, when you build something for yourself, there’s always a lot of other people out there who are also like you. And because of that, we’ve built up a great community of users. I think our Telegram Group has like a thousand users in it and they’re so supportive as well. You’ll have someone coming in just like starting their LNBits journey. They’ll have a few questions and the same people will answer the same questions again and and again, again, and they don’t care. Again. It’s the idea of encouraging people to experiment with the software. Experiment with the project and you see that with all the successful free and open source projects, you can have the greatest free and open source software out there. But if you’re kind of mean toxic, like, no one’s going to and then standoffish with people when they come and ask you dumb questions, then no one’s going to use your stuff. Whereas if you just embrace the community and build the community, you find those sorts of products like the VTP Pay server projects, they do very well because you just get all this supportive network for future users.
Stephan Livera – 00:14:41:
Yeah, that’s excellent.
Ben Arc – 00:14:43:
Then those users then go on to become supported themselves of other people too. They have to pass the baton.
Stephan Livera – 00:14:47:
Yeah, that’s fantastic. I think it’s a really cool tool. I was playing around with it. So I guess let me just rewind just to make sure listeners are all following along, not everyone’s like into the technical details of it.
Ben Arc – 00:14:55:
I’ll get should I give you the stamp? Okay, so LNBits is a free open source wallet account system which includes extensions so you can extend your node in any direction, so you can store it on your node. It’s kind of like WordPress for your node. You have a simple wallet account system. We can have multiple accounts, multiple wallets, multiple users, so you can be your Uncle Jim, custodian, friends, family, but we also have these extensions where you can make use of other people’s work and you can extend that node in any direction which is relevant to you. So if your content creator, you can have qr codes in your videos when you do your YouTube videos. If you’re a shop, an online shop, you can have some commerce tools and there’s like WooCommerce integrations. And if you’re a cafe, then you have like a point of sale and we have like a Loop Out extension, which I’m very excited about for those cafe and borrowers who just want to come in and bitcoin and put on a hardware wallet somewhere. So, yeah, we have extensions which you basically install, and a bit of the core software. And then currently we’re packaging all the extensions in with it because there’s only like 30, but soon they will be extrapolated out. So you install and a bit software, then it will be very much just like WordPress search for a plugin, go get it, install it, and then boom, extra functionality which will be relevant for you.
Stephan Livera – 00:16:07:
Fantastic. Yeah, and I think it’s really cool. And I was looking, obviously researching a bit, and I’ve seen you’ve got it available on Raspiblitz and Umbrel as well. So this is like an easy install thing that you can run it off where it’s running off your own node. But then you can. As you were saying. Be the Uncle Jim for your family or your friends or let’s say you’re running a cafe and you want to run the node for the cafe and you can run your own little LNBits and have a little POS system and we can get into all the different extensions and things like that. But I’m also just curious as well, because how is your journey been? Like trying to support some of the different implementations? As I see, you have LND from Lightning Labs and Core Lightning from Blockstream as well. And so was that difficult to build in the support for that or was that just all as part of your own journey? You’re already supporting these things anyway?
Ben Arc – 00:16:55:
Yeah, I mean, exactly. We’d already like interacted with our APIs and RPCs and whatever else. And actually what LNBits does is quite dumb, really. I mean, it just goes and gets an invoice and checks if an invoice has been paid. And then also if there’s a stream of payments which you can connect to some, you know websocket or something, then it will connect to that and then just listen to invoices and see if they’re relevant to the LNBits install. So each connection is actually just a single Python file and it’s just a collection of functions and they’re all the same functions. If you go into like core LNBits, core Wallets, you’ll see that there’s just a bunch of funding sources. And it’s great because we had like a Claire support recently and then Cliche as well, which I don’t know if you know if you played around much with the host of channel stuff, but Cliche is kind of like a fork of the thing they’re using in Simple Bitcoin wallet. In order for you to have instant inbound liquidity, these hosted channel things Cliche runs, you can build these hosted channels very quickly. So it basically means that soon we should have an LNBits and store where it’s like one click, install LNBits and then you have this node underneath and then have Instant inbound liquidity and then in such a way where we’re not custodians of funds. So it becomes like quite exciting. So, yeah, every time there’s a new source for that, you can easily just implement it and add it.
Stephan Livera – 00:18:14:
Fantastic. Yeah, that’s really cool to see. And I just think it’s such a cool thing because it’s like as I was looking through, I saw there were all these different extensions. There was even a Satoshi Dice built into OMBit, which is interesting, reminiscent right. For people who were around bitcoin in like 20 11, 20 12, 20 13. Many people had that memory of playing Satoshi Dice where you send a small amount of sats to a Bitcoin address and then you received some back and there was like a known probability of winning or losing. And so I played around. I saw on the demo version you’ve got that there. I thought it was just really cool to see that what was old is new again and we’re doing it using Lightning now and now anyone can make their own Lightning version of satoshi. So that was really cool, all of.
