Sir Gene Speaks

0043 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Roy from Breez

May 07, 2021 Gene Naftulyev Season 1 Episode 43
Sir Gene Speaks
0043 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Roy from Breez
Chapters
0:14
Intro
1:04
History of Breez
7:22
Lightning Network
28:54
Open Source
32:32
Partner Apps in Breez
35:06
Apple Apps
41:51
Anytime Added to Breez
48:32
Podcasting 2.0 Update
57:50
Wrap-up
Sir Gene Speaks
0043 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Roy from Breez
May 07, 2021 Season 1 Episode 43
Gene Naftulyev

I recommend listening at 1.25X
NOTE: This was recorded before the Apple announcement about podcasting.
Story Images and Links are only visible to Podcasting 2.0 Apps :
Get  Breez
Get Podfriend
Get Sphynx
See all the latest APPS for Podcasting 2.0

Produced by:   

Donate via Bitcoin or Lightening strike.me/sirgene or


Move to the same Podcast Host I use!
Get some credit on Buzzsprout! $20 Amazon Gift Card

Support the show (https://bit.ly/39tV7JY)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

I recommend listening at 1.25X
NOTE: This was recorded before the Apple announcement about podcasting.
Story Images and Links are only visible to Podcasting 2.0 Apps :
Get  Breez
Get Podfriend
Get Sphynx
See all the latest APPS for Podcasting 2.0

Produced by:   

Donate via Bitcoin or Lightening strike.me/sirgene or


Move to the same Podcast Host I use!
Get some credit on Buzzsprout! $20 Amazon Gift Card

Support the show (https://bit.ly/39tV7JY)

Gene:

I recorded this interview with Roy several weeks ago, prior to the Apple announcement. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did speaking with Roy and I also like to thank people that have donated, even the small amounts and certainly the monthly recurring donations all add up and allow me to create this podcast without having to take money out of my own pocket to do it. Today, we're joined by Roy Sheffield Roy you are the, creator or the main developer of breeze? what's your title?

Roy:

yeah, I'm one of the breezes. Co-founder I actually, I'm not actually developing the product. I'm more of the product manager of bris

Gene:

well, that's great. I've been mostly talking to individual developers.

Roy:

I'm Holly technical though. So don't

Gene:

That's good. That's good. But you are a company you're not just a solo guy.

Roy:

Yeah. Yeah. It's a breeze is a commercial company trying to make money on this crazy in this crazy world.

Gene:

So how many, employees do you guys have or how many people? All of a

Roy:

We're four full-time employees.

Gene:

And is the breeze app, is that your only product?

Roy:

Yeah. Well, it's keeping us busy 24 seven. So I hope so

Gene:

how long ago did you guys start Developing breeze.

Roy:

we started breeze on 2018 and actually I started breeds together with my two close friends and Roy and Akeeva, that worked with me in a previous company that I founded called harmony. We decided To take another challenge and to try and help Bitcoin, evolve from store value to a medium of exchange. Then we saw an opportunity with like in network, at the end of 2017 and in 2018 we started, we founded the company started crunching it.

Gene:

So normally this is where I would ask the person being interviewed. What did they develop previously, but in your case tell us a little more about your background. you had founded a previous company

Roy:

I'm actually, I'm a software engineer in my background and. In Israel everyone is obligated to serve in the army. After my military service, I wasn't the computer geek or anything like that when I was a child and growing up. But after the military service, I got the grant to, to learn computer programming. I said to myself let's do that for a couple of months to learn feeling, feel stuffed at university. And and I started with, with the programming really. Really clicked and then started doing some projects here in the iTech industry in Israel, and was a consultant in, in, in several companies and various software development projects. And and one of the companies that I worked as a consultant took me on as a full-time employee and and then we restarted the company and we renamed it to, we renamed the company to harmony. It was an enterprise B2B collaboration company. And this is the first company that I founded breezes. The second

Gene:

Janet. Okay. So you're, you definitely have a technical background, but at least right now you're really doing more product or project development

Roy:

I'm doing everything besides coding. And so I believe a successful product is, is created by technical product management. It's not it's not enough to do product management. It's not enough to do a development. Someone there's a need to be someone that functions as a technical product manager, specifically in a very complicated, the technical projects. Where their requirements are unclear. The specifications are unclear that the older development methodologies is rapidly changing and there's need to be a glue. And I really, I strongly believe in disfunction of a technical product manager, someone who knows the specifications, and we understand the standards who understands the, how to read code, understands how even to work closely with the developer to change the code, on the one hand. But on the other end, understands users, understand UI understands UX and knows how to merge these tools together.

Gene:

I wasn't going to interrupt that. I completely agree. I certainly have a, I think a somewhat similar background. I started off as a developer when I was in college and then eventually moved on to business operations management. but I still have always maintain my technical knowledge and I still program for fun. Mostly I've done game mods. If I'm playing a game and I want to cheat a little bit not in the sense that other people think, but in the sense of well, well, I am a hacker. That's true. But if there's something that I feel is missing or the game could be made better somehow, and these days, most games have APIs. It's a good opportunity to maintain programming skillset and actually do something that you ended up seeing in the game. So I totally agree. Totally understand what you're describing. It makes perfect sense. So let's talk a little bit about breeze because unlike some of the other apps that I've looked at a breeze kind of came from a different direction towards podcasting. So before we get into the podcasting aspects of breeze, walk me through how you guys decided to create that app. And what was your main focus? What were you trying to solve?

