For many years the world of entertainment and news was controlled by a relatively small number of people. Big Media decided what most of us read, watched, and listened to. Social media changed that, giving rise to the creator economy. Entertainment decentralized, as independent creators began distributing their work without the support of a traditional network. Twitter’s announcement yesterday gives even more strength to this new era of digital entertainment.
Twitter will now allow people to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin, and are also looking to launch a fund to pay users who host audio chat rooms on its Spaces feature.
Creators on Twitter (and most social media) already drop links to their payment profiles in the bios. The idea being that if you enjoy their content and want to support it, you know where to go.
Tips on Twitter makes this easier to do, offering one fixed spot, right on your profile, where creators can link to their preferred payment partner – Cash App, Patreon or Venmo.
The feature will roll out to people on iOS first and then to Android users in the coming weeks.
Tips using the Bitcoin Lightning Network
Beyond the traditional payment services currently enabled through Tips, you can also tip with Bitcoin! You can use a service called Strike to send and receive Bitcoin from across the world instantly. Strik is built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network, which we will learn about shortly.
The service is currently available to people in El Salvador and the U.S. If you’re in these eligible markets, all you need to do is sign up for a Strike account and add your Strike username to receive Bitcoin tips over the Lightning Network. You can use any Bitcoin Lightning wallet to send tips to someone’s Strike account.
In Twitter’s own words:
Digital currencies that encourage more people to participate in the economy and help people send each other money across borders and with as little friction as possible – help us get there.
Wait, so how does it work?
Think about how Zerodha’s Kite app makes it easier to participate in the stock market. The improved UX makes a big difference, but the app’s systems are built on an existing architecture.
Lightning payments are built on top of the Bitcoin network, but they work the same way. The concept was first proposed by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015 and has been under development since that time.
By taking transactions away from the main blockchain, the lightning network is designed to decongest the bitcoin blockchain, allowing for faster transactions at reduced costs.