Ben Arc – 00:18:59:
These extensions, we kind of just rolled them out quickly because we wanted to show that you can do this, you can do that, you can do this. And I think it’s just powerful to have when you install, you have a load of extensions, but they can all be worked into. And one of the things I really want to add to Satoshi Dice is the proven fair stuff, which I think we could add where you get like a hash thing before you actually pay or some proof. I don’t know how it works, but I know this provably fair thing exists, and I know that it is possible, speaking to my clever mates, to be able to build that into Satoshi Dice. So that’s something I really want to add, because then you can you know, the way it works is an LN url pay, and if you win, you get an LN urlwithdraw. So an LN url pays, you can just have a static QR code you send payments to and you get this link back, which is your winnings. So you could print one of these, like a high roller, one of these QRs out, and then stick it in Paddington train station to see if any high roller bitcoin has come along and, you know, scan that QR code and they could potentially win, you know, tens of thousands of satoshis or hundreds of thousands of satoshis. And you can do it in such a way where it is provably fair. And I think that’s kind of the same. I don’t like gambling. I really don’t like gambling at all. But I think part of the problem with gambling is making gambling software is so much fun. So there’s always these solutions for being built by people who don’t particularly like gambling, but they like making the software for it.
Stephan Livera – 00:20:08:
Yeah. And I think it’s just really cool because there’s so many different possible applications, right? And so for some listeners who maybe they’re not as into the technical aspects of it, or maybe they haven’t explored this as much, there’s just so many possible applications, it’s hard to even explain for people because you’ve got like, vouchers, you can have point of sale, you can have all these different things. You can run faucets out of this. So I think it would be good. Or you can run paywalls on this. So let’s talk through some of these cases so people can understand, okay, if I was to run my own, say, Raspiblitz, I could install LNBits on this. I could set up an instance there and I could create some different accounts. Let’s talk through some of those cases for people. So do you want to just talk through the faucets? How does that work? How would you make a faucet using LNBits to, let’s say, have a QR code that anyone can scan and they can receive.
Ben Arc – 00:20:58:
Again, it goes back to and this is why I love the ad LN-URL stuff and I love things like hosted channels because their developments and solutions which have been built from the ground up as opposed to protocoltop down. So it’s very much from the community of users and builders. So I think that’s really exciting and they address real world needs and what we want, we want it to work and then that can inform profile development. But so early on, like me with my sweet machine and my little e paper screen I didn’t want to have the e paper screen, I want a static QR code. The best way to achieve that is your wallet is just allowed to do a Get request to a server. If it gets an invoice back it says do you want to pay this invoice? And then you just say yes. And that’s essentially what an LN-URL pay is. You can do some more funky stuff like you can set like limits and stuff like a min max but initially that’s basically what it is. You could say then you can have a static QR code, you can keep just scanning it and basically your phone is just doing Get request to a server just URL and if you get an invoice back it asks if you want to pay it. And then LN-URLcan also work the other way around in that you can scan a QR code and then the server will say to you send back a jason just basically saying send me an invoice between this amount and this amount and I’ll pay it. Then your phone says do you want to claim this sats? You say yes. And then your wallet is essentially making an invoice sending it to the server. The server is then paying it on your so you get the funds for the user, you’re scanning a QR code saying yes and then you’re getting funds, which is great for like an ATM for example. You just want to put something for Lightning ATM in your business, coins in and then you just want to scan a QR code and get the funds. And then there’s also other forms of LN-URL. There’s LN-URL channel I think that reform use those for easily opening channels with nodes and then there’s LN-URL orth which is getting more and more traction. Which is a nice way actually. I mean it’s not even Lightning related at all. It’s just I think you just sign like a message or something and then you can use that to authorize access because you can do that from a Lightning wallet. You can scan with your Lightning wallet and log into different services or whatever on the internet or in real world as well. So it’s a very powerful collection suite of tools and LN-URL is Lightning URL simply and the protocol has been had a lot of hours point to it. You know, if you go to that protocol repo, so if you Google like GitHub LN-URL, you’ll get to the protocol repo and you’ll see all the different varieties of LN-URL and then all the different wallets, we support it. And those wallets supporting is often the people who developed LN-URL, such as PHF and Hampus, them actually going to those wallets and helping them PR and get that implemented. Because builders and users, we just wanted it to exist. We wanted, I think, like simple bitcoin wallet, not simple bitcoin wallet. The Lightning wallet at the time just wanted an easy way to do channel stuff, I think, and that’s why the LN-URL channels exist. But for one of the Lightning hack days I met George Wasaro and I was in New York and we were talking about this. I asked Christian Decker actually said, when are we going to get a static QR codes? I don’t want to have to keep generating invoices. And he’s like, yes, we know it’s important for people, it’s the feature everyone requests, but we’ve got a lot of other things we need to kind of address first. And it’s like, okay, so do we sit here and wait for the protocol people to build the things or do we just build like hacks and ways around it and whatever else they may be, valuing those themselves? So I sat down with George Wasaro , we talked about it, and he had an arcade machine which he built and run these little microcontrollers using the SPC two’s and then actually hacked together like a demo version, which was cool. So he hacked a Clare wallet. So a Claire wallet would do that get request. And I think that’s probably the first example of an LN-URL pay. And it is recorded it’s in the Lightning New York stream as well. So it’s quite a nice little bit of history, that is. And whenever I’m with him at a conference and people say, who are you? And I’m like, this is the dude who made the first LN-URL pay. I forgot where I was going with this. What we’re talking about, o the faucets. The first thing I made was the Sinclair Faucet, which