Roy:

Yeah, sure. So as I said that we founded breeze in our goal. Our motivation was to help Bitcoin to transform from a store of value to a medium of exchange. Bitcoin is great. We believe in Bitcoin, we think Bitcoin is going to change. The world, and and can introduce new type, of use cases, new type of economy. It's really the internet and the future of my, but Bitcoin has some inherent problems that that are not helping them to evolve, to be a medium of exchange, meaning to be used as a currency in the internet. And one of the, w there are three main flows, three main barriers. One is the fact that Bitcoin is slow. So in order to do a Bitcoin transaction, you need to wait at least 10 minutes for the transaction to be confirmed. And this is if you understand how the blockchain works, every approximately Every 10 minutes, a bloke is mined and your transaction needs to be blocked for it to be confirmed in a and for they're the one that's receiving the money. They need some guaranteed that you're not gonna double spend the funds. Your funds

Gene:

Yeah, because digital money. So you need to make sure that there's a way for people to not have transactions happening at the same time, which obviously is true of any system of exchange. But when you have thousands of transactions happening or probably millions at this point it's certainly. Very important for that to not have any years at all. And it certainly, when I set up my Bitcoin node I very much got to see firsthand the speed with which these transactions take place. So that, that was what w what made lightning or the guys that developed lightning made them want to create the second layer. It sounds like you guys get into working on breeze on the lightning side pretty early on,

Roy:

yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So by the way, it's not only the speed, it's also the fees, the transaction fees. And it's also the ability to do micro-transactions being because of the lounge fees. You can't really do micro-transactions and lightning solves all these problems. Yeah we got early on developing breeze when we started the, when we started in mid 2018 the mindset of the community was that lightning, you can't have. Great user experience doing non-custodial lightning. And we wanted to change that dynamics and that way of thinking, we wanted to create a, an application. I don't really like to call Breeza wallet, but for the sake of this discussion, let's call what we did initially, a wallet. We wanted to create a wallet that, maintain all the core properties of Bitcoin that provide the great UX, meaning your keys your coins created a non-custodial error environment in non-custodial platform where you can transfer your Bitcoin. But on the other end maintain a user experience that will be on par with what the custodial systems had to offer. And eventually we'll be on par with what the Fiat's system has to offer.

Gene:

You mentioned a couple of terms and I think I know what they are, but let's just clarify what you mean by custodial versus non-custodial. Let's talk about that.

Roy:

Yeah. So custodial means that someone else Bitcoin is peer to peer money, peer to peer, meaning you can do peer to peer transaction. Like if I want to send Jean some Bitcoins, the Bitcoins are being sent from from Roy to gene directly. No middleman and no no, no trust is needed in order to execute this transaction between us, custodial means that, someone else has access. To, to the funds, to the Bitcoins. So let's say I'm purchasing some Bitcoin on an online exchange, a let's say con base. And I keep my coins in Coinbase. Coinbase has access to my Bitcoins. They can access my funds and I can certainly transfer some Bitcoins from Coinbase or let's say paper because they found out support to Bitcoin.

Gene:

You can't take them out. That's the thing about PayPal. You can put them in and you can take them out.

Roy:

Well, even if they will allow you to take them out or to transfer Bitcoins to merchants or to your friends it's funds that are controlled by paper, meaning PayPal has access to your funds. And they can take your money and they can access your money. And the entity that executes the transaction is actually the custodial entity. It's not you, they're doing that on your behalf, but it's not peer to peer economy, that we want to create a Bitcoin. I believe that the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is the ability to do, to execute peer to peer transactions. That's why I think lightning should maintain all the core properties of Bitcoin, and without it we, we might as well use the Fiat system, which is working right. Banks are working for the, they've been working for a long time. Now, no reason to stop using them unless we want to do something different. And so you can think about custodial solution custodial services as the new type of Frito banks.

Gene:

That's a good way of looking at it. And then the other thing that you mentioned was wallets versus not wad. So what I'm going to have you explain then what's the difference between the wallet and the node?

Roy:

so and no. And no. What do you mean to liking it? So a way to wallet is a term that comes from the own chain, architecture it's a wallet is a way, an application that is a wallet. It's an application that saves your private key inside the device. It can be your computer. It can be your laptop. It can be your mobile device, but it will let the main function of a wallet is to secure your private key and to execute transactions using your private keys. Lightning node also have also has private keys. It has many private keys, not one and, but has many private keys that are used in inside lighting channel. And I know we'll have to go into the explaining what the lighting channel is. If you want, we can do that as well.

Gene:

Yeah definitely we will because the advantage of having you on as somebody that came on from the Bitcoin enlightening side and then add in podcasting is I get to ask you all the technical stuff.

