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Tuesday, July 9th 2019 - Issue #522

Usability is getting so much better

Uncle Marty has been noticing some very encouraging activity involving the Lightning Network and the popular chatting app, Telegram recently. Peep the video above when you get a chance for a dope demo. For those of you who are too lazy to exit this page at the moment, the video shows a man taking a picture of a Lightning Network QR code invoice, sending the picture to a bot in Telegram and paying the invoice in the app. An extremely seamless experience that seems easy enough for your run of the mill Telegram user to adapt to today. I can easily see something like this being a Trojan Horse bridge to Bitcoin usage without most people knowing it. 

It's not hard to picture a service coming along that builds a UI on top of this functionality which allows people to deposit in fiat, auto-converts it to BTC on the LN layer, and utilizes BTC/LN in the background without the layman ever knowing. Bringing Bitcoin to the masses without them even knowing it. 

"But Uncle Marty, why even use Bitcoin in this case? I can easily use Apple Pay to accomplish the same goal at the checkout counter." 

I know you can. There are many reasons it would be preferable to use the LN in this case. Here are two. Fees to make this transaction are small compared to those charged to the merchants by the Visas and Master Cards of the world. And you can't make transactions like the one I made over the weekend.     
I sent a message to space for a little more than half a penny... 

Again, I sent a message to space for less than a penny from my Telegram App while drinking a delicious White Claw on the back deck during happy hour on Sunday. Completely enabled by the functionalities of the BTC/LN stack. 

Obviously, there are security tradeoffs that exist when using an app like this and we may come to find that this doesn't scale as well as we may think it can scale now. But it seems pretty promising at the moment. Excited to see how this particular second layer solution progresses and what creative use cases arise from the possibilities that have been opened up with this stack.   
Final thought...

Moving your can on a hot July morning produces very negative vibes. Avoid at all costs. 
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