The Lightning Torch illuminates Venezuela

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The #LNTorch has been doing the rounds of Twitter for some weeks now and continues to create a buzz. (You can read here how it’s grown from a simple Twitter experiment to a payment that has now reached participants in over 50 countries.)

The Lightning Network Torch is a symbolic transaction in that very little bitcoin is involved and it is meant to teach us how this new form of payment allows you to send bitcoin at a faster speed and without paying fees on the blockchain every time.

Diane Aguilar describes her involvement with it for Coindesk, and explains the process: “To receive the payment, I first needed to download a wallet that worked with Lightning Network (my regular bitcoin wallet wouldn’t do). In my case, I chose BlueWallet. This allowed me to accept an invoice for the next amount to be paid in the chain (eg. 3,390,000 satoshis), respond to the tweet of the person announcing that holds the torch and wait to be chosen.”

She commented, “The payment works when two users create a payment channel on the bitcoin network, and once the channel is created (which can take a while), the network routes the payment from one node to another,” and then added, “This makes the transactions instant on the lightning network layer, but it takes a long while to get there.”

Aguilar explained that using the BlueWallet may have been an issue for her, and she was told by both the BlueWallet team and Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark, that there was a bug in the software, as the wallet is still in beta testing stage.

Aguilar took part in the project to highlight the ‘blackout’ situation in Venezuela, which is also why she passed the torch to the project BitBros, a team from Caracas that survived the blackout with an active node using a 12V motorcycle battery.

Now she is listed alongside Andreas Antonopoulos, Erik Voorhees and Meltem Demirors on an official website set up by Lightning Torch creator @Hodlnaut that tracks how the payment has been passed.

To date, the Lightning Torch has reached to 250 participants in 53 countries, going from 0.0001 BTC to 0.0395 BTC, and now there are only 33 spots eft before we reach the limit of 4.29 million satoshi, HODLnaut told Coindesk. As a result, the experiment should end in a couple of weeks.

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