Proposal: V4V.app and the start of a Decentralised Hive <-> Lightning Network Bridge for Podcasting 2.0


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Advertising is censorship - Adam Curry, the Podfather

If we are to keep the Internet free and open, we have to come up with new ways for audiences to support creators: direct micro payments from supporters to creators is a vital part of a future beyond advertising.


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DHF Proposal: V4V.app and the start of a Decentralised Hive <-> Lightning Network Bridge for Podcasting 2.0

hivelightning-light-large.png

I'm asking for the DHF to help fund the continuing development of the @v4vapp project building a bridge from Hive to the Lightning (Bitcoin) payment system. Funding is directed at @v4vapp.dhf to separate working capital and treasury funds. I hinted at this in my @podping funding proposal and after a couple more months the scope of what I can do has grown.

A huge thank you to all who supported my last proposal, I hope you'll agree this one is important too!

If you want to jump straight to the spending breakdown, click here.

What I want to build

Sats to Hive Value 4 Value

  • A low fee gateway which sends streaming sats payments from people listening to or watching videos to creators who have registered a Hive address in the RSS feed of their podcast/videocast.
    This is the Value for Value model pioneered by @adamcurry and the foundation of Podcasting 2.0.
  • A way to request a conversion of arbitrary amounts of Sats on the lightning network to Hive or HBD.

Hive to Sats

  • The reverse low fee gateway for "buying" sats on Lightning with Hive or HBD. This enables Hive users to easily load up a podcast player wallet with sats, and participate in Value for Value.
  • Integration of that gateway with a variety of Hive front ends and apps (like Hive Keychain).

Open Source and distribute the service

  • Take the server side application and package it up to run alongside a Lightning node and allow anyone who wishes, to run this as a service.

Stretch Goal of above

  • A decentalised (but findable via Hive) method where people who want to use this service can be matched with providers on a dynamic basis.
  • Monitoring via Hive and testing of the providers to ensure bad actors aren't getting involved.
  • Exploration of ways to make this a trust-less service (it could possibly be a core Hive function) but that is a long way off.

Where the money is going

For full details see below but I want to highlight this:

Hive value matching for Streaming payments

  • I want to Hive value match Podcasting 2.0 Value 4 Value streaming payments.

These are the small sat value for value payments which are sent every minute or by pressing a boost button. For Hive users receiving payments via the @v4vapp gateway, for a promotional period, I will use some of the DHF funds to match. If a user gets 10 transfers of 10 sats which is around 0.1 Hive, the DHF funds will double that to 0.2 Hive. I will put in place reasonable measures to prevent gaming.

So far

Right now I have the proof of concept and beta for the streaming sats to Hive, that's working for 3speak video creators right now. I'm making proposals and working with the people at PodcastIndex to better integrate all Hive content into what they're doing.

My work will need review and help with packaging to make it open source and potentially runable by others but I'm committed to doing that (I don't want to be the single point of failure in a system like this by any means).

What can you look at now

Right now you can try this out on lnd.v4v.app. You can convert small amounts of Hive or HBD directly into Satoshis on the Lightning Network. All you need is a Lightning wallet, generate a Lightning invoice and paste it into lnd.v4v.app.

What this does is send a Hive Transfer to the @v4vapp for a little bit more than the invoice value, the service then checks the invoice, pays it if it is valid and returns the change.

transfer into podfriend animated gif

I'm using copy paste from an iPhone to my Mac to move the lightning invoice, but this can be done in the Hive Keychain browser on a phone or with Hivesigner on a phone as well.

The app I used in that demo is Podfriend and there are others such Curiocaster, Fountain, Breeze, Podverse and more (newpodcastapps.com) which all feature a Lightning wallet you load up with Satoshis and then you can "stream" payments while you listen or hit Boost and even send "boostograms", little notes along with the timestamp where you hit the boost button.

Podcasts on 3speak

Part of this work included turning every video channel on @threespeak into a video podcast! Here's the 3speak video of me talking to @jongolson and @taskmaster4450 watching it playback on Curiocaster app whilst I stream payments in Lightning which get converted to Hive transfers!

Jongolson and Taskmaster4450 Cryptomaniacs playing in Curiocaster

this little orange symbol leads to the RSS feed

That is decentralised video. @threespeak are working on decentralising the back end storage with the SPK Token and Network, meanwhile, just with the addition of RSS feeds, there are now multiple front ends with which you can subscribe to your favourite 3speak channels. You can, if you take the RSS feed address, even subscribe within the Apple podcasts app! All you need is the RSS address which on 3speak looks like this:

https://3speak.tv/rss/brianoflondon.xml

I didn't even copy paste that, it's so easy.

The new part, is adding the streaming payments which convert from Lightning to Hive in real time.


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What is Lightning

Lightning is a layer 2, high transaction rate solution for small private payments built out of Bitcoin. Moving funds into and out of the Lightning network involves an on chain BTC transaction but after that, sats flow back and forth along channels between individual connected nodes.

Each Lightning node is a full node in the BTC network and has downloaded and verified every single BTC transaction since the genesis block! To be a full node you need a server or a little Raspberry Pi connected 24x7 and watching and checking every BTC block. You can rent this online or run one at home assuming you have decent and reliable connectivity.

Having gone pretty deep into the world of Lightning ⚡️ . At first it's a heck of a steep learning curve and the system is very different to something like Hive or even Bitcoin itself. There is no concept of a static address to which funds can be sent, everything is done via ephemeral invoices which are created and paid or expire. The Podcasting 2.0 use case of "streaming sats" requires a recipient to run a full Bitcoin node 24/7 to receive or use a third party service. In effect that is what I'm doing for @threespeak by receiving payments for all creators and then forwarding the same value in Hive.

