Today micro.blog added cross-posting support for Nostr! I’ve been having fun playing with Nostr using Damus as the client. Now I’ll be able to syndicate my blog posts to my Nostr profile as well. 🎉
First round of Smashburgers on the flat top for 2023! 🍔🍔🍔
Move along quickly under the broken tree hanging across the bike trail. 🤞
Great day for a family bike ride to Dairy Queen! 🍦
We are UNITED!
Levi and Tyler ran around after the Minnesota United game and collected signatures from: Bongokuhle Hlongwane (21), Sang Bin Jeong (11), Kervin Arriaga (33), and Joseph Rosales (8). They had an awesome time and the players were great! 👏⚽️
M - N - UFC! Come on you Loons! Minnesota United FC v Real Salt Lake tonight. ⚽️
First visit to Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm for 2023! Delicious and great vibes. 🍕🤩
Pool is open for the summer! 💦
At the Hook and Ladder with friends for Summer Breeze Yacht Rock Fest featuring The Lonesome Losers. 🎶
I now have a Bluesky Social account (thanks @maique for the invite!) and with micro.blog syndication anything I post on my blog will appear there too. Curious to explore Bluesky and see what it does well.
Having finally gotten first-hand experience with Bitcoin Lightning, a workable and functioning micropayments option, it opens up a variety of interesting and fun use cases.
- Create a circular economy at home. Set your kids up with Bitcoin Lightning wallets and create bounties for projects and milestones they earn Satoshis for. Earn your allowance in Bitcoin. You are the bank to offramp back to USD as they want.
- Send Satoshis as Antispam. AI is going to make spam detection ever more difficult. You could Satoshis to an address and then reference the receipt in an SMTP header that the recipient could use to validate the email. More Satoshis could be more priority? Even works for newsletters since a few thousand Satoshis is about $1.
- Little Free Library Support. There are many Little Free Libraries in our neighborhood. Since “things” can have a lightning wallet, put a QR code on the library so people can send some Satoshis to support the library as an optional Thank You.
- Lightning as Creator Support. Send tips to creators you appreciate, potentially triggered on events. When a newsletter is received send 3,000 sats. When this RSS feed has a new item send 1,000 sats. Many Lightning wallets are adding support for automated sends under a user set threshold to remove friction for micropayments.
- Subscriptions with Privacy. Lightning invoices can be paid by any wallet, and the payment is immediate. Instead of subscribing to a service and needing an address and credit card details just get what you need and present an invoice to immediately pay. Fast, easier, and private.
- Buy a fridge with a year of electricity. Since “things” can have wallets, create one for each fridge. The fridge meters it’s electrical usage, uses a lookup to determine cost, and the fridge manufacturer sends Satoshis via Lightning to offset the first year of electricity.
Board Search Criteria
A friend shared this Board Search Criteria used by Constellation Software and highlighted in their 2017 President’s Letter. I thought these dimensions were interesting and a good model. Recreated the primary points of the table below.
- Thought Partner: Thought partner for senior leadership.
- Long-term Orientation: Unfazed by short term pressure. Focused on CSI’s long-term issues.
- Timeframe: Able to serve on the board for 20+ years.
- Investment in CSI: Willing to make a significant equity investment in CSI, above and beyond board comp.
- High Quality Business: Understands what constitutes a high quality business.
- Autonomy: Appreciates the motivational power of autonomy, decentralisation.
- Cultural Fit: Respects and gets along with the current senior CSI management as well as the board.
- Ownership: Believes in the motivational power of equity ownership.
- High Impact / Low Ego: Will intervene when necessary, contribute meaningfully, but not dominate discourse.
- Out of Kitchen: Can resist the urge to get into the kitchen when there’s a chef already in there.
- Builder: Helped build or maintain (as a director, manager or major shareholder) a large organisation (>1000 employees) over an extended period, while providing a superior return to owners (ideally including employee owners).
- Decentralized: Experience with a decentralised company (nice, not necessary).
- Capital Allocation: Experience in a capital allocation role (nice, not necessary).
"Bison & Bitcoin"
I recently threw the term “Bison & Bitcoin” out with some friends. I love bison. 🦬 The name kept bouncing back to me and I thought that would be a fun newsletter. Generative AI is an amazing brainstorming partner, so for kicks I asked GPT-4 to elaborate and DALL-E to make a cover image. 😂
Prompt: Create a description for a newsletter called “Bison & Bitcoin”. The newsletter has primary themes of innovation, sustainability, and self-reliance, and highlights the shared properties of resilience and strength that Bison and Bitcoin share.
“Bison & Bitcoin” is a remarkable newsletter that transcends traditional boundaries, blending the worlds of ecology and finance through the lens of innovation, sustainability, and self-reliance. It’s an exploration of the innate resilience and strength shared by the American Bison, an enduring symbol of the wilderness, and Bitcoin, the pioneering force in cryptocurrency.
This newsletter is published bi-weekly, each edition shedding light on the enduring strength and adaptability of these two entities. For the Bison, readers get to delve into the animal’s natural history, their journey from near-extinction to resurgence, and the significance of their role in promoting sustainable ecosystems. This deep dive into the life of Bison underscores themes of resilience, offering inspiring insights into nature’s ability to recover and thrive.
