Shitcoiners have fat bags, really fat bags, really, really fat bags. Two weeks ago I put nostr.com up for sale to see what responses I would get back. I imagined Roger Ver offering to sell bitcoin dot com in 2013, and what would have happened if another player had bought it. I had a few groups of shitcoiners offer to buy the domain (prob to do some Nostr ICO), but yeah, that wont happen.
My History With Nostr
Almost 3 years ago I made the first twitter clone on Nostr, and started bugging the Nostr telegram group to buy nostr.com. After a few weeks of bugging I bit the bullet, sold almost 1btc and secured the domain. The domain festered for a few years with a poorly made splash page for Nostr projects.
At the beginning of this year, with all the much deserved attention Nostr started to garner, it was clear we needed a better splash page. We hosted the excellent site created for nostr.how by jeffg on the site. To make use of the domain, Fiatjaf was given full reign to host great nostr projects on subdomains of nostr.com (thank you for that Fiatjaf). Being the most visited site for Nostr, it is clearly a very important gateway for the clearnet folks.
LNbits, Nostr and Covid
Those Covid years were a productive period, as well as the creation of Nostr, a few of us, such as Fiatjaf, Eneko and myself created LNbits, an extension based lightning wallet accounts system, which would make it easy to showcase cutting edge bitcoin functionality. While Nostr was bubbling away and great contributors started building clients that actually worked, I focused all my attention on LNbits. Although not having time to develop on Nostr, I shilled the protocol as much as possible, talking about it in popular bitcoin podcasts and doing the first Nostr talk at HCCP in 2021.
We had a few Nostr LNbits extensions in the pipeline from 2022, such as an easy one click relay, extension for selling NIP05 addresses, the Nostr-market extension (its predecessor Diagon Alley, being one of the influences to the creation to the Nostr protocol), and an always on Nostr-client extension that could multiplex relays and direct notes to different extensions in LNbits (needed for Nostr-market so the merchant can generate invoices without their client being “online”).
LNbits was always a hobby project. but as the project evolved and was being used in the wild (even by a bank) it made sense to push hard to get the project out of beta. It was also weird that we were creating a useful accounting tool but not using it in a business context ourselves. With the blessing of the community, LNbits core devs created LNbits Inc, a for-profit arm that would help develop LNbits and provide some useful services, such as a one click launch LNbits software as a service (similar to launching WordPress on wordpress.com), a shop for selling all our DIY bitcoin hardware/swag, and a support service for people wanting to implement LNbits in their stack. We were given a pre-seed by the excellent Max Webster from Hivemind Ventures, which meant 6 of us could work on LNbits full time for a year, to create the services and push to get LNbits out of beta.
All the Nostrcentric LNbits extensions were given momentum with the Nostrenaissance of early 2023, and we were able to get them ready(ish) to unveil at Nostrica, as well as a hardware Nostr signing device created by Myself, Vlad Stan, Fiatjaf and Stephan Snigrev.
It made sense to the development of our Nostr extensions that we used them to offer some services on nostr.com, similar to what we had done with LNbits Inc, so I planned to give LNbits Inc the right to manage the domain over the next 3 years, to maximize its usefulness, by offering relay services, NIP05 names, and selling DIY Nostr signing devices.
Before LNbits Inc seed round, and “officially” passing the rights to the company, I decided to float the domain on the market see if there was someone out there willing to buy the domain. Within the first few days some folks reached out, but after some superficial digging it was clear their intentions might not be honourable. I have worked tirelessly for six years on free and open-source bitcoin software and hardware. All the engineers I have worked with during that period are here for bitcoin’s/Nostr potentiality to create greater liberty and freedom. Nostr WILL change our world for the better, and although I believe nostr.com can be made more useful, it is imperative nostr.com can not/will not ever fall into corrupt hands. Having a team managing the domain will help that not happen. I am happy to hand control over to LNbits Inc, and am extremely excited to see more wonderful tools/applications being delivered through it.
Also check out the excellent Nostr-market update.
Pura Vida. Start wearing purple.
This is a guest post by Ben Arc. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.