Roy:

Sure. That's why I'm here. So I think cha so let's explain that. Let's break it down for a second. So we have the Bitcoin on chain, which is a chain of blocks in mind, every 10 minutes, we'd lightning, we're creating a second layer and the second player, that's a lot of advantages because you don't need to publish what, why you lightening is so easy to use. Why are the reason that it's fast? It's a it's cheap and it's scalable. And the reason is because of the magic called lightning channel and I can channel, and I have a medium article that explains that, I use the Abacus analogy. You know what advocacy is for, you know, but yeah, other than that, so the advocacy is the theme. The Chinese used to do math calculations with the beads and the wires, imagine, think channel is a wire between, between you and me and the Bitcoins are the beads on the wire. So the Bitcoins can be either on your end or my end. And every time we do a lightning transaction between us on our liking channel, we move beads from one end to the other. So if I want to send some Bitcoins to, I'm just moving the beads on the wire from my end to your end. The cool thing about lightning is that we, because we both have this. Entity. And this wire shared between us. We don't need to publish this information to the blockchain, to the Bitcoin chain. We're doing so-called off-chain transactions. It's Bitcoins, it's regular thunder Bitcoin's transactions, but these Bitcoin's transactions are not published to the. To the chain. That's why lightning is so fast because we do, we can do as many as transactions as we want, in injustice milliseconds. And we can settle the score between us, without every everyone knowing about it. That's the liking part. The net for the, that fork part comes to play where let's say, I'm connected to you using a lighting channel, but you're connected to Carol with another liking channel. And now if I want to send Carol some Bitcoins, I moving beads from my end of the wire to yours, to your end of the wire. And you're moving beats from your end. Of the wire to carols and of the wire. So that's the network effect. Not everyone needs to be connected with the direct payment channel, but we can use the power of the network of the smashed network in order to do transactions within the lightning network.

Gene:

So then that brings up a good question as well, which is, you mentioned how creating the block creates a sort of level of security to prevent fraud. How does lightening prevent fraud and how does it accomplish a similar security goal to Bitcoin, but does it so fast?

Roy:

Yeah. So the thing is that in this in this architecture, the blockchain, is that the ease, the judge, this say this magical entity over a payment channel that we've just described. He's created on the chain. And it's a really a multisig address that we created on the chain. And if there's a dispute in our internal settlement, then we will, we're closing the channel and going to the chain to judge who's. Right. And what's the right account of the beets.

Gene:

So essentially on the chain you have, let's say, I'm just picking a number out in there, but let's say you do a settlement like once a day. And then in the lightning transactions, you have all the transactions for the whole day. But you're not putting each of those transactions onto the Bitcoin itself. But all you're putting is how much money went in and how much money came in for the day onto the blockchain. Right.

Roy:

Yeah. There's no, not even a need to publish the score every day. And that's not the, that's not how it works. We, we, if we decide to create a payment channel between us, then we created this multi-site address on the chain, and we create a, as many internal transactions between us as we want. And and and 99.9, 9% of the cases, that's enough. W when that's not enough, is when you're trying to steal for me, or I'm trying to steal from you. And then what happens is that every entity, every one of us, every one of the peers of the channel have the internal score. And the internal score is created with a chain of lightning transaction. It's a lighting transfer, every sorry, Bitcoin transaction, every Bitcoin transaction and using the last score. So we have a chain of between transactions between us. And if you, your ability to fraud me to steal from me is by publishing an old transaction. But if I need to be aware of that, and I need to monitor the chain in order to understand that you tried to cheat me, and if you try to cheat me, then I'm publishing the new status between us, the latest Bitcoin transaction. And actually in that case, if you try to cheat me and I publish the latest, Bitcoin transaction, then I'm able actually to take all the funds in the channel

Gene:

Yeah, and I think that's a really interesting thing. And I've read that before as well. Thankfully I've never had anybody try and treat me nor have I done that. But I, it was an interesting thing to find out about that in enlightening. You have a a built-in mechanism to make

Roy:

To prevent prods.

Gene:

Yeah. To, but not just to prevent fraud but to actually move the funds to the correct transaction.

Roy:

Yes. Yes. It's. It's called technically it's called the justice transaction. Yeah.

Gene:

so it's pretty interesting. So how old is the lightning network or when there was lightning created.

Roy:

Well, I think the lightning white paper came out in 2015 and the first implementations of lightning were pretty robust to robust. Not really, but it was early versions of lightning came out in late 2017. And we started developing on the lightning network in 2018 and relisted better on 2019.

Gene:

Okay. Now is your app on iOS and Android? on both platforms.

Roy:

yeah.

Gene:

And I know I've been using the

Roy:

Technically, if you're interested in the technology where you're using flatter for our UI, a power 10 and go for our backend. So it's a cross platform architecture, which allow us to do mobile, a cross-platform iOS and Android, and maybe even web and desktop later.

Gene:

yeah. You don't have either web or desktop right now

Roy:

no. We're laser focused on mobile, Oregon.

Gene:

Obviously I've used the latest version, which which I got through the test app on iOS. So it was, it's a beta, but I'm assuming that's because the feature that kind of brought me to your product was a podcasting that was added just very recently.

Roy:

The reason breezes in better is actually because the liking is still in beta and not because of the podcasting feature and the puzzle. Yeah.

Gene:

always had it available through the tests, not

Roy:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Although we've made a lot of progress in lightening and and we've, we're using an underlying implementation of liking called L and D and shout out to lacking labs who more developing L and D and we we prote to L and D to mobile and we're keep adding features that help run, L and D on mobile device. L and D is the ability to run a lightning node and we're running an actual, fully feature Lackey node on your mobile device and all, but although we've made a lot of progress in recent years and there are still, and there are still bugs in enlightening. And for example, channels. Can be closed for no apparent reason. And so I don't think it's a production quality just yet.

Gene:

got it. So it's really, it's a decision. That you guys have made to not come out of beta with your app until the network itself is more robust.