was named after Clive Sinclair, the great British inventor. And you could pay some sats. You can select how often you wanted your faucet to spit out and then how much you wanted to put in, I think, and then how much each time it spat out. So, you know, if you put thousand sats in, it could spit out like a 100 sats ten times or something every hour or every set, then it would show you an invoice. You pay the invoice, then it would just have a page you could share with people and then they could just pull this faucet every hour. People seem like hacked around and made bots and stuff for it, but that’s LN-URLI withdraw. I always feel it’s very powerful. You can use it for faucets. So currently there’s a guy driving around the US and I helped him spin up in LNBits and he’s actually doing it’s on TikTok. So he’s going on TikTok, so I don’t really know to look for it, but he’s doing like a treasure hunt, so he’s getting his little capsules and these little pill things, and then he’s making a little LN-URL QR code withdrawal facuet and put inside these pill things, and then he’s hiding them around the US. And he’s like traveling all around the US doing this and then putting on TikTok, and then he sort of films the location of where it might be. Then people have to go and search for this little tiny pill box thing so you can do faucets with it, which is fun for treasure hunts and ATMs and whatever else. But I also think that an LN-URL withdraw can work like a direct debit. If I want to pay Netflix, I can give them like an LN-URLwithdraw and they can just with permission to pull funds once a month, and then they can pull funds once a month. With Bitcoin, it’s like it’s one of those again, one of those blacklisted topics, the idea of subscription models, that we think everything’s going to be pay as you go. But I can tell you right now, my Lunar node, which I do pay as you go on, has again gone down because again, I haven’t gone in and I haven’t paid for my service services, which I’m supposed to do every month. So subscription services are still quite useful, but I kind of think the LN-URL withdrawal could work like that. The other thing that was proposed, actually, for a direct debit system is they’re using LN-URL Pay in some way. But that was quite interesting. By the way, a friend who is interested in LN-URL. It’s a very interesting I think it’s a great technology if you go on Telegram and look for LN-URL Mafia, there’s a great group where people discuss stuff and like with the Bolt cards by Danny in the coin corner, which uses LN-URLPay, LN-URL Withdraw, so you give them an LN-URL withdraw and then they can pull funds from your account. All that sort of stuff is kind of discussed on there, which is great. And it’s cool because again, a couple of years ago I did an experiment where I got an alienware drawn put on an LFC tag and then did Tap and Pay. And when you do tap and Pay Lightning payment and it’s tap and Pay, you aren’t scanning a QR code and doing this with your phone, trying to get that QR code. It’s much more like how the technology should work. And it’s so fast as well. It is faster than when you do tap and Pay with a traditional legacy bank card.
Stephan Livera – 00:27:30:
Ben Arc – 00:27:31:
It’s quicker. I don’t know why, it just feels quicker. We think people just complain about Bitcoin and Lightning being this complicated, complicated software and system. But actually if you were to see behind the veil of legacy payments and Visa and all this sort of stuff, and all the handshakes which go with banks and things, now that’s complicated. We’re very simple compared to that. So because of that, I think it works quickly. It was quicker and often. So yeah, it made sense to build that into LNBits. If I have an LNBits install running on my server, my Raspiblitz or whatever, or I have it in the VPS connected to my Node, I want to be able to make faucets, give them out to people. I want to be able to experiment. I want to have an ATM connected to my LNBits installing to display these fuacetsso people can pull the funds. As well as that, we’ve also got LN-URL Pay, and then we’ve got experiments like the Satoshi Dice thing, where we’re kind of marrying the two. There’s also the offline shop one, which is one of Fiatjaf’s, and that’s a cool extension. So you can make a list of products and then it’ll just generate QR codes. Static LN-URL pays for the QR codes and then you don’t need to be online, but you also have a Word list, right? And then every time a customer comes and pays for something as a receipt, they get the next word in the wordlist and then they can go to the merchant and just say bunny rabbit or whatever, I don’t know, antelope. Then the merchant either has the Word list or has memorized the Word list. And so you can say, okay, that’s the next word on the Word list. And it’s just a way of verifying payments in kind of like a market scenario for just like a single merchant. But what often happens is that someone will build something and then ideas will just spin off the idea. So off that idea, I came up with the LN POS thing, which is the hardware point of sale. And because I’ve got LNBits, I can just make an easy extension and then you’re out devices where I can register. Because basically the way it works is you have an offline point of sale. And the point of sale itself generates a four digit Pin. When you input an amount and press the hashtag, it encrypts the four digit pin. Step inside. We’ve helped here a lot, by the way, making some great crypto stuff. Encrypts the four digit pin, it puts it inside the LN-URL pay. So the ln URL pays is just a URL? So we can on the end we can tag on data. So we just tag on some scrambled encrypted data about the pin and POSid. Then when you scan the LN-URL Pay to pay the POS, your phone is then doing that get request to the server, passing over the encrypted data. The server can then use the POSid, which is also in the URL, can locate the POS in LN-URL devices on LNBit can get the key, can check to see if the payment has been paid. If it’s being paid, it can then decrypt the key, then send the key back as a receipt to the person who’s just scanned the QR code. So essentially you have a POS week, an input amount, press hashtag, someone can scan it, and then as a receipt they get the four digit Pin. But a bunch of stuff has happened there, but it means that the POS can be offline, which I think is because often all the hardware is pretty cheap. So it becomes quite powerful in like countries which are adopting Bitcoin but have limited infrastructure. Someone can walk around accepting Bitcoin payments on a hardware device, be completely offline, and then can verify that the payments are going through. And there’s no way they can get a four digit pin unless they’ve hacked that person’s server or something. So that was a direct result of the offline shop thing. And then also the Blasco map lots. So the BLESKOMAT, the parallel polish people, we have a BLESKOMATextension, so you can easily connect your LNBits to your BLESKOMAT. And I just listen to what is.
Stephan Livera – 00:30:50:
Just for listeners, what is a BLESKOMAT.