The other side is allowing you to send something like this along with the corresponding value in Hive:

lnbc50u1pssq327pp57rx96k8vp05cpackrrx9nfpsh72xnsx0zu7vpelc82v7tae5ry3sdzs2ajjqer0dcnhggrhv9h8ggrzd3sku6m9w3ejqmmjypmkzar9wghzut3qdf6hxapqwdjkuepq2dq4g5epcqzpgxqrrsssp50zwjwas5x2ukkkwnp4j9cy7x8wjwajkpwt6ktkdlva605dk5wl3q9qyyssqe3paz4fg55lqdlmx44untkarp7762pl4qr6n7pykch6unkcfcp0x74rz8w059hz8c902dr5y78v969g9hhr09x49h0p8lcltxcme9eqp088f46

and have sats magically paid into whatever app or device that invoice is generated by. An invoice like that is one time only, each payment is a new invoice. Sending these, unencrypted or encrypted across the Hive transfer system is absolutely secure (the absolute "worst" thing that could happen is someone else could intercept and pay it).

The complexity comes behind the scenes with managing liquidity across channels, how much you can send and receive and by tying up real Bitcoin in each of these channels. If you're interested take a read of this guide for novices in what it takes to run a node on the Lightning networks.

Funding Request

Podping

Last time I received around $7000 HBD from the DHF for Podping. The only external payment so far has been a $200 downpayment on $1000 for Dev help with containerisation and code refactoring of the main writer (the one in production is working very well). The rest of the funds are either in HBD Savings or powered up as Hive and being used to support podping's RC needs. The original funding request has more details about who I am if you're interested.

Podping is still growing and is poised to expand and expand the mindshare of Hive amongst the developers and business which will use it. For example, one of the largest independent podcast playing apps, PocketCasts, is right now vowing to improve their speed of updating when new episodes are published:

But you're not here for my "What It's Like To Join Automattic Blog of Wonder", you want to know about Pocket Casts and what's in store! .... The very first two projects are already underway. First is improving podcast parsing speeds (how quickly you get new episodes after a podcast author publishes them). The second is localising our mobile apps into the top 12 languages you, our customers use.

This is the business problem @podping solves. For sure I have reached out to them. An announcement of PocketCasts using Podping would create a virtuous circle where Podcast Hosts would know that if they implemented Podping, one of the biggest apps would get their episodes immediately. For both podcast creators and their audiences, speed of finding new episodes across all platforms is always one of the biggest concerns.

V4V Value 4 Value and Hive vs Lightning

V4V is adjacent to Podping, they're not directly connected but putting Hive into an infrastructure position with Podping has drastically altered perceptions of Hive. I'm always battling the perception of a centralised "shit" coin, but I'm doing the work. Value 4 Value is the crown jewel of Podcasting 2.0. And Lightning, their chosen solution, has many advantages, but a few massive disadvantages. The biggest problem Lightning has is the difficulty of actually receiving Lightning in a non-custodial way. You pretty much have to run your own server or rent a cloud server. There is no alternative.

image.png

Hive fixes that problem for the creator side.

After 6 months of promotion of Value 4 Value by the PodcastIndex, when I started adding 3speak video channels to Podcasting 2.0, they had fewer than 200 Value block enabled podcasts. Today there are 1,316 of which 3speak Hive channels are 995. We haven't even told all those @threespeak creators about this capability but over the coming weeks we will.

On the listener/producer side, however, Lightning's ability to have anonymous instant wallets on a wide range of devices, into which you put $10 or $20 at a time, an amount you wouldn't even notice if you lost in a boating accident, is something we don't have on Hive.

That's why I believe combining Hive with Lightning could be a strategic move that actually spreads far beyond Podcasting 2.0.


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The money

I'm not going to be shy, I need funds to continue working almost full time on this. I've stepped back from my company in Israel which used to be my day job. I'm taking no salary any more from it (my brother in law runs it). I enjoy what I'm creating and I'm trying to build something which I think could be a strategic asset for Hive. At the same time there are bursts of sporadic work on the @JPBLiberty Crypto Class Action lawsuit with @apshapmilton.

Lightning is going to become legal tender in El Salvador over the coming months: who knows what can happen if El Salvadorans notice they can shift Sats out of government controlled custodial wallets into Hive HBD accounts paying 10% and move small amounts, as needed, both ways, with almost zero fees?

For this I'm going to need more BTC liquidity on my node and I will have to pay for much more coding help to make this decentralised.

Spending Breakdown

I'm not shy, I'm asking for a little over HBD 30,000 over the course of 4 months at $255 per day.

  • I probably need to put at least $5,000 BTC on my node as well as hold a Hive/HBD float.
  • My current forecast is for at least $10,000 to go to pay external devs, some Hive, some Lightning and some general front end. However may shift up or down depending on how my skill level and productivity change.
  • I want to pay Hive devs and standout members of the community who don't receive DHF funds right now for help with various parts of Hive infrastructure.
  • I'm currently running everything on a Raspberry Pi and a recently retired from kid's gaming machine, Lenovo P51 Laptop. I've bankrolled this so far.

Hive value matching for Streaming payments

  • I want to Hive value match Podcasting 2.0 Value 4 Value streaming payments.

These are the small sat value for value payments which are sent every minute or by pressing a boost button. For Hive users receiving payments via the @v4vapp gateway, for a promotional period, I will use some of the DHF funds to match. If a user gets 10 transfers of 10 sats which is around 0.1 Hive, I will double that to 0.2.

This uses DHF funds to directly incentivise use of this new feature, sat by sat and encourages Hive creators to introduce their network of viewers/fans to the value for value system.

That's the proposal. I'll answer any questions!


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Video explanation

https://3speak.tv/watch?v=jongolson/gmrrgedh


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