Sir Gene Speaks

0045 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Tim from LNPay

May 16, 2021 Gene Naftulyev Season 1 Episode 45
Sir Gene Speaks
0045 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Tim from LNPay
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

I recommend listening at 1.25X

LNPay Link https://lnpay.co/

NOTE: This was recorded before the Apple announcement about podcasting.
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Gene:

Today, we're joined by Tim from Ellen pay. Tim, how are you?

Tim:

How are you doing?

Gene:

Good. You're not a a creator of a podcasting app, but you are somebody that's put together technology that podcasting apps are actively using right now.

Tim:

I'm helping power on both sides, actually. Some of the creator perceiving and of podcasting 2.0 and some of the podcast apps that are currently streaming SATs and that whole new ecosystem there.

Gene:

Yeah, all the payment stuff through the podcasting. Before we get into that, though, let's real quick chat a little bit about your background and how the heck you get into writing an app or brilliant system that helps people like this. So w what have you done previously? And how'd you end up here?

Tim:

I've always been interested in finance and tech and the kind of intersection there. And almost like I consider myself like a business first developer. So I did a lot of work in some of the background, financial markets, stuff like reporting and sec stuff for a little bit, my early twenties. And then my day job now is my buddy and I started a company. I sent out Amber alerts for lost pets. So unrelated, completely in the United States.

Gene:

But you're still in development, right? Or are you doing something else for that company?

Tim:

That a company has been operating since 2014. And sometime a couple of years ago, I was thinking about micro payments, which is more relevant to this, but I was trying to figure out like, what's up with the standard New York times, like paywall model, like why can't I pay 30 cents 50 cents to look at an article and, you hit the normal hurdles there, go credit cards and all that stuff. And I was poking around with that. And I basically stumbled upon the lightning network and the lightning network was pretty in its infancy at the time, still kinda is. And from that point I stumbled into Bitcoin. So I actually became a big corner through that path. I wasn't really much of a hardcore Bitcoin owner. That kind of got me started. I was always like a trader and I like trade Bitcoin, whatever, but I didn't really get it until like 2018, 2019 when I started thinking about this stuff. So from there I started just trying to build small little things on lightning to help see what that micropayment future looked like, that it was now that it was possible, or I saw that it was possible or there was a way that it. It's going to be possible. And so I played with paywalls and stuff simple little tools for using the lightning network. And as I was feeling, building those tools, there wasn't much adoption and it's growing in adoption. But I found myself more interested in building a tool to help people build those tools because certain verticals weren't really viable yet. And there's a bazillion verticals, right? Podcasting 2.0 is one of them. So yeah, I started building a API or like a like software that basically all developers integrate lightning into their apps. And I was trying to target people who don't really care about lightning, but just want it to work. Just like I did, because when I first started, I had jumped through all these hoops, so much low level development and, I just wanted to build the apps,

Gene:

so w were you doing other development projects before you get into this? Or did you really start learning development around time? You got into lightning.

Tim:

So yeah, I've been a developer for a long time since probably 2008 or something ever since I've been a kid, I've been my dad's pushing me a lot in that direction and stuff. And I've been building all kinds of random things. Paul boost is the Amber alert for loss pet

Gene:

Oh boost. Well, definitely. Yeah. Let's definitely let people know about that as well. That's uh,

Tim:

That's, I'm basically a tech and finance for that company. Andy. The basic idea there is, we just send out a paid geo-targeted ad for a lost animal on Facebook. Okay. And so it's like a black kind of blasted out.

Gene:

And is this an app or a website or how do people get there?

Tim:

it's a website Paul boost.com and there's an app too. It's not as much functionality in the app. The app is actually more geared towards what we call the rescue squad, which is a pet lovers who love to just help and to make connections for lost pets. So we've done a good job of aggregating all the lost pets or a lot of lost pets into one kind of platform. It's going to be the goal there to help people make those connections. And we manage over 750 Facebook pages, lost and found pets, Raleigh lost and found pets, Texas loss about pets, Austin, stuff like that. So that's, it's a fully bootstrap company. My co-founder Clayton and I we've done a good job of just trying to keep it real and do it ourselves. Just my mentality. And also why I like working in this space right now. There's a lot of doers.

Gene:

That's very true. Yeah. If you're, if you get on the podcasting 2.0 social there the cooperation between developers is really, top-notch, it's amazing. People are essentially talking to and helping and working with others that have very similar products, which you just don't see in most software development.

Tim:

Yeah, I've actually wondered that too. Some of the podcast apps in particular, they all seem to work together. Great. Then to the day it's I think the mission is just bigger than any one of us and that's cool.

Gene:

And then whether you want to think that what podcasting 2.0 has done over the last year or so is responsible for Apple making the changes that they're making or not, regardless of what you believe about that. The fact that now there is absolutely an alternative for people that don't want to give Apple 30% of donations and it's running on the lightning network, which is I think a good transition to where we can talk a little bit about what exactly in all pay does and what, how it can help podcasters as well as listeners.

Tim:

Yeah that's some of that business stuff is like the business side of podcasting. I haven't really like Adam and Dave opened my eyes to like, what's going on over there and just breaking it down for me. I haven't, I've always believed that podcasting there's lots of room for improvement, especially around like monetization and like value transfer before between creator and listener. And the recent changes that Apple and Spotify are making prove that, that like validating that's happening or it should happen. It's going to happen. But yeah, that. And Adam and Dave are there now with the alternative index, which I didn't even realize that this like podcast index situation was so like, just, I dunno, not freely, I don't know, just seems left there. Not much attention paid to it,

Gene:

I don't know how much of the back history, but Adam originally created the index and when Apple, this is before iPhones, when they just had the iPods that was the sort of the product that he was creating it for, that he was using himself. Although I didn't have to be specifically tied to Apple products either. It was a open standard, but he was building the index. And so at one point he met with Steve jobs and then jobs asked him for permission to use the index. And so Adam effectively gave the index to Apple who have maintained it and a very good note. They've kept it. Open for others to use. So everybody's pretty much been relying on the availability of the Apple index for years now, but they've also never really done much with it because to them it was always a it was something that was there and hosted by Apple, simply as a marketing effort to sell more iPods originally, and then eventually I-phones.