Ben Arc – 00:30:54:
there’s a bunch of Lightning ATM projects? I suppose mine there’s the faucetfree and open source ATM, and then there was the Lightning ATM, and then there was the BLESKOMAT built by the parallel paralysis people in Prague, so http and that’s where tries all came from, and they built some great stuff. And the BLESKOMATis an ATM. When you put money in and it gives you that LN-URLWithdraw the ATM itself is completely offline, so you can just stick it up anywhere, which is again powerful because you don’t need to stick up in a forest somewhere and somebody could like get some sats. It’s also really useful, I don’t think, because I can be here for a lot of these conferences and we take our hardware to these conferences and I never want to underestimate like the amount of impact not having internet at conferences had on developing these things. You know, if you make a point of sale in the requirements, you can make ATMs a requirement. And then the conference internet is terrible because thousands of people are sitting on the internet and you’re like it’s better, it’d be better if it was offline. So yes, there’s all this altruistic building for countries with limited infrastructure, but I do think that it’s also off the back somewhat of conferences and they’re terrible internet, but yeah, the BLESKOMAT works offline, it’s an ATM, it’s great, great project. And they have an extension, LNBits. So you can easily basically the funds will then be pulled out of a wallet on your LNBits because then you have that added functionality of being able to limit exposure to funds. The ATM can only have, say, access to £100 worth of funds and then when those funds run out, you can get notified and then you can go and you can top it up or you can put some automated script in there or whatever, but you have some control over the amount of funds which the ATM has access to. So again, because I think that being offline and a hardware device mixed with VHF’s offline shop idea, that kind of turned into the LNPoS, you know, four digit pin idea, and again, it’s all these telegram groups are good. I think I dropped that in the LN-URL mafia group just to feel it out. I was like, I’ve got this idea we could do this. And then if you have the right people to help us to turn around and say, oh yeah, that’s cool, then you’re like, okay, I should probably build that thing. It’s been validated.
Stephan Livera – 00:32:57:
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Stephan Livera – 00:35:24:
Yeah, I love hearing about this because I think there’s so many uses and there’s all these different aspects of the bitcoin and Lightning world that are interacting. I think it’s really cool to see. And so this could also be useful, even just like just the standard with LNBits. Just the standard. POS right, let’s say you’re a cafe owner and it’s got a user manager in there. So the idea is the cafe owner might delegate to staff certain responsibilities, probably.
Ben Arc – 00:35:55:
For the staff owners had their own LNBits account. They would just let the people working in the cafe open account. So user manager is actually more designed for someone using elements in their stack. So we have the power users have like Lightning tip-bot that runs on Telegram, that runs on LNBits, and it’s being able to use the user manager and have LNBits, like just divide up accounts for users and wallets and all this stuff. And then like, Lightning tip-bot can make use of all the extensions of LNBits, so it could create faucet links. It can do all the things like because all these things built into LNBitshave APIs. So it’s a lightweight piece of software, incredibly, you can put into your software stack. It’s very powerful. So user manager is really beneficial for that. I think it’s very important to think of payment journeys in different countries. You have different payment journey, different use requirements of something like LNBitsof this sort of software. But there’s a cafe near me and I thought it was a bunch of times, but it’s true, there’s a cafe near me. The guy who has a cafe, he’s receptive to bitcoin, likes bitcoin, has some bitcoin. I haven’t yet told him the things I’m building because it’s just not ready, like what I want for the experience. We can use my LNBits, in fact, so he uses my LNBits install, he sets up a TPRs, which is the point of sale extension on LNBits. There was a great PR, actually, recently by Lee Richmond, and in that he’s added the ability to add tips as well, which is absolutely fantastic. So the cafe owner can have a wallet on my own LNBits, a user account on my own LNBits of wallet. They can have two wallets. You can have a wallet for the cafe, you can have a wallet for tips, and then you can use the software point of sale and you can use on your phone. It’s fully phone responsive. And then the one you’re using on your phone is completely air gap from the actual bits. There’s no way they can get back to any wallet details from his phone. Has he got any keys or anything in it? That’s like an extra hole. So he can have in his cafe, you can have a QR code and just say if anyone wants to get ben comes in and wants to pay in bitcoin, scan this QR code with your phone and you have a point of sale. It’s nominated in their local Fiat currency for the people working in the cafe in GBP. So the input amount and then it generates a QR code. It asks me if I want to tip when I tip, and then it generates a QR code. When the payment happens, it splits between those two wallets. Now, that cafe owner, the question will be when he’s accumulated. When I go in there, I drink coffee in there most days. So when he’s accumulated hundreds of thousands of sats worth of bitcoin, for me, buying coffees will be, now, what can I do with these sats? And it’s like, okay, well, we’re not on a circular economy. There’s not that much you can do with your life, you know go pay for some VPS or could get some service somewhere or a VPN or something there is not that much you can do with this Lightning stuff. What he wants to do is he wants it as a way of accumulating