Roy:

Exactly. Keep in mind managing that the lightning is a payment network and and as a payment network, he tests to be very reliable. It needs to be 99.99% success rate over successful payments. And we're not there yet.

Gene:

Yeah, that's true. So the wallets that are available, not as test apps, but as submitted fully functional apps do both lightning and Bitcoin, those people have just made a different decision than you guys

Roy:

Yeah. Yeah. I'm coming. Maybe I'm coming from a different angle. Since I used to do two to be in enterprise software, I have a different standard article on what is enterprise quality and what's a general relevant ability quality. And I don't think, I think all the lightning apps out there are actually better. That's my honest,

Gene:

well, that's a very good point because when you install if you actually download the code for one of the lightning implementations and install your own node, it's very clear right away. They tell you, remember, this is a beta network. You can lose everything on here. So be careful.

Roy:

Exactly. Exactly. So the fact that we're on test flight and on Google play better, channel means that I'm setting, I'm trying to set the right expectations. And when you install a breeze, we give you a warning. When you start the app, I don't want to set the wrong expectations.

Gene:

this works with, for micro payments quite well, even as a beta, because you're really not risking a very large amount of money. And if everything works fine, if there's no issues, then you're just using it as a payment system. But if there are issues, the amount that is lost is fairly small.

Roy:

Yeah, no one has ever lost their funds using breeze. And nevertheless, there are cases of channels being closed. And in these cases you can lose mining fees, which are relatively small, but still, and not the quality that you expect from a production software.

Gene:

Yeah. As I've started learning a little more about this whole system and getting my own nodes up in the running which I was by the way, Adam very strongly discouraged me from doing that because he'd done it. He'd done it months earlier and it's you really don't need this. Why are you doing this so that I'm doing it for same reason. You are. I need to understand it. I need to learn it. So I have to do it for me. Scratch.

Roy:

Unlike Adam, I think your method is the right method. The, we need to dig deep in order to understand what's going on. If you don't understand the infrastructure, then you want understand the how to build a good product later.

Gene:

And certainly not the regular user doesn't need to understand this. They don't need to. Really understand a lot of the, a lot of beta software that's involved in this, but from a technical standpoint from, I've always liked to dig a little deeper. Like I said, my, my background from many years ago was actually doing development work. I feel like I can understand it, but sometimes it's, it is, it's a uphill battle. There are a lot of things that I found with both Bitcoin enlightening, but certainly on the lightning side, more so that are just not documented. Like you actually have to either track down what somebody else posted somewhere, or you have to look at the source code. It's just there's not a easily available documentation for a lot of it.

Roy:

I agree. I agree. Our tools that that helps not management to become a more seamless, streamlined operation. But yeah, the tools need to be improved. The developers too need to be improved. The it tools need to be improved. The recommendation is there's a lot to do in order to take it to the next level. It breeze the entire pharmacists of Brisbane. But just to relate to your previous point is too, is to abstract everything from the end user. And we were trying to hide the oldest channel management stuff from the end user. The, we have a single balance between on chain and off chain. It needs to be a seamless experience that is on par with what the product has to offer.

Gene:

So let me ask you just a little more of a techie question and then we'll move down to other less techie questions. So since you said that breeze is actually. Operating as a node on your mobile device, on your phone. And since I'm aware that opening challen channels and managing the spread of which channel has how many sites available on it, it's a pain in the ass. I can only envision that having something that isn't always connected, like your phone wouldn't be because of the simply the management that the operating system provides these applications. How do you guys deal with the constantly up in, up going up and going down channels?

Roy:

Yeah. You mean channels being active or inactive? Yeah. There's actually channels being active or inactive. It's not. That much of a challenge, but the mobile connectivity, the fact that the mobile device and the app on your mobile device, isn't always connected creates a lot of challenges specifically in two areas. One area is the on chain sync, liking needs to have, needs to be aware of what's going on in the change to see if the channel fate has been changed. Because you're trying to see the, no one is cheating you and trying to see your funds. So liking requires on chain con constant on chain awareness, constant on change sync that's one area. The other area is like rough sync liking channels or publish. In in, in something called the liking graph and delighting client needs to be aware of the changes and the updates, the constant updates to the liking graph. When someone is opening a new channel. All the networking formation is available to the breeze client. And so we've optimized and invest a lot of time to, to create on the on chain. Think we have a background task that constantly checking the the stuff to solve the channel channels. And when we're using it, I think we're the only client now that uses the neutrino protocol, then internal client in order to get the on chain information in a private manner, and on the graph scene we've created and optimized the rusting mechanism that allows us to update to the craft more efficiently. I, to the, more to the listeners who are interested in the, in how we customize the lightning node to run on mobile device, I refer you to our medium publication, or I wrote several several posts on, on, on that subject. It's a fascinating subject,

Gene:

and you said that you guys are also an open source product, right?

Roy:

Complete, everything is open source. So not just the mobile app, but also our node and our servers. Everything that we do is open source.

Gene:

so that leads to two questions. One is of course we can mention now or mentioned at the end then what are you running on GitHub or what's the address for people to be able to take a look at yourself?

Roy:

Yeah. Yeah. So it's get hub slash breeze without an ESPN. And that's R a and main near Lincoln. Our main repository is the breeze mobile one. So slash breeze mobile,

Gene:

I forgot dimension because we probably should have been saying this for a while is a breeze with no E because people are if you haven't seen the app and you're trying to search for it, you may be getting all kinds of other apps that are called breeze. This is the breeze that is slightly misspelled without the E on the end. And there should only be one of these.