Tim:

But they've just let it go. And I didn't know. That's interesting. I didn't know that backstory there. So thanks for telling me that

Gene:

Yeah, it's a lot of people that, that don't really know. Adam's story. He's a really interesting character. I would recommend you listen to the episode that I've got, which was my sort of fake interview with him. And it was a fake interview because it was built up of a bunch of little clips rather than. Just one continuous sit down interview, but the content is all there. And I talk about,

Tim:

the Curry special.

Gene:

the Cree special yeah. Was cute name. and then, although I will say my interview with his wife, Tina had about double the number of downloads of Adam's episode. Clearly people are more interested in her than they are to him, but Adam's a very interesting character and I've been working with him, trying to help him on this. But prior to that we had a company where we did a hardware person project to launch on Indiegogo. And then it was a interesting learning experience. And we spent a lot of time really getting this product developed and designed. And one of the things that. I had insisted upon from the beginning was that I don't want this to be something that we feel like is well, something that we have to do, something that's like dragging us. I wanted to make sure that there was enough potential financially to make this worth doing. And so to do that, to actually get some profit out of it, rather than be working for free, trying to fulfill orders for people, I decided that we needed to make sure there was at least a million dollars in sales from the kickstart or rather the Indiegogo effort. And while there was a lot of very early interest in this thing, I think we, we wrapped up the campaign at something like $180,000 or something like that. So way other, a million. And then the product was at a a $500 price point. If I remember, right. It's been a few years now, but I think it was 500 bucks. And so it's not like we couldn't have hit a million. It's not that many units to get to a million, but if we actually wanted to move forward at that rate of about 180,000 in sales, there was literally zero profit in there. We may have been paying money for each one to be manufactured because of the low volume. So we ended up canceling that deal. But yeah, that was a, I think it was a great idea. It was ahead of its time. And ultimately the product that came out from a road, the road or pro that product was fairly similar. I wouldn't say it was identical. So the one that we designed, but it got 95% of the features and it's only missing a couple of features. And of course Adam thinks it's the most important features that it's missing. That is, it is what it is. But nonetheless, I think we definitely helped to motivate people in the right direction. I also think this time around with podcasting 2.0 that it really was a lot of ways, the efforts of Adam and David and all the rest of the people involved in this effort that kind of got Apple to perk up their ears, look around and realize that if they don't do something themselves with podcasting could just slip away and they will no longer be the sort of the default podcasting authority that they've been for the last 10, 15 years. It's been it's been a fun experience and while I'm not writing my own podcasting app I'm definitely trying to help out and being as involved as possible. And I guess be a big proponent and advocate of the new standard enhance interviews with people like you.

Tim:

Yeah, and I think it's good to, documentation of this stuff is I think just going to be timeless, these are new standards and new like just protocols and ways of doing things that, people are going to look back on and be like, wow th those so long, like so much going into this stuff and it's going to be, I think it's still gonna be the normal one day.

Gene:

Oh yeah. I do believe so. And the good thing is it is being documented really well, and there's a lot of discussions and they're both discussions on the the chat side of it. No agenda social or not, no agenda on podcasting 2.0 social, but also Or podcasting index social. I should probably know that, but it's, autotype when I start typing in like computer, but also discussions happening every weekend on a Jitsi, which is like a, if you're not familiar with it, it's like a knockoff of zoom mini meeting.

Tim:

Yeah. Yeah. They have the developer meetups every week or something

Gene:

exactly, exactly. So there's a lot of opportunity to standardize things. And that, and documentation is one of the sort of weak areas that I've discovered as I've dived into Bitcoin and specifically into lightening myself in setting up a lightening node and just Y and the Bitcoin node, and really doing a deep dive in the last, probably three, four months. I was really very tangentially interested in that before, like not interested enough to run my own stuff. And now that I've done that I every, like literally every week I hit my head against the wall on something, because there's so little documentation out there and it really feels like the only way I get good answers is by talking to somebody that had tried it before and then came up with a solution rather than by doing a Google search and then finding documentation that walks me through step-by-step on how to do something. They just doesn't exist for a lot of this stuff.

Tim:

Yup. And I think that's just shows you how early it is. Really. There's a lot of ground there to be

Gene:

Yeah. And it's seven years old, so it's early, but it's been around for awhile now. but right. So let's talk a little bit about on pay and exactly what are the things that it offers. Obviously I've played around with the websites as but. Walk us through what are the different services that are on there.

Tim:

So it's the project started as it's like a little lightening playground for myself. And. Creators can go in there now and make paywalls, which is basically, it's like a, you can create a link and put a paywall in front of it. And then when that person pays via lightening, it that'll just get redirected. And that's what I started with as like a cool idea. And there's another product which they called faucets. And that's another term that like, if you Google that you don't really get anything, I'm not even sure where or what I guess it started from Bitcoin faucets back in the day. But you can create a faucet, which you would deposit say a thousand SATs into it, and you can let people withdrawal those at like certain intervals or one at a time or 10 at a time in a giveaway style. And I thought that was cool for engagement, like new ways to engage audiences. And a lot of the ideas I have are just ways to flex the new, like micropayments on the internet. Cause that's just new. No, one's, that's not possible now. And there's going to be at least, I think a world of possibilities in the future that involve micro payments. Like it's going to change the advertising models. It's going to change how engagement is measured. It's going to change, just in general, how people get compensated. There's so much ways that, that I think is going to impact the internet. And that's what all of basically LNP the idea is to try and leverage, let people leverage micropayments on the web as easily as possible. So I started with the pay walls and faucets and. Then I gravitated towards, I saw, I noticed I was building the same sets of tools over and over. And so then I just started building out what I call a wallet API, just basically an API that lets you easily interact with the lightning network. Without having to worry about pretty much any of the things that you were talking about. Yeah.