some bitcoin. Right? So now we have the Bolt Stock Exchange extension, which DNI has been working on. It’s so cool. And you can get it to listen to a wallet. So when a wallet has, say, £100 in it, the Bolt Stock Exchange extension will take the £100, right? And then it will loop out to an on-chained address. So you just need to give it an on chain address. Now, even better than that is we have the on chain extension in LNBit, so you can give that an XPUB. So actually, what can happen is the on chain extension can generate a fresh address, and then every £100, it can loop out to that fresh address. Right? And even better than that, we have a floodstan. Another one of our contributors I worked with, the major ghost, had the Bowser hardware wallet, which I built. I worked with a major ghost to come up with a Bowser too, but we never quite made it. And then recently we got together and he’s like, I’ve got the hardware into his hands and now he’s tinkering away. And we’ve built an eight pound hardware wallet, which we can connect to with Web. So just connect to with the USB, connect to LNBits. This has a private key on it, can sign a PSBT, we can do all that stuff. So the cafe owner, if you want a hardware wallet, if you want, he could just give you an address from Krakenand you can just send the funds to Kraken, right? But if you want a hardware wallet to accumulate those funds on, this is cheap enough for me to just be able to give him I know that’s not the greatest security advice, but this is his onboarding journey, right? And in that onboarding journey, I can give him this harder wallet, show him how it works, says you’re going to accumulate Bitcoin for me buying coffees, it’s going to go into this hardware wallet and then this is how you spend the funds from that hardware wallet. And the on chain wallet extension in LNBits is absolutely fantastic. It works so well when you make a payment, all fees, everything is automated, but then just you toggle a switch and then you have a nice slide and you can select the fee you want to pay. Then you can also do coin selection as well. So you just click another switch and you can randomize it. And it’s so good, The first time he hasworked on Bitcoin JS in the past. So he know hisstuff on chain so that is I think as a collection of tools for that cafe owner, then when those things are built very shortly, because we have the hardware wallet, we have the point of sale with tips. The thing we’re waiting on now is just that bolts stack exchange extension to pass a bunch of tests. DNI’s this has also been great. We’ve been building a lot of tests in to LNBits, and he’s building a great testing suite for his own extension. So he’s very pedantic, which is good, I suppose, because he’s dealing with bigger quantities of funds. But that collection of extensions, I can set up the cafe and up with that, he can use my LNBits. I can charge him like a 2% transaction fee for using LNits or more, maybe 5% transaction fee. But I can say to him, look, if you don’t want me to charge this transaction fee, then I can help you set up an LNBits. And then hopefully by that time we’ll have something like the Cliche wallet thing where we could do like hosted channels so it doesn’t have to worry about setting up channels, balancing channels so much. We can do it through these hosted channels and kind of automate that process a little bit and then add some on chain channels as well, some normal Lightning channels as well into it. So you have this onboarding journey where his risk profile for using my service is obviously the fee charge per transaction, but then also, yes, like hundred quid which is going into that wallet. That’s the risk for using a custodial solution. And then I think this is something very interesting because again, going back to some we said earlier on, there was this idea that Lightning would be kind of like nodes would be easier to use and channels would be easier to use and they’re not quite hard and still quite expensive. That will get better with channel factories and autopilot stuff. So I don’t want to fudge too much. But when you have countries adopting bitcoin and they have limited resources. Some of these things become nice ways for some merchants in El Salvador. Some subsistence wage. A couple of hundred pounds a month and they don’t mind using a custodial service. But they don’t want to put too many funds on there for too long. Particularly if it’s a service just run locally and there’s not that much accountability. But what they can do is they can use extensions like the on chain swap one to just push those funds out and put them somewhere secure. Another extension, which does in a Lightning way is we have Scrub and Scrub semi-custodial remittance something bitcoin. I’ve come with the acronym yet. We’ve got the name Scrub because you like the name Scrub. And what that does is you give it a little LN address. So you could just generate an LN address in a more reputable custodial wallet. That’s what they got to use because they can’t afford to run their own node. And then payments from this sketchy LNBits and stores run by some local kids every $10 or whatever or less, every couple of dollars, right?
Stephan Livera – 00:43:04:
Every now and then it flushes out.
Ben Arc – 00:43:06:
Or sweet out or constantly, actually. You can just constantly just be a semi-custodial thing. So you can access the point of sale in LNBits, but when a payment comes in, just go to push it across to your wallet there. So that sort of stuff addressing custodianship more pragmatically and not just saying, well, everyone should run their own nodes. It’s like, okay, cool, ideally, yes, and we will get there. But for now, how do we build the best possible payment service for people? How do we build the best form of custodianship where there is some accountability, like host of channels? So, yeah, it’s a very interesting area to be working and that is a different payment experience to the cafe owner in the UK or Europe.
Stephan Livera – 00:43:42:
Yeah, got you.
Ben Arc – 00:43:43:
They have that circular economy.
