A New Social Phenomenon Emerges as Bitcoin Enthusiasts “Zap” Each Other with Tiny Amounts. Canadian Bitcoin advocate Michael Degroot is sparking a global trend by “Zapping” fellow Bitcoin enthusiasts with small amounts of the cryptocurrency. This unique phenomenon utilizes the Lightning Network and has gained traction through platforms like the Orange Pill App and Nostr.
Bitcoin tipping, or Zapping, is mobile-first.
Degroot has initiated a Bitcoin-inspired social experiment, gifting 600 individuals worldwide with 300 satoshis (0.000003 BTC), valued at $0.09 each. This movement, dubbed “Zaps” has been met with enthusiasm, with over $50 worth of bitcoin distributed. In return, Degroot has received more than $6 in Zaps from others.
What Are Zaps and How Do They Work?
Zaps leverage the Lightning Network, a layer-2 solution built atop Bitcoin, allowing for instant, low-cost transactions. These microtransactions are typically sent from one user to another in satoshis, the smallest Bitcoin unit.
Users can establish a Lightning wallet and create a Lightning address (LNURL), similar to an email address, for receiving Zaps. Unlike traditional financial intermediaries, Zaps enable peer-to-peer transactions without middlemen.
Zaps have found a home on platforms like the Orange Pill App and Nostr, facilitating connections between Bitcoin enthusiasts worldwide. Nostr, a decentralized alternative to mainstream social media, has embraced Zaps as a way for users to express appreciation and support, transcending traditional “likes.”
Zaps sent on Nostr over the past six months. Source: Nostr.Band
Challenges and Future Outlook
While the Zaps movement gains momentum, challenges from mainstream platforms like Apple have arisen due to policy violations. Despite setbacks, Zaps continue to thrive, demonstrating the power of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network in fostering instant and borderless value transfers.
Apple bends the knee to the CCP and removes @damusapp from the App Store in China after one day…
They will soon discover #nostr is a freedom-loving hydra…
Cut off one head and two will grow in its place.
You cannot kill it; fighting it only makes it stronger. pic.twitter.com/D3UTFtx2mR
— Walker⚡️ (@WalkerAmerica) February 2, 2023
Degroot’s experiment exemplifies the altruistic spirit within the Bitcoin community, highlighting the potential of microtransactions to reshape the dynamics of online interactions and financial transactions.