Gene:

Yeah. It's definitely something that a non-technical person would not want to be doing. It, aside from the fact that there's little documentation it also involves having to learn both about the lightning network about the Bitcoin network and a lot of the available software for handling that stuff is very beta, if not alpha. So there's a it's very much, it feels like you're, you're just playing around and testing things more so than actually usefully using it. And I know that's something that Adam and Dave are obviously promoting the usability benefits of using lightning to do these streaming micropayments having SATs coming in whenever people are listening to the podcast, which I think is absolutely the right approach. It's a great idea. It's a. True pay for use only where you're not agreeing to some flat monthly fee, like for example, the way Apple does it. And then, what happens if you got busy and you just didn't have time to listen to anything while you still got charged? It's based on just time and repetitive nature of a recurring payments. Whereas these micro are absolutely coordinated with the actual listening that you're doing. So you really only pay while you're listening. And then of course we have the opportunity to hit the boost button and then pay more. If it's something that you really enjoyed.

Tim:

Yeah, I think one of the important distinctions between the lightning network and or Bitcoin really, and the legacy system is really just the ability to push payments, just pushing money. Is something that's just different, right? Like recurring subscriptions in Apple, they have to pull the money from you. And it makes it hard to build these types of models where you can just, yeah. Push money in a real per usage manner. And that's cool. It's cool.

Gene:

Yeah it's closer to what we used to have before unlimited phone service on cell phones, where you actually paid for the usage of your phone. It's more along that line except the numbers are vastly smaller. Of course. As Toshi is the one. 100000000th of a Bitcoin, right? Yeah. And a lot of people don't even know that there's a lot of people are that I've run across just in everyday world. Everyone's heard of Bitcoin and most people have even heard of the fact that it's over $50,000 and it's like, Oh my God, how can anybody afford that? That sounds like a crazy thing to even trade without thinking that you don't have to do it one Bitcoin at times.

Tim:

Dude people legit don't realize that's just part of the education. Also the unit bias stuff, Israel versus seeing some of that with some of these other shit coins

Gene:

Exactly. And I think the shit coins have spoiled it for people understanding that there is this tiny unit called associate because they just think it's as though she's just another shitcoin.

Tim:

right. I think eventually everything will be just denominated in SATs. Like I think Bitcoin will go away. Fade it'll fade further and further away as the price goes higher and higher. And the need for sets. And Mila SATs M SATs comes,

Gene:

Yeah, cause I, I fully think Bitcoin's can get to a million and just mathematically, it should. There's no reason that it wouldn't because it's a limited resource. There's hardly any left to mine. And the adoption is still in its infancy. And as more adoption happens, less and less will be available. So the price has to go up, but the the SATs, which right now are fractions of a penny in us dollars. They could end up being more than penny, maybe even like 10 cents or whatever. The, I haven't done the math in my head here for when Bitcoin is a million, what it's going to be, but. Certainly SATs could get to a point where they are too big as the smallest unit of trade.

Tim:

right? Yeah. I can't remember ever remember what it is either. I think it's like 1 cent. Just one set at a million or something, but yeah, I think it will. So I don't know if that's right, but something like that and yeah, I think you're right. It'll get too small and, Millsaps will become a thing. And I'm already feeling that now my service operates the lowest a unit is one Sitoshi and I need to fix that because I've, if you've commented on, is that, some of the back to the podcast in 2.0 stuff, some of the splits are kinda don't really make that much sense when once that Toshi is your base unit,

Gene:

they don't make a whole lot of sense when Tencent's OCI is your base. Because again the standardization that people are going for is to take. 1%, maybe 2%. And then there's a few apps that take 5% dollars as well. But all of those become meaningless when you're talking about 10 or five Satoshis at a time because the minimum transfer unit is once a Toshi. So everything gets rounded up and you start having the subtractions or the splits instead of one or 2% being like 10 or 20%. So they're all tiny little things, so I don't want to over-hype or over argue the idea that Hey, my 100th of a penny just had a bigger chunk taken out of it, but ultimately it's just math. It, the value can go up and down, but if you're calibrating to always running up to one set and allowing transactions that are as small as five sets, then you're going to run into this no matter what.

Tim:

Yeah. And I think part of that is just as this progresses, like I need to basically let the developers send in milliseconds. And that's something you could do on the lightning network. I just need to add that functionality into my API and that problem will be fixed soon, right? That's on the roadmap, but from

Gene:

what some of the devs are doing, which makes sense is also for the transaction fees, is there buffering or escrowing those transactions until they get to larger size? So you might be how you might have a setting that says 10 sets per minute for playing a podcast which by the way, again is like less than Penny's you cheap bastards. You gotta crank it up a little bit. But but with that setting, then the calculate the listenership, but they won't set that. They won't send a payment every minute. They'll wait until maybe there's a hundred SATs in there. And then they'll send the payment, which is, one of the way of handling the issue.

Tim:

Yeah, batching and yeah, that's cool too. I think the important part for me that I've been trying to push is just getting it out there. I've been very, my mentality is more like scrappy MVP. Let's just get it out there. Okay. People like the splits aren't all the way. But if nobody's streaming SATs, then I'm not going to fix it because it's not important. But now people are streaming sets. All right. It looks like I need to start working towards moving to M set as the base unit, which by the way is not easy, which I should have done from the beginning. It is what it is

Gene:

the Miller sets. So that's a thousands of us that, or what's the breakdown.