Stephan Livera – 00:43:45:
Yeah, it’s interesting because there’s different challenges to walk through here. So in this example, let’s say it’s a cafe owner, they are probably thinking, well, hang on, how do I get that in to fiat? Because I need some fiat to pay my business expenses, I’ve got to pay staff, I’ve got to pay this, that and the other. And so I guess this is part of this is about smoothing that process to make it certain parts of it automated or certain parts of it at least built in into a way that’s a little bit easier. I know one other example that I saw recently, and I think people were showing this as well, is this idea of automated or recurring payments to a Lightning address. And so you could like, hypothetically, let’s say the cafe owner is running LNBits and he wants to pay some of his stuff to their Lightning address. He could sort of set up a way to automated pay the staff a certain amount every two weeks. As an example,
Ben Arc – 00:44:30:
So one of the extensions we had again off the back, so we had Cryptograffiti. He did a live stream and had a QR code on the screen. What was cool about this Fiatjafmade this extension just for this, actually collaborated with cryptography to make an extension when he had an annual pay on the screen. What’s cool about it is when you pay a certain amount, you could get a link for the song so you can download the song. But then also the payment was split from, I think, like 10% to the DJ and then 90% to the producer of the song. And we all got excited by the split payments idea. So we have a split payments extension in LNBitswhere you can just say to if this wallet gets funds and split between this wallet, this wallet and this wallet. And then, you know, as you said at the very beginning of your show, I have certain, like, you know, I like the idea of cooperatives, for example, and the idea of collaborative enterprises. So the idea of some little coffee shop being able to spin up to a group of friends through a full friends and they say, okay, well, you get X percent, you get X percent, you get X percent. And then and they kind of work out themselves and then X percent goes towards, you know, the upkeep of the service and costs or whatever. And then every time at point of sale, every time a payment is made, it’s been split across those different participants in that cooperative. And then I think, well, what happens if you have like a tree of split? So I go buy a laptop from the shop and when I make that payment, because we’re not beholden to weird legacy visa networks which have limitations when it comes to transactions, whatever, we could have like, payment splitting for departments. So you go to distribution, manufacturing, marketing, and then from there it then splits against this and the cleaner on the shop floor is getting these starts dribbling and into their phone and then the sats stop dribbling in, all the milisats stop dribbling in from all these laptops which are being sold. And then that cleaner then becomes a bit more engaged in why has it stopped? Well, okay, well, we cut down the percentage for the marketing team or sales and it’s like, okay, well, maybe we should give them more and you give them more and then you have the problem, but there’s not enough in manufacturing to keep up with demand and blah, blah, blah. So you get these participants in this crops are all becoming a bit more engaged that’s my own personal. Interest in that particular idea of splitting payments. I think it could radicalize and radically change production in some scenarios. And I think Lightning can allow that sort of stuff and it becomes interesting and it’s keeping in a free market.
Stephan Livera – 00:46:48:
It’s reminiscent also with Podcasting 20 as well. This idea of if you’re using a Breez or fountain and people doing the Podcasting 20 and they’re having a certain split go to the host and a certain split going to..
Ben Arc – 00:47:03:
Wow! So split payments and the Cryptograffiti thing came first. And Adam Curry, he was a huge fan of LNBits, and he did this amazing shout out on some podcasts where he’s explaining his bitcoin journey and how he installed Raspiblitz and then he did a one quick install of LNBits and he’s like, Holy shit, look at all the things you could do with this LNBits. And then he came into LNBits Channel I didn’t know who he was and said, I’m interested in this podcasting thing. And he was talking about RSS feeds, and I was like, it didn’t really, like, tickle my fancy. I wish I engaged more with him at the time. But that is an extension I really want to build. I was talking to Anita Poshma, actually, where you can just upload your podcast to your LNBitsinstall and create that RSS feed. RSS 2.0 over. Is it RSS 2.0?
Stephan Livera – 00:47:47:
Ben Arc – 00:47:48:
Yeah, Podcasting 2.0. Create the RSS feed and then people can subscribe to it and then you can do it through LNBits and then have the funds, I guess, go to an LNBits wallet. I need to look into it, but I think that would make a cool, again, a cool extension for people if they’ve got LNBits installed and doing podcasting. They might as well make I’m not sure whether it will work, if you have any feedback on that concept. Would that work?
Stephan Livera – 00:48:09:
Maybe. I think it’s early days with all of this stuff. I think it’s hard to sort of figure out exactly how much demand is there going to be, but I’m curious to see where it goes to see what happens with all the podcasting tube and stuff. I have podcasting 2.0 and stuff. I played around with it, obviously. I guess it’s early.
Ben Arc – 00:48:31:
Yeah, it’s like a lot of these things, and this is often the complaint and the thing we complain about. The LN-URL Mafia group, a bunch of us, like Boomi and me building something will be like, oh, what we really want. I was in LN-URL Pay, for example, when you make an LN-URLPay, there’s no real way for what was it? So the idea was, if you’re doing web Ln and then you pay in a browser, you then want the browser to be able to check the payment and deliver something. I think something like that. There was something which LN-URLor Pay couldn’t do, and both me and Boomi had the same issue and we were like, it’d be nice if you could just have like an LN-URLPay verify thing where it could just like check to make sure the payments gone through. And then there’s kind of kickback and people like, well, never know what to build things with it With LN-URL Pay, ne of the things functions you can do and you can put in a comment in the payment and a few wallets adopted it, but it wasn’t very well adopted. And then support for it kind of waned. And stopped being supported now as much as we’d hope, as you know, (inaudible) is more supported now. But anyway, there was a period where it wasn’t very well supported and a bunch of us were like, actually, you should be supported. And it’s like, what tools use it? And it’s like, well, none currently, but if you build the ability to make the thing, then people will build things on top of it. So it’s kind of like the Podcasting 2.0 thing if we build an extension and LNBitsto make it a little bit easier to do Podcasting 2.0, who knows, someone might use that in some weird and creative way, which may not be related to podcasting marrying it with some other extension. But I think you’ll like, build the tools first and then give people the tools so they can easily build the things. And then people people be creative and build interesting things. I like you. I’ll just see where it goes. But try and get the tools.
Stephan Livera – 00:50:08:
And I think another area I’m curious as well, just to get your views on that, is just paywalls. So even just people who want to let’s say they want to do a website and use LNBits as the underlying way of running a Paywall, can you just talk through that case? How would that work? What does that look like today?
