This week, Blockstream — a leading provider of blockchain technologies — has been continuously rolling out new Lightning Apps (LApps) which give Bitcoin fans a taste of the future.
The Lightning Network is one of the biggest developments for Bitcoin as of right now. It finally addresses some of the lingering scaling issues, although there is still some work to be done.
Here are 7 LApps introduced this week, one by one:
The first LApp in Blockstream’s ‘Week of LApps’ was FileBazaar, which provides a simple e-commerce solution geared towards enabling content creators to easily sell access to their work. Creators are in full control of their work, and can list files, set prices, and decide where they want to receive the payment. They can also give viewers a preview–access to some of the file, like the first 30 seconds of a song–before prompting a micropayment to access the rest.
The Lightning Publisher for WordPress is a plug-in which affords anyone the ability to become their own publisher by allowing individuals to collect payments for sharing their content on a WordPress system. The Lightning Publisher for WordPress takes on the challenge of enabling easy and transparent monetisation of online content, without resorting to the ad-based revenues that many publishers have come to rely on.
With Nanotip, users can tip others through a simple web server which generates Lightning payment requests on the fly. For content creators, this is a pretty big deal, as it allows for the creation of personalized tip bots. Anyone who supports content creators can determine how much they want to give at any given time. It is a pretty straightforward concept that will bring a lot of positive attention to this particular scaling solution.
Paypercall “fulfills the long-held promise of a next-generation web of micropayments, where web developers can request payments for specific, programmatic API actions.” Asks the company:
WANT TO REQUIRE A MICROPAYMENT WHEN A USER SENDS AN SMS? WANT TO OFFER IMAGE PROCESSING SERVICES FOR A MICROFEE? PAYPERCALL ALLOWS DEVELOPERS TO DO SO, AND WITH LIGHTNING’S INSTANT PAYMENTS, IT ENABLES INSTANTANEOUS ACCESS TO AN API’S FUNCTIONALITY.
Nanopos is a simple Lightning point-of-sale system for selling items at physical stores. If you’re a merchant who sells the same sort of items day-in and day-out (like a bodega, coffee shop, food cart, etc.), you can set up a simple interface for instant Lightning payments.
If Pay Then That (Ifpaytt) uses Lightning payments to trigger If This Then That (IFTTT) actions. If you’ve never used IFTTT, it’s a service that allows you to set triggers (“if”) and actions (“then that”) that direct online services or Internet-connected physical products (for example, you can set your door to automatically lock when you leave your house). Ifpaytt adds a payment as a trigger possibility for IFTTT.
The Lightning Jukebox is a video jukebox that enables users to request songs (or videos) for a micropayment. It does so by linking YouTube videos to a Lightning Charge powered payment system. The result is a simple proof-of-concept that demonstrates how an anachronistic device, like a jukebox, can be reimagined using cutting edge technology.
Still a Long Way To Go
Just as is the case for most of these lapps and wallets as the majority are still on testnet, with problems here and there arising more often than not.
As should be expected, considering this is all not even fully out yet. Moreover, as it is fairly new ground, bugs should be expected for some months while it is all refined and edge cases are addressed.
But the Lightning Network is moving along, and the low hanging fruits are being developed, so bitcoin might finally be getting more things to talk about in what might be the beginning of an innovation boom in lapp projects.