Tim:

Yeah. A thousandth of a side.

Gene:

Yep. So,

Tim:

fix some of those problems.

Gene:

For math, any kind of math stuff, that'll definitely help. So what are you charging for this? Or how are you making money with us?

Tim:

That's all right. Now I'm not, and I'm still trying to figure that out. It's definitely, I'm passing the network fees onto the developers and that's also rounded to the nearest up to the nearest Satoshi. So there's another Satoshi in there. But I'm really trying to figure out like where I can fit in the value chain here. And it's tough. Building a business on Bitcoin in general has, I think is pretty tough without touching Fiat because it does such a good job of just eliminating the need for, a middle band. You realized that like the whole. A lot of businesses are created just from trust, like trust they're selling trust. And I like to call Bitcoin like zero marginal trust. It's there's no, it's just hard to capture some value there. So I'm working on that and

Gene:

You are the bank for a lot of these well, or certainly some of these podcasting apps where when people, listeners deposit real money, they do a trade for SATs for Bitcoin. And then you're effectively their bank. As they're spending those sets, listening to podcasts.

Tim:

yeah. So the custodial aspect of it is definitely, it's one of those things where now that the problem is here. And it's becoming more of a thing. Like I am trying to figure out yeah. What that means for me as a custodial service and how to, how do I want to position myself in that environment. And I'm not entirely sure I'm trying to work through different models. Like I could, manage nodes for people like lightning notes per app, and then it's more of on their node. Other it, yeah. That stuff is just

Gene:

So how's it set up right now? So obviously people have these wallets, I assume they're just. Centrally entries in the database, and then you're talking to a single node, or maybe you've got multiple lightening nodes. How does this operate in the backend?

Tim:

Yeah. So I have basically a node. And then on top of that is basically Ellen pay functions as an accounting layer. And so there's virtual wallets really that I call like outsource wallets that an app developer can come in and then easily give every user of their app, a wallet, which comes with, permission levels and basic accounting functions, history send and receive stuff like that. So they can completely just not have to worry about that process at all. And they can just one step get in there and give lightening functionality in their app. But yeah, that makes me a custodian right now. And right now it's as the lightning network grows and as my, Adoption of the LMP API gross, the amounts will become more to where it's a concern and that's like slowly growing. We're still relatively under any serious KYC, thresholds and AML stuff, but it's, eventually it'll probably get there and that's like a real problem that, needs to be figured out.

Gene:

So how big is your node right now? I got, imagine the more wallets you're getting that you're a custodian for the larger, your lightening, though. It has to get.

Tim:

Yeah. I don't, I it's maybe 60 or so channels. It's been around for a while. It's not as big as you think, but yeah, and that's a whole nother process. There's managing the liquidity and the channels

Gene:

and that's exactly where I was going. Cause even for my little dinky note, this has been a pain in the ass trying to first of all, trying to figure out what it all means. And then having Adam on the one hand, give me suggestions and the other hand, let me learn on my own goddammit. But also, even aside from the learning aspect, it's you gotta manage this stuff. You can't just throw something up and it's going to keep working. You gotta actively pay attention to how your channels look, if anyone's dropped any channels make sure that there's always a path and, cause I've certainly seen instances where people couldn't sense ads because there's no path to get to you.

Tim:

Yeah. And you have, then it costs you capital too.

Gene:

Oh, yeah, exactly. So it's whatever, I think at this point I think I've put in 200 us dollars worth of SATs into just keeping the nodes or the channels open. It's just like the, money's just sitting there basically just to keep the channels open, to be able to have transactions and I've got relatively few transactions going on. But I'm also realizing that, there are services, that'll let you just rent channels or, you pay a monthly fee and then they'll have an outgoing channel to you in the millions of SATs or 10 million sets or whatever.

Tim:

Yeah. So I just fully believe that pretty much. Nobody should have to deal with that stuff unless you want to be a lightning network node operator, or you want to be completely self solver, if that's really important to you and you have, like a lot of, capital you want to put in, or you're dealing with lots of capital, then I think it makes sense, but nobody needs. Extreme security over a couple of dollars in their podcasts wallet. And some of the trade-offs there, I think are worth it for using outsourcing some of that trust in exchange for having a nice, easy experience. So you can focus on the things that are important to you.

Gene:

Yeah. And that actually brings us to another point, which is just the whole in, in, I think my opinion, most people's opinion, beta status of the whole network, which means don't put any money in there. You're not willing to lose. Because there's still plenty of bugs out there. There are still issues that could happen. And that's one of the things that I would be getting gray hair over. If I was doing any kind of a custodial type project myself, as, what happens if people that they might only have a wallet with five or 10 bucks in there, but now you've got thousands of people that you're holding these little wallets for that it could all through software glitch through whatever action and that losing their money, that like that would not be an experience I would want to go through.

Tim:

Yeah. That's cost to be the boss right now. On some of

Gene:

especially when you're not making money off of it.

Tim:

Yeah. But it's a longer term, longer horizon operation, right? You can't my mentality is more, I just want to be here when the people like Adam and Dave come by and they're like, Oh dude, like this API, I don't even know how they found me, but they just approached me one day and they're like, yo, like this Kesa and API we haven't been able to find this anywhere else. Seems really easy to use. Can we start recommending this to our. A podcast, app devs. I was like, yeah, sure. I'll be waiting for you guys. This is, these are the, you're the people that I want to appeal to. And those, I wasn't expecting it that fast. Honestly, it was pretty soon. I was expecting that to be still a while, so a ways away, but those opportunities are just going to keep coming and that one's a good one to validate, what I'm working on, but yeah, man there's risks involved. And I think there was a meme for a little bit. It was just being reckless. It was like hashtag reckless. I don't know if it's the, I haven't seen it as much lately, but I think that started from the lightning network node implementations, trying to meme the fact that their shit was beta super beta.