Ben Arc – 00:50:27:
Yeah, I think I think I might have spoken spoken to you about this about this in the past because I’ve always had an interest in the paywall stuff I really wanted from the beginning of when I first used yours, Alex Bosworth’s, which is a great example of Lightning being used. I just wanted that in WordPress like a Pay to read more button instead of a read more button. And I put out a couple of bounces, actually, to try and get this thing created because I don’t have to do WordPress made WordPress plugins, and a couple of people, they made plugins almost there, but they weren’t quite what I wanted. But Boomi, he’s actually from Albi, but he’s made a great plugin for WordPress where you can do a common voice call, but if you Google it and you can Pay to read more, you can do that thing where you put this link in an article and then so you can give them a little snippet. And I just think when it comes to press like, forget to finance the time. Someone has to be a link to an article, some Bitcoin article, some Financial Times article. I go there and then it has a subscription thing, and I’m thinking, man, I would overpay to access this article now because I really want to read it. I would pay like 50 p or a pound or something to access this article. And probably in the great scheme of things, if I was paying a subscription and accessing this newspaper, they’d probably calculate that this article is worth fractions of pennies. I would overpay if there’s a Paywall option as well. And it would be so easy to add that Paywall option in there. And I crossed my fingers and I hope that the Financial Times, as a gimmick on the satoshi on the White Paper Day or something they’ll do that. They’ll allow people to have a pay as you go, pay wall taxes, some of their articles using the Lightning Network or even just the one article on what is today the case, is the White Paper tape block. I think it would be a really interesting gimmick. But yeah, for personal blogs and people running it, it just needed to exist. And now it does exist and people can use it. And again, I’m sure people use it in really interesting ways for not just unlocking written content. You can unlock all sorts of content with it.
Stephan Livera – 00:52:20:
Well, I think one thing is people just don’t know about some of these things, right? Because of course you and I, and let’s call it our bitcoin and let’s say Lightning Bubble, we know about some of these things, but I think the average person doesn’t actually understand, and maybe they haven’t taken the time to actually try and pull these. The pieces exist, they just need to combine them and put them out there. And so even, say, Marty Bent, I know he’s doing something with ghosts and having a way of paying for his newsletter, you can pay one off and get past the paywall, but the same kind of functionality exists in LNBits, and I think a lot of people just don’t know that. They could, let’s say, run a Raspiblitz, install LNBits on it, do a Paywall, and now get Paid content on their website.
Ben Arc – 00:53:00:
Yes, so the LNBits extension is great, but you give someone a link and then they hit a link and they’re like, okay, pay this invoice, pay the invoice, and then it reboots them to the thing which they’re unlocking, but then there’s nothing to stop them taking that thing and then sharing it with people as a way to kind of get around that paywall. It’s very useful. And actually you can like Paywall or paywall to have repeat payments and things. That was an idea from Tim, from LMpay, because that was Paywall paywall.com or something to begin with, (inaudable) payroll is a very, very powerful I agree with you completely. Actually, I think that idea of not knowing where everything is is getting worse because, like, the Boltz Dock(?)Exchange extension, which (inaudible) is building. I had no idea this thing called Boltz Dock Exchange existed and how cool it was, and it existed for a while, how slick in a finished product it looks like. And there’s just so many Lightning projects and people like, particularly if you’re building stuff as well, you’re getting on, you’re making things, you look up, and there’s all these projects I’ve heard of, and it’s kind of like a few years ago, I don’t know about you, but I could kind of keep taps on what was happening everywhere. But now it’s so it’s impossible.
Stephan Livera – 00:54:11:
Yeah, but, I mean, it’s cool to see. It’s good to see there’s so many uses and problems. Yes. I think listeners would want to hear maybe just from you as one of the guys behind LNBits, if you could just outline some of the people who are using LNBits today already. So, as you said, there’s Lightning tip bot. There are other projects and people who are using LNBits in the background. So do you want to just spell that out for people?
Ben Arc – 00:54:36:
Yeah, there’s a bunch of people. I mean, anyone running one of our hardware projects, like the POS or anything, they’re using LNBits. But then also we have single users. We have people just using it for themselves quite often, actually, I’ll go to a conference and someone will be just use because LNBits is an insta wallet you can just use as a wallet in your browser, in your phone. You can actually install as well if you’re using Chrome. It’s like a progressive web app, so it installs like an app, and then it’s just like a phone app. So a lot of people use that just as a wallet connected to their node when they’re out and about spending funds. And that’s really interesting to see for single users. But then there are other people who are running kind of custodian services for friends and family. I know a couple of people, like, they give their kids pocket money in sats, or they give a proportion of their kids pocket money in sats, and they just have, like, an LNits wallet on their node. But then also we have big power users using it as part of their stack. And when all the stuff kicked off in El Salvador, the Guatemalan bank IBEX, they just use the point of sale extension as an entire business product. So they went to Hairdressers or shop or whatever and said, okay, you need to accept Bitcoin. Here’s the point of sale. Use that when you want the cash. Come to us. We give you the cash. And they literally would just look at the wallet, which that poor house was connected to, and then they would just give them the cash and then just enter the funds out there delete the funds from the wallet. So, yeah, you can use it. It kind of sucked at that time because that was a year or so ago. And LNBits at that point, we still had, like, a few critical bugs in the frameworks. It was like if you used it, if it was a busy server, it would, like, trip over itself and it would wake itself back up. So we had, like, a massive refactor and we moved across Fast API to kind of get around that from Quartz. And that was fusion44 did that, that was great. One of the Raspiblit developers. So it’s kind of sucks that with the IBEX) guys I spoke to the time, I