How Lightning Network Outperforms Ethereum for Tips

The Canadian group Coals received little more than a tip at a concert in Kelowna, BC. When passerby Ben from BTCSessions, a Youtuber and Bitcoin (BTC) educator, saw that the group was accepting Bitcoin, he had to send them magic internet money.

The Carbons guitar case. Source: Tomy, the leader

Tomy (the frontman of The Carbons) had been in crypto since 2017, but like many people new to crypto, he thought he had “missed the boat”. The price per BTC was around $2500. He told Cointelegraph that he began his research in earnest when he:

“I realized it was basically an insurance policy for the current monetary system. At that time it was around $8000. It’s been a wild ride since then, but I’m playing the long game :)”

Fast forward to his live performance in Kelowna this weekend, and Tomy has announced that he accepts crypto as payment. Unfortunately, her phone was out of juice by the time Ben passed by, so the pair bonded on Instagram later. According to screenshots of the Instagram conversation, Tomy shared an Ethereum (ETH) address to receive a donation and become The Carbon’s first crypto donor.

Since Ben is a Bitcoin maximalist, he said he would be happy to send Bitcoin, not Ethereum, his way. Ben told Cointelegraph that, among other things, it is “the fundamental rules that govern the network and the ease (or lack thereof) with which they can be changed,” that drives his beliefs about Bitcoin.

Ben directed Tomy to download a Bitcoin Lightning wallet, and moments later they were instantly sending Bitcoins to each other through the Lightning Network (LN). Transaction costs are nearly free on the LN and microtransactions are easy, prompting Tomy’s response, “that’s fucking awesome.” By comparison, sending money to Ethereum, even at its lowest level in two years, costs well over $1.

Tomy playing at sunset with the crypto sign in view. Source: Tomy

Tomy told Cointelegraph that this was his first experience using the LN and it took him “an hour of YouTube research to choose a wallet and then a few more minutes to figure out how to use it.” .

“I had only heard about the Lightning Network last week! It makes me want to exchange all my Litecoin and ETH for Bitcoin!

The Carbons have since received three BTC donations, adding that “any advice helps,” but that probably hasn’t moved the needle in their Spotify earnings just yet. Bitcoin expert Ben told Cointelegraph that he’s been using the Lightning Network since 2018, when it was “clunky and difficult, but it worked.” LN has since been part of his daily life:

Undoubtedly, LN is well known to the Bitcoin community and has spread all over the world. Whether it’s hosting a lunch in the UK, sorting out SIM cards in Mozambique or paying for parties in Portland, USA, it’s gained traction.

Related: British adventure “Bitcoin Adventure” shows that BTC is a family affair

However, awareness of LN is low within the crypto community and at large. Ben explains why this might be the case:

“Some will be tricked into not knowing because they are deeply invested in coins whose value depends on Bitcoin not being able to scale. However, most people probably haven’t tried it!”

Ben encourages users to try LN, which he likens to “magic.” During the IG chat with Tomy, he recommends using the Muun Wallet, a free self-custodial wallet for Android and iOS:

As for Tomy, he told Cointelegraph that he is now seriously considering selling all of his altcoins for Bitcoin. Then he joked on Twitter that he might change the group’s name to “The Bitcoin Buskers”.

On a sincere note, and in light of the disastrous impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the performing arts, Tomy told Cointelegraph, “It’s been a tough few years for musicians,” adding that the support and community are greatly appreciated.

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