Gene:

Yeah. And I think I've talked to a number of people that have mentioned the word beta, but I remember specifically I talked to Roy from breeze and. I asked them, your app's been around for quite a while, but I don't see it in the Apple store. You can only use it through the test app. Why is that? Have you had, yeah. Have you had any problems? And he said no we are not going to push this out to the main Apple store until lightning itself is done in beta. And I was like, wow. Okay. That's it. I think that's a hell of a decision, but it's it tells you something that somebody has been working on this for over five years. Still very much considered as the network itself, beta like to the degree that they don't want to have their app. They're not even trying to have the app as a normal non beta app in the store.

Tim:

Yeah. I think breeze still has some things to figure out a business model wise. They just integrated a podcast player into their wallet. I'm not, I guess I don't, this seems unusual. It's cool,

Gene:

Well, yeah,

Tim:

for usage and kind of some of the things to justify

Gene:

I think for them, the podcasting is two things. One is, it was a good proof of concept that any app can get integrated into breeze. The other thing is obviously I think they were looking for cause they are definitely monetizing this stuff. So they were looking for another stream of people that are interested in doing small Bitcoin transactions, which would be the podcasting audience and not necessarily the podcasters who you're mostly working with. And so they were, willing to take on the effort to do this integration. And by the way, I've interviewed both of them and the guy that wrote the original app. Which they ended up using.

Tim:

Yeah, I think I listened to it. That one's library. And I think I

Gene:

Yup. And I Roy's will be up shortly. I think his next one rotation here. I did, and people that are listening I'm sure are, I like recorded 10 interviews over the course of one week. And so a lot of my recent podcast episodes were actually recorded before the Apple announcement of the changes that they're doing which isn't that's not the main point of the episode anyway, but it was just interesting because, there's some conversations in those episodes of people still as speculating about what's applicant to do, how are they going to say now we know that's already happened at this point, but yeah, I think as long as you treat it all as a as a high risk potential for loss cannabis thing, then you're fine. And really the individual users are not likely to have large amounts. That are kept in, either custodial wallets or things that are risky. I think most people that are non-tech, you're just going to have their money sitting at Coinbase or wherever they're buying it. And then just sending out small little chunks to the to the escrow accounts that the podcasting players have whether, whether it's sitting on your end or on breeze or Sphinx or wherever. I don't think anyone's like transferring thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin into those wallets right now.

Tim:

Yeah, I have limits in place to, to like curb, like just individual. Users putting in like way too much to protect

Gene:

What do you set the limit through right now?

Tim:

It's pretty much 10,000 SATs in or out in one go,

Gene:

Got it. How about, do you have any limits on the size of the wallet it's offering it?

Tim:

not really. And the next limit to come will probably be like a monthly volume limit probably on the account level. And there may move towards what it looks like that get more than that, or, and so I try and figure out some sort of

Gene:

Have you, are you doing any kind of stat gathering in the background? Are you pulling any interesting data from the usage across your entire network?

Tim:

It's all there. I haven't compiled much of it into a digestible form, but some of the podcasting stuff is starting to, yield some. Some data can say about 20,000 PSATs per day or sent out across yeah. About maybe 25 to 30,000, actually I'm looking at it.

Gene:

Yeah, I was going to say, cause I think I'm getting about 5,000 sets a day, so that's

Tim:

from just my, from the podcast app to using my service.

Gene:

Yeah, no, I get that. But I got to imagine there's only four apps right now, total that are doing this soon.

Tim:

Speaks in breeze, definitely have to account for a lot of the volume. They have a lot of users and they also have a lot of users with like tiny balances that they need to get out. Like even I've opened my breeze wall and I was like, Oh man, I got like a couple hundred SATs. And they forgot about what's the best way to get these out. And I might as well just stream them.

Gene:

And one thing I realized with breeze I hadn't thought about is that it really is tied to your hardware device. So if I've got three breezes running on three different devices, like my iPad, my iPhone and my Android phone. Those are all three separate wallets. It's like, you're not just logging into a wallet on their system. You're literally creating a wallet on your device. Nice.

Tim:

Yes. And they are opening a channel to you?

Gene:

Yeah. So yeah, I've got the same issue. I've got like multiple breeds accounts with each one has sets in there and I'm like, okay. At some point I just need to start streaming audio through this device just to clean out the breeze. Yeah.

Tim:

Yup.

Gene:

But it's an interesting system. They actually, their approach was very different than what others have been doing. And I think certainly technologically, a more complicated one.

Tim:

Yeah. It's just, non-custodial on the phone. I think it's like, It's technically sound it's. It would be ideal to have, yeah, like a note on your phone, or the not interact with the lightning network. Non-custodial from your phone and they've accomplished that. And it's cool.

Gene:

But that's, I think one of the downsides is then it literally is that physical phone is your node rather than an account. If I'm accessing my node using zap I'm my phone is just the interface for talking through the actual note. Whereas with raise your phone really is running. If if not a real know that at least it's running that part of the note that's talking directly to breeze. So it's, I think there's pros and cons. I think there's probably some theoretically enhanced security that comes along with just carrying that wallet around right on your phone. But you also, I think lose some convenience factor because you're not able to log into that wallet from anywhere else.

Tim:

Yeah. And the channel limit stuff. I think they opened one last, I checked, it was 1 million SATs open channels that kind of a little bound on how much you can send and receive.

