Unveiling Blockstream’s 7 Lightning Apps (LApps)
Blockstream, a leading blockchain company, has been at the forefront of developing applications for this new breed of blockchain protocols that could be immensely beneficial not only to the industry but to the global business process at large. Since March 22, 2018, the firm has been unveiling one new LApp every day and there are seven of such LApps.
The emergence of the Lightning Network has introduced palpable excitement within the cryptocurrency community. The immense potential of a second application layer on top of a blockchain framework open up a new era of possibilities within the blockchain industry.
The following are the Blockstream LApps:
FileBazaar is a useful tool for blockchain-based e-commerce transactions. The FileBazaar LApp offers content creators the ability to receive Lightning-powered micropayments for their digital work (photos, documents, videos, etc.) The tool gives total control to digital content creators in a way that is unprecedented in the history of the space.
The FileBazaar LApp constitutes a significant shift from the traditional digital advertising revenue framework in which content creators were highly dependent on online advert platforms. As a result of the FileBazaar implementation, independent content creators will be able to monetize their digital creations without the need for third-party involvement. Consumers also benefit a great deal from the FileBazaar pay-per-view system as they get to pay for only the files that they require.
Lightning Publisher for WordPress
Lightning Publisher is a WordPress plugin that enables just about anyone to become an independent publisher capable of collecting payments from their writings straight from WordPress. The system works by displaying a preview, a sort of sneak peek at the contents of the article. Readers will then decide if they would like to read the full article which in that case would require them to make payment for the article. The payment is then sent to the content creator’s Lightning Charge Server.
Lightning Publisher follows on from the lead of FileBazaar in that it enables content creators to become independent of third-party involvement in their quest to monetize their content. The Lightning Publisher plugin supports Lightning network-based micropayment protocols.
Nanotip is an important addition to the Blockstream Lightning Charge LApp catalog. It caters to the problem of crypto tipping, a way of rewarding content creators for their work. There had been numerous attempts to implement such a process successfully. However, a static tipping address opens up a world of unwanted privacy issues that delayed the emergence of any successful crypto tipping implementation.
Nanotip is touted to be able to solve this issue via the creation of a simple web server that can deliver Lightning payment requests in real time thus eliminating the static tipping address issue.
A micropayment only becomes a micropayment when they are amenable to the specific needs of developers, content creators, etc. and this is what paypercall hopes to achieve. Paypercall enables instantaneous Lightning micropayments across a variety of specific and programmable API actions.
Paypercall has the potential to revolutionize the internet by introducing an entirely new class of services on the internet which can be monetized. The paypercall LApp has a plethora of benefits for both developers and users alike creating an ecosystem where actions that couldn’t be monetized before can now be monetized and the added advantage of Lightning fast micropayments.
Point-of-sale (PoS) applications are an indispensable part of the online commerce environment. Some merchants would much rather prefer to accept their payments themselves rather than via a payment processing gateway like WooCommerce. Nanopos is the Blockstream LApp that has been created for just that purpose.
Nanopos is a PoS application that caters to vendors that offer fixed-price goods like coffee shops. These vendors can create a simple config file that has all their fixed-price items which customers can peruse through in order to make their selection. Once that is done, payment will be made to the Lightning Charge Server of the vendor via generated QR code. Nanopos is designed to provide PoS simplicity that is both robust and streamlined.
Ifpaytt stands for “If Pay Then That,” and it is a Lightning Charge and paypercall-based LApp that utilizes the IFTTT (If This Then That) infrastructure framework. This means that users can create smaller apps (applets) based on a combination of specific programmed triggers and actions.
Ifpaytt works in tandem with paypercall as a Lightning-powered micropayment transaction acts as a trigger that leads to a programmed outcome. All a user has to do to enable this function is to link them with an IFTTT applet. Blockstream provides detailed instructions on how to do this on the ifpaytt repository on GitHub.
The seventh addition to the Blockstream LApp catalog is the Lightning Jukebox app which is a video jukebox that allows users to request media content in exchange for micropayments. The app links YouTube videos to a Lightning Charge payment cloud service. The Lightning Jukebox despite being anachronistic, is a perfect illustration of the versatility of the Lightning Charge micropayment framework.
There are only 128 lines of code in the app. It demonstrates a lighter side to the way in which the Lightning Network protocol can be implemented, especially regarding content monetization. THe Jukebox can be seen in action in the video below, which is based in the Bitcoin Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.