Roy:

yeah. Yeah. And then, and actually, if people are trying to seal the breeze without any, is it well, so our site is, yeah, so it's, three's weed up in E though technology. That's our side.

Gene:

Breece technology. So that's the main site and you've got links to your both your GitHub and your articles from that site as well. Right?

Roy:

Yeah. And to our telegram group and to

Gene:

Yeah.

Roy:

Twitter and to everything. Yeah.

Gene:

So then the second question is how the hell do you make money or how do you plan on making money? If all your product is open source?

Roy:

I think I think that's already proven that open source software can make money. The fact that the fact that it's open source, I don't think, I don't think you'd say it's a challenge. I think the challenge is more on the lighting side and how do we create a liking economy that takes some chunks of the economy and how do we move people to a peer to peer economy? Because I think that if we'll be able to move people to a peer-to-peer economy, then we'll be able to make money a breeze specifically we, we generate revenue from various from various sources. First, when you do when you said. Money to breeze. And we create a channel for you, a channel between the breeze LSP. We can get into the LST concept, but that's another discussion. Like an LSP is a liking service provider. And I, we created this notion of an LSP, like the internet ISP, the entity that connects you to the lightning network, the ISP connects you to the internet. So the breeze mobile. Interacts with the breeze LSP. And when you first installed breeze and you send money to breeze, the breeze LSP creates a channel and a channel between the breeze LSP and the breeze mobile now. And we take we take a fee on that transaction. We take a fee on every lightning transaction currently it's on the one side, but we take care fee on every transaction that is being executed through breeze. And not only through reasons, but because we're a node in the network we were out too many payments. So we take routing fees, because of that. And we also have a Fiat on ramp solution. We're using Montay allowing users to buy Bitcoin using Fiat, and we take it. It cut out of that. We have a marketplace, we have apps, liking apps called Elle apps, in breeze where users can purchase products in lightning can do swaps in, in enlightening. And we take referral fees out of these type of interactions. And if we it's a good segue to the podcasting part, because every time you stream sets to a podcaster in breeze, we take a cut to that as well.

Gene:

Yeah. And that's a good, that is a good segue. You're absolutely right. So we can talk a little bit about the podcasting. So you'd mentioned breeze already has some apps built in, and I know I've looked at a few of them. It looks like there's a few games. And there's certainly the apps that you mentioned for swapping and for refilling. Was that a concept that you guys started with right off the bat? Just to have a product that has built in directory of apps?

Roy:

Yeah. Again, back to why I don't really like the term wallet. I see breeze as a platform for peer to peer economy, and I don't want to create a closed garden of the spirit of pure economy and the marketplace, the ability of developers to create these mini apps elapsed and to embed them into breeze, like a meta mask concept where you can interact with this second layer, this lightning economy, this is something that we've released very early on and.

Gene:

And how many partners you have with that program right now?

Roy:

I think, eight, something like eight by fold, the lighting roulette spend, which is a debit card where you can charge your debit card with lightning and there was there, there was a bunch. Yeah,

Gene:

and yeah, I'm sure more will be coming. Do you have a worry about getting certified when you're out of beta by either Apple or Google having these extra apps in there?

Roy:

Yeah. That's a concern.

Gene:

would be my first thought is like, Ooh, it's bad enough trying to get Apple to sign off on your app. But when you have other developers that are creating things to make use of your app inside, it seems like the risk is higher.

Roy:

Yeah, definitely. It's definitely, it's a concern. And that the ability to embed the web a web view within the app and launch these third party apps, it's a concern for forever app that does that. Worst case scenario we'll have to refer our users to an external browser. And instead of embedding the view within our app, that's something that is allowed by Apple. Of course, from a user experience standpoint, we want to, to, to have a more streamlined user experience where the users stay in brief.

Gene:

And I, it's something I heard recently, which I believe is true, but maybe it's not even true, but it's still interesting. Is one of the other podcasting apps that recently submitted their app to the Apple store after implementing the streaming SATs in there. And it w it came back refused. And so there was some concern about what's going on and, what does Apple not like? And my understanding is the reason that Apple sent it back is because they, they said the app is not doing enough things natively. And it's essentially just using WebKit to show the website, because all the work being done is on the backend. So it's just feeding it and,

Roy:

Yeah, that's a legitimate feedback. I think we all want a great user experience on mobile devices and we want developers to use the native features and the native view user experience of the devices in order to provide the best experience they can.

Gene:

Exactly. So my sort of joke about it was, Apple doesn't want you to submit the the sample app for dev kit, essentially if you build your entire app on the server platform and you're just using your mobile app just to display pages it's essentially a way it's very easy to write a mobile app at that point,

Roy:

Yeah. Yeah. You dumped one to app for every website out there. Right. And that's not the, that's not the reason. And I also think for my podcasting standpoint, a notifications downloads the ability to use the native features of the device are important.

Gene:

Yeah, no, I totally agree. And there's. It's a quick way to do it sometimes, but certainly part of the appeal of podcasting pretty much from day one, when Adam first worked on creating it is having that offline file that's in your pocket, even if there's no network connection.

Roy:

Yeah, definitely. I think we all come to expect also this level of user experience, at what site is enough. I know you don't need an app for everything you, maybe a website uses is a good enough solution for some services.