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. And then getting those incoming channels which I think they're doing now for, I want to say the deal they did there was I think 14 bucks per month, if you want to have your own that would be more for podcasters, not for users, but if you want to do your they've partnered with was it volt or yeah. Voltage to where you get your node with a million set incoming. Specifically tailored towards pod-casters. And I think, I want to say it was 14 bucks a month, something like that. I probably will sign up for that at some point, so I can play around with it directly, but that's, it's not a bad deal if you're actually getting some money coming in to the podcast, or if you're a brand new starting out as a podcast or your audience is very big, that's way more money than you're actually going to receive. So you could end up losing money if you jump the ship too early into a scenario like that. Whereas at least currently with you where you're still trying to figure out how you're gonna monetize this. It's really cheap for somebody to get into a wallet.

Tim:

Yeah, and I have support for you can with the virtual wallet, you can create a wallet and have. Collect key, send payments directly to it, which is cool. I don't know if it's not really a it's new Dave and I have just that podcast index we've been working on setting that up and getting the protocol to

Gene:

what are you calling that feature?

Tim:

value records. I, I don't know what should it be

Gene:

I know.

Tim:

It's really just a creator wallet, took a podcast or wallet. I don't know if you've seen it in there, but you can create a podcast or wallet, which basically it'll give you the code to what, of what you need to insert into your podcast. 2.0 value

Gene:

Yeah. I played around with that. I saw that.

Tim:

To it.

Gene:

yeah. Which is which is good. It's good integration. They it'd be even gooder. It'd be, I think cool. If podcasting 2.0, had a button on their website that says, okay, now you've registered your podcast. Would you like to create a wallet or do you want to enter a number? And if somebody doesn't have a number to enter, they can just hit that button and out of created on your end.

Tim:

Yeah, do Dave and Adam have been all up on me to help get them set that up. And that's where I need to try and figure out. And I'm trying to think through this as like building a product for creators and developers together, it's just hard, they're two completely different sets of customers. And I'm trying to build features into my platform that are as agnostic as possible, I, I don't really necessarily want to tailor a product towards directly towards podcast or podcast creators. Just cause it's going to be hard to, cater to all those different verticals as they come like podcast 2.0 is today. There's going to be some new ones tomorrow. Hopefully,

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. It might be different

Tim:

how to generalize it enough to where, Oh, you can use this as your nice little get, get started quickly to yeah. Get rolling with some small amount of stats. And if

Gene:

One thing I wanted to ask you too, is

Tim:

on somewhere else.

Gene:

I think with your faucets, you can set that up. If you ha, if you have your own node. I like if I had a wallet that was running on your system, I could set up the faucet to automatically withdraw money from from the wallet that's running on your system and send it to my note. Correct.

Tim:

I don't know if he, the faucets are basically timed withdrawals, so I don't know how you would automatically do it without you physically doing it. But the SATs would be available

Gene:

Without physically doing it. What do you mean?

Tim:

You'd have to, if I'm understanding correctly, you're asking about pulling automatically from the faucet.

Gene:

Yeah. Yeah. So let's say that I had an app that was using your wallet, right? I could set up a faucet and maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think I can set up a faucet and say, give him a, give it a minimal amount to withdraw. Let's say of a hundred thousand SATs, or let's say 10,000 sites, because I think that's where your limit is. And so if I'm under 10,000 sites, it's not going to restrict anything. Right. And then if I'm over 10,000 sites, then when it runs, it's going to withdraw 10,000 SATs and the the destination for that will be a different address, different account. I don't have to use, I guess the question I'm asking is, do I have to use faucets to just send money to people or can I use the faucet to just move my own money?

Tim:

Oh, I see. You could use the faucet in like a gift form, like a voucher almost and scan it and get the money sent somewhere. Now the faucets are confusing. The way they work is not the most clear. But, yeah, I'm not sure I understand all the way,

Gene:

Okay. What I'm saying is if I want to, if I want to use your LNP service and I'm going to have money coming in, so I'm a podcast or I'm getting donations coming in, can I set it up using a faucet or maybe it doesn't work, but at least that's what it appeared. This could be a potential use for a faucet. Use the faucet to move money automatically on a time basis, out of my LMP wallet to either some other walled or a node.

Tim:

Oh, I see.

Gene:

I keep the balance in the L and pay small enough that I don't care if I lose it.

Tim:

right. So the automatic way that you're talking about right now is not really possible through the UI, but you could. Build, something like that with the API and access to your wallets to make sure that you're balanced, doesn't get too high and that's actually something.

Gene:

Cool. If you built that though.

Tim:

Yeah. Yeah. And those are actually the type of features that I do want to build and I call this just good custodial hygiene, which is yeah. Like getting your sets out there, out of there and using the service for, it's pushing the value of the service towards the actual, like the technology and to the service itself, being a web service and managing the liquidity and keeping it up so that this stuff works, but I'm not actually providing the it's less of a payment processor. You're paying me for it because I'm not the lightning network is actually processing the payments,

Gene:

And I, I, I think that would be a a nice to have kind of service to clean things up. Cause I'm doing the opposite right now. I'm converting U S dollars to Bitcoin, but theoretically, if you're a larger podcast, you're getting. Certainly like no agenda, where you've got hundreds of thousands or even millions of people listening to you and tens of thousands of people that are going to be running apps that have SATs enabled there. It'd be cool to set up a rule that says, okay, whenever I hit a hundred thousand, they count then send half of that. Let's say 50,000 to either a note that I'm running just to offload it, or maybe even to a to a Coinbase or somebody and where it automatically gets converted into, on chain rather than being off chain on lightening, just to have some automation built in that, lets you protect your investment if the size starts getting bigger because theoretically that's the kind of the whole point of doing the string sounds on the podcast is. The techies and people that they're interested in Bitcoin, we will keep all of that just in Bitcoin or probably even just in the lightening network in general. But theoretically, this is something that could replace your income, where you're going to have to convert off of Bitcoin off lightning, because you're bringing in enough money coming into you to where you can pay all your bills with it. But most of your bills, you're going to have to convert back to U S dollars. You're not going to be able to pay directly. So if that had some sort of a, you've hit your target balance trigger and the automated transfer feature, I think that'd be very cool.