was like, Guys, you realize we’re beta and, like, we have bugs using it for a product, for a bank. That scares me. And then they ended up developing their own solution, which is basically the same market. So you can see the lineage in the POS. IBEX are a great company. I’m really excited about them. I’m glad they’re in that part of the world. They’re doing such a good job, you know, promoting Bitcoin in the right way and Lightning in the right way. But I think now, if they were to use LNBits for that purpose, they would just stick to it. Because why wouldn’t they? Because it works great flawless. It doesn’t trip over itself as fast. So fast. So, yes, more and more people as it’s become stable. I mean, we’re still beta, but I feel like we’re on the road to coming out beta now. Do use it as part of their stack? We have the Lightning tip. I don’t know if we had the Lightning Tip, but which uses it. And that’s a real power user gives us a lot of good feedback on LNBits. So, yeah, as part of your stack, as a custodian for friends, family, giving your kids pocket money, as a merchant for a shop. The classic problem with Free and up a source project is you have no idea who’s using your shit until someone sends you a picture and they’re in, like, the deepest, darkest jungles of Peru, and they go into some cafe and somebody’s using LNBits on their phone for a point of sale for to accept Lightning. Like okay. Cool. There’s an example of that. I think it’s a Central African republic, actually. There’s a nice little video of this guy selling something in the shop with bitcoin, and he was using I think he was using Lightning Tip bot, the telegram thing, which I just mentioned before one of our power users. So they were, like, super excited about it, but then also using other bits in the back end, too. So this is what it’s the banking and bank stuff, which I mean, we’re interested in giving people good payments experience, aren’t we? Not given access, as much access as possible. So if someone in limit with limited resources can access the technology and it works. Then it’s like, okay, cool. That means most of the world can probably access this thing. So it’s a range of users and we get our issues in our repo. We have people PRing. So it’s like Ellyjust recently PRed an invoicing extension, which is really cool, actually just makes an invoice link and give to someone and they can make payments and pay down whatever the invoices and keeps track of that actually that useful. But so he’s obviously using it in some capacity or he has some customer or something he wants to use in that capacity. So you kind of get an inkling of where people’s interests are with the software. But yeah, who knows?
Stephan Livera – 00:58:49:
People are out there and they’re just using it for whatever and they could even I’ve seen just from playing around, you can have it as a tip jar. You can use it to sell event tickets in your own sort of self hosted way. Let’s say let’s say you’re a bitcoin meetup organizer and you want to organize a barbecue, but you want to charge people, whatever, $30 to pay for the food and the drinks or whatever. You can sell your own little event tickets on that. I mean, there’s all kinds of ways you can use it, whether it’s hobbyist or community or even business, professional business, people who are using it as part of their stack. So I encourage people to check it out. The website is lnbits.com, and of course, make sure you follow Ben, he’s on Twitter, his handle is @Arcbtc. Arcbtc. So Ben, any final thoughts out there for listeners?
Ben Arc – 00:59:37:
Yes, we also have because when you get to that lnbits.com website, we also have a version of LNBit’s runninggo called Infinity and that uses and handles extensions slightly differently. So I would advise people to kind of Legend is the one which people we’re all working on to get out of beta, and then as soon as we do, we want to start using and playing around with this, the Go version. And it’s been worked on actively and people are using it as part of their stack and things, but we just need to get the Legend of Python version out of beta first and then make it fully usable for people. And then the Go version is also very interesting because it makes developing extensions kind of really easy. So that’s something we’re very excited about. When you go there, check out the Legend version. I mean, check out the Go version too, and also run it and play around with it. But that’s the more experimental version which will be playing around with. So yeah, not really. If you want to check out the hardware stuff, I think we got a link. I think there’s a repo for the hardware wallet which we can use with the LNBits on chain extension in the LNBits repo. But we should also probably link that in the onchain extension itself. We have a little about it and the point of sale. If that’s Arcbtc, if you Google that GitHub, then you should be able to find my LM pos and then also my ATM, the facuet and other projects with machines and all the gizmos and whatnot bitcoin switch. That’s a nice project. Just a very cheap little module. She can accept a payment. Turn something on, make something happen. Like a vending machine. I got a vending machine project on there as well, on the Rcbtc on GitHub. But yeah. Check LNBits. Check out the hardware stuff. Come into the LNBits telegram Group, T.ME\LNBits and then it’s like a good film, a good story. Sorry. You know, they were saying, like the film industry, a good story writes itself. That’s kind of like LNBits. As soon as someone understands what it is, they’re like, oh, we could do blah, blah, blah, and they come up with some great ideas and you’re like, oh, yeah, great, because they got different life experiences and they have their own ideas. So it’s always exciting when you have someone you come into the project, even if they don’t see themselves as being very technical or creative, you’ll suddenly find that they start coming out with good ideas. And often, I mean, there’s some ideas. People proposed just in the group and then within a couple of weeks, someone’s made it. Someone’s like, oh, I made that thing off the back of someone else’s idea. So you don’t necessarily have to be a developer to contribute, but obviously we always are looking for contributors. So please do contribute if you can. And yeah, that’s it. I think there’s also a telegram channel for the hardware stuff called Makerbits T.ME\Makerbits. And that’s cool. We got some couple of electrical engineers making fabricating POS boards so they can come with a more industrial looking POS. I think a couple of the best games people are in there as well. It’s a nice group to check out.
Stephan Livera – 01:02:24:
Excellent. Well, listen to the links will be in the show notes. And Ben, thank you for joining me today.
Ben Arc – 01:02:26:
Bye. Thank you. Cheers.
Stephan Livera – 01:02:28:
Get the show notes at StephanLivera.com/407. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you in the Citadel.