Gene:

and it's amazing actually, how many games have been able to be built just purely on a web browser basis? Yeah I'm surprised all the time. Well,

Roy:

Yeah. I am also waiting for a day where we were able to run a liking on the browser, which way?

Gene:

Exactly. Yeah and I think. Certainly the closest to that right now is the stuff that pot station doing that I interviewed the author of that product recently. And, he's built his podcast player as a Chrome

Roy:

WebAssembly.

Gene:

And it's, he has to deal with things like limits on storage and storage, because you're limited as an extension and all kinds of restrictions that, most other developers don't have to deal with because what they're writing is either a full-blown app or they're doing it on a server on the backend and then using it through a web browser, but

Roy:

yeah.

Gene:

doing it through a Chrome extension. Obviously extensions are meant to be little quick things. And when he he did the add the ability to do value for value. Streaming, but he is using a, an external wallet that he's communicating with through an API, essentially, to do that rather than natively.

Roy:

that means custodial service. So I think, and it's very much aligned with the podcasting 2.0 model where Adam is created Adam and Dave, by the way, which is amazing. Shout out Dave. Who are creating this platform a free platform for free speech. I think kid, the only way to achieve that is by doing a peer to peer transactions. And every time you're using a middle middleman, every time you're using a custodial service, you won't be able to really achieve that because this platform of or the entity that transfer the money can sensor you. And so maybe early, maybe many people are not aware of that, but come to a day where if you w if you, that these entities, this new banks will censor you. And the only solution for that is to encourage peer to peer economy and peer to peer money. And that's what Bitcoin is meant to do.

Gene:

Absolutely. And then, just to get political for a second, I think it's not just the banks, it's the governments. They don't like Of something that they've had a monopoly on

Roy:

But banks and governments are the same thing. Banks are extensions of government

Gene:

or the other way around.

Roy:

or the other way around. Yeah. We don't really know. Right.

Gene:

Exactly. Sometimes it's hard to tell. Right? Which ones really? Which

Roy:

yeah.

Gene:

No, I was going to say, let's before we veer too far into a political land, let's chat a little bit about your decision to add podcasting. Tell me about how you guys decided to do that. And then the path you took.

Roy:

Yeah. So Adam reached out to us last end of last year, tier to talk about it. I was convinced by Adam because I think he can convince anyone to do what he wants. A very charismatic guy. Yeah, no, but seriously, I was, I think there's a lot of alignment between what we're trying to do in creating free money and what Adam is trying to do with creating this platform of free speech. And I think there's a lot of alignment in the, in our values and I think it's a perfect use case for a peer to peer economy. And I think it's an example of how lightning can improve the quality of life. Even for the liking users getting get pure sensor show content, clean content, from content creators and the ability to create these, Peer to peer interaction between listeners and content creators. I think it's an amazing use case for lighting. So we've decided the, we've decided to add what 2.0 to breeze. It's not the first, it's like a vertical solution on top of our generic platform, but really it's not our first vertical solution. We've also released last year we've released a point of sale, like a layer inside breeze. So breeze has a point of sell mode where you can download breeze, switch to point of sale mode, and you can immediately be a lighting merchant, start receiving a payments enlightened without the need of or bank account or anything like that. So that was our first vertical solution and podcasting 2.0 is our second one.

Gene:

Got it. Okay. And then you guys ended up using. More open source code for the podcasting app. How did you guys decide to use the code that you ended up using?

Roy:

Yeah.

Gene:

Did you look at any others?

Roy:

So that's a great question. you mentioned earlier that how are we going to make money using open source? This is an example of how we saved money using open source, because there is an open source software. We can also embed other open source software. And there's a great project by, by Ben Hills called the any time, which is a podcasting app build on flatter. And we, you were using flatter. So when we started this podcasting 2.0 project, we did some research. It took a long look at what the open source world as to offer in terms of, flatter podcast applications. And we've ended up choosing Ben's project because it was very well-written. The architecture was very clean and we had a challenge to check, to take an app and to integrate it into breeze, not only in terms of of the code, which is very important, but also in terms of the UI UX and the anytime architecture. Texture seemed very flexible. And it seems that we will be able to pull it off. With any time we've reached out to Ben before we started the proof of concept, I wanted to see if he's open to PR. If he's open to modification that will enable us to use any time at the library. The biggest challenge was to take this application and to use it as a library within our app. And so I reached out to Ben and he was very often too to, to that and help us constantly throughout the process. And yeah, we're very happy with the decision. I'm very happy with anytime or it's not a complete the feature set is not complete. This is a more like advanced podcasting apps, but I'm sure, we'll get there and with the Mo

Gene:

it's pretty close though. And I will say that definitely. I, when I interviewed Ben, I told him that his UI looked really good and as does yours. And then it makes sense because you're using code that was good to start with. And then I'm sure you tweak that too, to fit the rest of your program.

Roy:

Yeah, that the challenge was to take the application and, it's not easy to take an application that was designed and refund as a standalone application and to customize it, to be used as a library and do all UI UX tweaks in order to make the UI in the user experience consistent and seamless. That was the biggest challenge, but Ben's code and Ben then specifically, he was very open to these changes in that just improved the code because everything was was dynamic and flexible. And yeah, as I said, we're very happy with it then I think, I think it's just the beginning because there's ongoing work to be done in order to add more features to to, to the bench, to Ben's project and then bringing in two Brits and vice versa. We want, we were running Gibbons code on iOS, even Ben didn't do that yet.