Tim:

fantasize sometimes about also. Like sending the sets back out, to like the faucets are a way, like you were saying, you could put them in the faucet and then give them back to your listeners or use it as an engagement or marketing tool.

Gene:

Yeah. And I think there's a lot of opportunity for that, that, that hasn't happened at this point, at least that I've seen and not with podcasting, but yeah, the idea, like right now I'm putting the real dollars in, and I'm using the stats that are coming into me as donations, mostly to make sure that I've got the wallets funded in podcast apps. And since I'm talking to everybody who is a developer, I've got literally every single podcasting app on my phone now even the ones that don't do SATs yet, because eventually there they will. And I might as well have the app loaded in and ready to go whenever it updates. But again, the theory here isn't that you're just going to get enough donations coming in to make donations to people you listen to, but you'll actually get so many donations coming in that you'll be able to start converting this to. Paying actual bills and whether it's just buying Amazon gift cards or, or doing a an exchange back to U S dollars through Coinbase or one of the other providers, whatever it is, I think eventually that could be a very realistic scenario for successful podcasts.

Tim:

One of the features of giving back SATs with the just engagement from creators, that proof of concept with a friend who has a newsletter is basically putting SATs in the email, like putting a faucet inside the email so that you can just withdraw, like basically you get paid to read or paid to open. And you can start building like real engagement rates and stuff like that. See how much, how far OSAT will go to increasing your open rates.

Gene:

Yeah, that's a shiny idea.

Tim:

also for podcasters, there's a way there's like this that was playing around with this, like a way to encode text via audio. It's like a, it'll makes a noise and then you can like decode it and you could put in faucets in there too, to send SATs, to see who collects from the like decodes the audio. Okay.

Gene:

That's funny.

Tim:

So I think there's just a lot of, yeah. Engagement and stuff with the SATs, but yeah. Paying yourself or making sure you can afford like turning into a real businesses. Yeah, that's pretty important too.

Gene:

That's certainly the goal. And I think right now it's all very much in the testing phase, but and you certainly need to have a big enough audience who is techie enough to use these apps in the first place to be able to generate and real money. But I think, I can't remember what the numbers Adam gave some numbers recently about the flow of SATs going through the network. And even though his extrapolation wasn't really mathematically correct, based on what I've found. But it's still a very good indicator. If the 1% contribution to index and let's say it's even more than 1%, because. Of rounding errors with 'em or not even errors, just rounding in general with SATs. But it's still doing I can't remember what he said, but it was 20,000 or 50,000 per day or something. It was a fairly large number that if you extrapolate that out to the entire podcasting universe using stats, there's a lot more people listing with SATs then than you would think.

Tim:

Yeah, no there's a lot. And I think there's a, I think there's a gap that someone needs to fill, which is like a lightening first podcast host like a host provides you with the wallet to receive and you can manage everything there and it's helps you with your value block and lets you manage it or adjust. It provides a better interface for that stuff like that. I think. Yeah, just an observation of mine. Cause that's what I've seen that people need. And I don't necessarily want to, I can't really integrate that into my service. Doesn't make that much sense, but I think one of those will pop up.

Gene:

And I think as more companies that have, financial backing that are VC backed, as they get into this wallet space, we're going to start seeing a lot more options as well. Companies that will have functionality more like strike or something that's really, minimalist and tailored to the non-techie person that very easily lets you get into not just Bitcoin, but actually Bitcoin on lightning.

Tim:

Yeah. And I'm trying to be in that layer below that's where I'm trying to fit in is to have these niches build their stuff and I'm just underneath helping them figure out. How to power it and how to position myself. So they don't have to worry about any of the actual nitty gritty of lightning. They can just, I tell them where to put the money and help manage it for them. And it just works for them and their users.

Gene:

What do you think is on the horizon? Is there anything that you've either seen in not yet implemented podcasting 2.0 features or anything that maybe you wish was there that isn't there right now related to podcasting? Not just to a lightning.

Tim:

One thing I was actually thinking about why we were talking today is there, I don't even know if you can set up like a value split per episode.

Gene:

So have a different split on every episode,

Tim:

Yeah. Yeah. Like I can get a split of this episode.

Gene:

right? Hey, you're not getting one, but yeah, I don't think that's possible right now. I do think somebody had asked that previously and right now it is you have to change the split on the entire RSS feed for the whole for the whole podcast, I believe. And I'm sure if I'm wrong, there'll be a post by Adam or Dave correcting me immediately. Once this episode is published.

Tim:

I sh I should know that, but I'm pretty sure you're right.

Gene:

Yeah. I, it, from, from what I've seen, that split is put into. It's affecting the entire feed. Now you could, theoretically change that split on a weekly basis, or however, often you put out an episode, but that's not quite going to accomplish the same thing because people don't necessarily consume the episodes of the same week. So you could, you could end up having money going to somebody who was on or who's on this week, but people are listening to last week's episode. It's an interesting idea. And I think they've that there is a guests field now, so that you can specifically credit the guest in there. So maybe there is maybe on the path forward. This is one of the things that will end up showing up is to have a per episode split possibility. But I don't believe that's the case today.

Tim:

Aside from that with the podcasting specifically, I'm not really sure. I think that there's a lot of room to just grow in general, that podcast hosts I was talking about. I think some of those more specific too. Like helping with lightening or just general subscription, like stuff with podcasting and like getting away from the walled gardens stuff will start to emerge. I think at least

Gene:

Yeah. I'll tell you I'm really probably most impressed with the video aspects and how And I'm blanking out his name. So I apologize, but the, he was one of my first interviews on this topic too, but I'm podcasting 2.0. But he's been working on pretty much the main guy on making sure that they are assessed works equally well for video as it does for audio. Alex, that was his name, sorry, Alex. But watching on pod friend, being able to watch an episode of no agenda cartoon is really cool. It's not having to go to YouTube to load something up, but being able to just treat video, just like a podcast, subscribe to it, have it show up exactly the same way. Have it start streaming or being downloaded, whatever. Your preferences. So just effectively treating the video enclosure, just like an audio enclosure, and then being able to play it on a player was really cool. Now I've been using, YouTube and other channels for so damn long that obviously that's where all my subscriptions lie, but I could certainly see a future where the people that I'm interested in, where it doesn't matter if they're on YouTube or bitch shoot, or one of the multitude of other video platforms. But if they've got an RSS feed for those videos, I don't really care what platform they're on. As long as my app handles video, like it does audio then, imagine that imagine being able to get away from YouTube, but still using the same app to watch all the different video that you watch. I think that would be huge.

Tim:

Yeah, I saw that and I wasn't that up to speed on it, but yeah, the idea definitely sounds legit. I think the one, one of the things I've thought about with podcasting, like way before any of this podcasting 2.0 stuff was just, it's somewhat related to lightening too, but just a way that you could use RSS and like pay per episode, like pay to get the episode. So you could own it. And in if you're in the description, there was like a lightning invoice or something and you paid it and then the feed basically would then show you the full episode instead

Gene:

Yeah. So basically that's you could do that in Sphinx right now, but yeah, that type of functionality. So you can post a either message or a video or a link even. And then assign a price to it, and then people won't get the contents unless they pay the, they agreed to pay for the fee. I think I remember I put up one of the first things I did is I put a a picture of me, of my own face in there and then set it to a thousand SATs or something and said that, only click on this, if you really want to see what I look like. And surprisingly a few people did, but yeah, you could do that. I think with a variety of media the biggest issue is thinks is that their interface is very much geared to what the app was built for, which is techies talking amongst themselves. And yeah, I describe it as a, it's essentially Slack with lightning and Bitcoin slapped on top of it. And I hope I'm not disparaging them because I really think that is probably the easiest way to describe banks to people that have never looked at it because it has channels. It has a lot of the same functionality it's Slack does. Slack has way more extendability cause it's been around for a long time. But but then what Spanx did is the add the monetization aspects to it. Being able to either send sets to a channel or send sets between people or create objects like videos or pictures or links that you can assign value to. And then only the people that pay will get access to as well. So maybe, maybe the technology in Spanx would be great for making the next only fans.

Tim:

Yeah, that actually that first I think what Paul and Sphinx are doing, this is cool and people would get their own node too, which is cool. It's like a newer T describes it as like the next, if the internet basically is like, re-emerging on the lightning network and it's, properly incentivized because you have every message you send is you basically, making a payment and attaching a message to it. But. Yeah. With the adult content stuff. Definitely. That's a market that is ripe for this type of like style of content, especially cause those content creators just get just discriminated on or you hear stories about them all the time. Just getting screwed by whoever is in control of the money.

Gene:

Absolutely. So having that technology there, I think Spanx is a great proof of concept. Again, not to be insulting to them, but I think it could be very easily over the course of maybe a half a year to a year transformed into something that is absolutely mainstream and is being utilized by people. Not just Tiki's, but all kinds of people, because it does offer the ability to assign value to almost anything.

Tim:

And that's where you need guys like Adam to just roll through and just actually get people to adopt it and get, encourage and motivate everybody to just do it for a certain like niche that like slowly pushes it into the mainstream. Because we had talked about in like our little lightning chats and some of the other devs Oh, you can have so many ideas for so many different verticals. But it's never going to really break out of like techie land without like real influence from guys like Adam, who can just, who just have the connections and just whatever to make it happen, to like push apps, to adopt, to push listeners, to, figure out what the hell SATs are and how to stream,

Gene:

Yeah it's evangelizing the technology. And there are, it's a limited skillset. Like the guy that did it for Apple back in the early days maybe for your time was a guy Kawasaki. And he was one of the first, if not the first Apple evangelist where, that was his job was to basically make Apple just synonymous with a technology leading edge and something that everybody aspires to want to have.

Tim:

And there needs to be that for all these other industries that we're talking about to push them forward and podcasting too. I know it was a good, it's like a good proof of concept really that it's okay, it's working and it's, this is possible. It's definitely has its issues. And it's, we're working, we're all working on them, but it's encouraging to see it, to validate that it's solving a real problem and that it's worthy of usage by users and they're willing to jump through the hoops to use it. And that's always like a test that I use, but I think it's like a feature when your stuff is so shitty that people use it anyway. It's like a clear indicator that they want to use it and they need to use it. Yeah. Just need more of that and they'll come slowly, but surely they'll come with the use cases.

Gene:

You're taking the time, Tim, to jump on this call, do a recording and provide some insights about LNP and what you've been up to.

Tim:

Yeah, for sure. Thanks for chat lightning and podcasts with me.

Gene:

I'd like to thank people that donate to this podcast, people that donate every month in particular, this episode, I'd like to thank David for his donation that mentioned Tina's podcast. Thanks for that, David. And I hope you enjoy this and more episodes to come. And for anybody that's curious and is getting tired of listening to all developers talk. I have one more episode left. And after that, I will be returning back to my usual, politics, philosophy and general rants by sir gene.