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah, no it's very cool. And in fact, I asked Ben if he has any plans to bring Bitcoin or enlightening implementation through his app. And he said he really doesn't because you guys already did that. So if people want the version of his app with the ability to stream SATs he'll he just point people at your end?

Roy:

Yeah. Awesome. And if someone wants a standalone podcast player without beacon capabilities, I really recommend taking a look at anytime.

Gene:

And it's not one that I'd seen until probably a couple of months ago, but it does have one of the best UIs and that's there's a wide. Difference. Let's put it that way. It'd between podcasting apps that I've looked at, there's some that are very clean and very intuitive. there's some that, you can not figure out for the life of the, what the person was thinking when they designed the interface. It's just like, come on.

Roy:

Yeah, not to name names. There's another flatter project, which is very comprehensive, but very difficult to use, I think, from a UI UX standpoint.

Gene:

and that's a huge thing too. Obviously to look

Roy:

I'm all for simplicity, by the way. I'm also for I'm all for the 80%, we don't need to hit every edge use case out there. We need to hit the 80% and we need to do that the best we can. That's when I'm putting my product manager cap on. I that's the way that I'm thinking about this.

Gene:

that's a good point. Thinking to your conversations with Adam and the work that you've done in adapting Benz app obviously you've had to interface with podcasting 2.0, the the database there, the while that they've built and the new features that are being added to the namespace. so what are your thoughts either about things that have been added or maybe some things that haven't been added, but you thought would be. Good additions since it is in the process of really being created or updated. This is our, probably one opportunity for the next 10 to 20 years to really redefine the standard and what podcasting is created by and have all the apps that certainly a majority let's say greet the new standard. I'm sure there'll be some people that just think podcasting is good the way it was. And don't plan on updating with all the new features set, but I'm seeing and especially because I'm interviewing you guys, I'm seeing a ton of new podcasting apps that are implementing either some or some of them, all the new features. So w what are some of the things either that you've seen that you think are really good, or maybe something you haven't seen that you'd like to see part of the standard?

Roy:

So I there's, there's two aspects to the question. One is relates to the entire book because stick 2.0 extensions and the hour specifically to the value tag, which is the ability to compensate content creators regarding to podcasting 2.0 really not a podcaster expert, but I really liked some of the features that that Adam and Dave didn't resist and specifically transcript. I really like, and I think as a user, it really helps me listen to a podcast. So that's a feature we want to bring to breeze as well as it on the value tag and. I hope and the many standards have made that mistake. I hope it will. I think they created a very clean, very elegant, very simple standard. And I don't want to get, to, for it to get complicated later and meaning I want it to be kept simple, and stupid as much as possible. It's it is a challenge, enlightening in this model of streaming sets, it is a challenge to do. For example, you can defy multiple notes. When you define your splits, you, when you fire in the comp compensation, you can split it between, several entities. There is no limit to that. That creates a challenge from a lacking standpoint because they're EAs lightning's, although it's fast, it's not that fast. You can do 50 simultaneous payments for example. So there needs to be some limit of that. Lightning fees are challenged. We've implemented something on the client side to, to help mitigate, lightning fees, but it's something that is that, that, that isn't, and can't really be part of the standard tool. Maybe it can be part of the standard but lacking feeling that's regarding doing micropayment is is a challenge and we're doing something, some constant, hard-coded on our end, it can be surfaced to the standard. A generally, I really like here what these guys are doing. And then what, and then the additional features that are working, they are working on not only in the RSS standard, but only also in the API side of the podcasting 2.0. And some of the stuff that they've created for us, like the trending view, and you just added a new list of new podcasts, looking forward to using these capabilities as well.

Gene:

Yeah, that's a good point. Is that it's more than just the standard. So it's not just the standards, body that, that's at play here with podcasting 2.0, it's really also the backend API APIs, the maintenance of the database. The eventually, hopefully the pruning of the database. I know there's some discussion about how to best go about pruning. Something that, still lists podcasts that no one's put out an episode in a year, is that, does that need to be pruned? If people are paying for the hosting and they're not creating content, maybe they're still getting listeners. Maybe that they're still getting enough out of it that maybe they shouldn't be pruned. Who knows? So I, I want to mention two features or two items that our my hope in contribution and get your opinion on these. So the first thing I think is pretty easy, which is I've submitted a a new. Tag for the for podcasting that sets the default playback speed. And the reason I did that is because I generally listen to podcasts faster. And in the first couple of episodes of my podcast, I actually did the time acceleration in post. So essentially you had no choice, but to listen to my podcast faster, and Adam talked me out of that. He said, you really should leave this up to the listener. Don't make the assumption on their behalf for what you prefer. Different people may want to hear you way faster than you want to hear yourself. Or they may want to play it back at a hundred percent. And Adam is a big, a hundred percent guy. He likes people to listen the way that he created it. Which, I respect that. I just. Choose to do it a little differently. And so my suggestion was okay, let's compromise. Let's have the podcast or provide a recommendation and then leave it up to the user. So if somebody loads in the brand new podcasts, this tag is in the feed, then you default the value to that tag. But

Roy:

Prefer. Yeah.

Gene:

the person moves it forward or back, obviously you save that preference.

Roy:

Okay.

Gene:

really only comes into play. When somebody for the first time going to listen to you,

Roy:

I like it. I like this this suggestion, I think there are real world use cases that support it. There's the CTO of lightning labs, LA loo. He talks really fast. It's almost a joke in the community and I can't imagine him being being on a podcast. You don't immediately need to do you need to go at least 0.5 X at least.

Gene:

it's funny. I actually had a quote that I put up on the podcast index social that Ben Shapiro made recently where he was, talking about whatever political stuff. But the quote that was funny to me was he says, and of course, you have to slow me down 2.75, just to understand what I'm saying, because he's another guy that's very fast talkative and it's

Roy:

Yeah, but it's nothing like you need to listen to loud to not to understand what I'm talking about.

Gene:

I will definitely do that as I'm digging more into this. I'm certainly more interested in in also watching and listening a lot of the players

Roy:

Yeah. He's great. He's great. He's one of the true lightning OGs and Andy is, and you don't want to miss anything. He says it's important. Everything that he says is very important. So it's a real world use case to the feature that you're suggesting

Gene:

that's great. That's a good way to think about it. And then my other recommendation, isn't so much a proposal to the index is just something I'm hoping. All of you guys, all the podcasts player creators will will implement. And that, and it's not even something I meant that it's something that I think was a great idea. So I'm promoting the hell out of it. Because I think it really should be the standard and that is changing the skip forward and skip back buttons to be asymmetric. Most players and most applications in general have had. Either 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds back or

Roy:

Yeah, that's what we

Gene:

15 back. Yeah. So it's the same thing. Cause it's, it's generally, what's been around for a long time and I ran across an amp a while ago. I know, I don't even think it was a podcasting one. That was, I think, video, but they did something absolutely brilliant, which is 30 seconds forward, 10 seconds back. And the reason for that is because the most, it's not going to be a hundred percent, but the most common use of the forward and back is to skip over things. And get to a point either that you're looking for, or somebody told you about or something and you always go past it. That's how, you know, you got there is because you hear something that is, like a new topic that your care is you're interested in or,

Roy:

Completely makes sense. Now that you're saying that. Yeah,

Gene:

So you skip forward and then you want to go back, but if you go back the same 30 seconds, then now you have to cause you know, Murphy's law is it's going to be 29 seconds later. So you go back 30, you have to listen to one X for 29 seconds until you get to the actual start point. And so having this asymmetry is great because generally you'll find the thing you're looking for a lot faster without going back and forth and without frustration. Yeah.

Roy:

Yeah. What's people ends up doing is going back, going forward with a button. But with the slider there, they're trying to find the right spot. And I think there was another use case to the 10 seconds back. He's typically when you're going back is not on that's one use case to try and find the right. the first position of a new chapter or a new topic. But there's another use case where they held the guy just said, and you want to go back. And 30 seconds is probably too much. Yeah.

Gene:

And 10 seconds. Cause you'll hit that button almost immediately after, wanting to rehear it. So you're probably not 30 seconds later that you decide, Oh, I want to read here this bit. 30 forward, 10 back. So if all the podcasts players end up with this,

Roy:

What did Ben say?

Gene:

Oh yeah, everybody. I think I've had five people say that they're going to implement it now.

Roy:

Okay. So you got,

Gene:

the idea.

Roy:

you'll get it in Brazil even without us without us implementing

Gene:

guys have to do it, but I love having the support. I like. More people implementing rational, reasonable things. That's the bottom line. So

Roy:

It's some of the stuff that, it's like he never shunned, we're we inherit stuff from previous generation without thinking we did not even thinking about, but now that you clearly state you're really a product manager, because now that you've really stated the use case it's that simple that this is the way that we need to implement that. Maybe we need to gather some more feedback from other users and open it up for discussion. But if that's the, if the buttons are there to support the use cases that you've just described, then it makes perfect

Gene:

Yeah. And with that I'll tie it back to what we were originally talking about, which is, I think now you understand what I do when I develop mods for video games. It's essentially that as I find something frustrating and I want to fix it, and thankfully, most games, these days have APIs that allow you to actually fix it. Or you ended up compiling a deal and chucking it in there and then using it within the app. But basically it's just changing the functionality to what I think it should have been in the first place. And then it's always fun to watching, it's fun to watching those first few people download your stuff and then eventually watching the tenant 10,000, 50,000 person download your thing. And it just makes me think that clearly I wasn't the only one that thought there was a better way here.

Roy:

Yeah. Yeah. Don't compromise Jean, the being a developer gives you power and let's use this power to make the world a better place. I know it's a cliche, but what we're building stuff and in it's great that the game developers allow you to modify their stuff. I'm always amended on watching my nephew play Minecraft. I'm always amazed by the level of customization that is allowed there. Like I'm totally blown away

Gene:

don't know if people would be playing Minecraft, if it wasn't customizable, if it didn't have mods at this point. Cause like the basic game is very simple.

Roy:

Th the ability to control, like every beat of the game is absolutely as a software engineer as a software architect. I'm blown away.

Gene:

Well, Roy, I appreciate you taking the time to record the podcast with me. And it gives us a lot more of the technical insight and know-how behind the lightning network. I think everyone's going to appreciate that. We might've gotten a little too technical for a few folks, but I think a majority of the listeners are going to love what you had to say.

Roy:

Thank you. Jean was my absolute pleasure.

Gene:

I hope you enjoyed listening to this interview with Roy. If you'd like to make a contribution to the podcast you can do so Using the links in the description.