Simultaneously, the Bitcoin section dissects the resilience of this digital currency amidst the volatile economic landscape. It explores the trajectory of Bitcoin’s development, its role in driving financial innovation, and how it embodies self-reliance in the increasingly digital economy. It takes readers through market trends, tech advancements, regulatory changes, and how Bitcoin continues to thrive despite these challenges.
By drawing intriguing parallels between Bison and Bitcoin, the newsletter encourages readers to perceive resilience and strength in a new light, and apply these principles in their own lives for a sustainable future. Ultimately, “Bison & Bitcoin” is not just a newsletter; it’s a bi-weekly exploration of resilience in the natural and financial worlds, providing compelling content that provokes thought and inspires action.
Did 10 stair repeats on our walk tonight. 320 steps. Also breaking in new boots for our hiking trip this summer. 🥾 Tammy joined me and Mazie decided to run them many, many times. 😅
Ordered one of these orange Bitcoin Miami 2023 Special Edition Worlds Smallest Bitcoin Hobby ATM. I was blown away by this project at the show. It will be fun to be able to share how fast and fun Bitcoin Lightning is! 🤩⚡️🟠
Another example of generated content fooling people. We are going to see a massive acceleration of this. We need to start signing content to have any hope of proving it is real.
A fake image showing an explosion near the Pentagon went viral on Twitter, triggering a brief dip in stockmarkets. The picture, which appears to have been generated by AI, was shared by several verified accounts on the social-media platform including one that falsely claimed to be associated with Bloomberg News. The image was probably tweeted first by an account promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. — The Economist Espresso on May 23, 2023
Bitcoin Lightning: Fun, Fast, and Free-ish
I’ve been casually investigating Bitcoin Lightning for a while. Lightning is a Layer 2 network on-top of Bitcoin and promises nearly free instantaneous transactions. Apps like Strike and Cash support Lightning, but I got frustrated with them because it wasn’t clear where Lightning was doing the work. Perhaps a good thing for normal use, but not great for learning the tech.
As Bitcoin 2023 approached one of the objectives I had was to get first-hand experience with Lightning. ⚡️ I did some digging before getting to Miami and had Wallet of Satoshi installed, and via Strike transferred 100,000 or so Satoshis.
Before going further, a Satoshi is the smallest unit of Bitcoin and it is named after the creator of Bitcoin. 1 bitcoin = 100,000,000 satoshis. At current market 1 Satoshi is worth $0.00027, and $0.01 is worth 37 Satoshis. Satoshis are often referred to as “Sats”. Sometimes people will say “Stacking Sats” which is to imply slowly building value in Bitcoin with small dollar purchases.
We arrived at the Miami Beach Convention Center early on Friday and desperately needed coffee. We queued up and noticed that they (and we would realize all vendors here) had IBEX terminals to accept Bitcoin payment using Lightning.
A little background, in 2015 I had gone on a mission to buy something with Bitcoin in Minneapolis. I couldn’t find any merchant selling anything that would accept Bitcoin. I’ve long felt that Bitcoin is a great store of value, but have many times said that you would never use Bitcoin for day-to-day purchases. Transaction fees are high, and block times are not deterministic so you can’t confirm payment immediately.
Lightning proved me totally wrong. Thanks to Kerry for whipping out his phone to catch my very first Lightning purchase for some coffees and empanadas on video.
The payment is instantaneous, and the fees are nearly free. The merchant put in the total amount I owed on their device, it generated a Lightning “invoice” that I scanned with my wallet, and after confirming payment it was done in a flash.
Nostr & Damus
So how is it that I showed up in Miami with Wallet of Satoshi setup and ready to make Lightning transactions?
- I knew Nostr was particularly popular in the Bitcoin world and thought it may be a good way to communicate at the event.
- Some micro.blog folks were playing around in Nostr using Damus on iOS, and Damus looked very polished.
- Damus connects with Lightning to allow “Zaps” on posts so you can “zap” some amount of Satoshis to other peoples posts.
Setup was pretty simple actually. I downloaded Damus and it walked be through getting my Nostr public and private keys setup. Damus had a list of Lightning wallets that worked with it and Wallet of Satoshi was the best rated in the App Store. And then I stumbled a bit but finally figured out how to send some Satoshis from Strike to Wallet of Satoshi.
Off to the races! 🏇⚡️
This is the first application experience I’ve ever used where micropayments really work.
This is truly exciting to me as a potential way to fix the Original Sin of the Internet — building everything off of a surveillance economy funded by advertising! Traditionally micropayments are far too cumbersome to work. Zaps powered with Bitcoin Lightning are completely friction free.
At the show Damus was selling (for 27,800 Sats) “Zap Me” buttons with an embedded NFC chip. When you bought it they associated the chip with your profile so people could tap the button with their phone and automatically be brought to your profile where they could send you a Zap! ⚡️
PS: I’m planning to add Lightning options to thingelstad.com and the Weekly Thing to encourage folks to experiment.
Login and Signing
Finally, Lightning also brings some functionality to Bitcoin that I’ve enjoyed for a long time with Ethereum. You can use your Lightning wallet to authenticate with a service, as well as signing messages.
Over dinner I was able to authenticate and provision a Bitcoin mining unit just by signing in with Lightning.
Moving beyond passwords, and digital signatures to prove validity of content, are going to increase in significance over time and it is great to see Lightning bring that capability to the Bitcoin ecosystem.
During the 2 days of Bitcoin 2023 I relied almost exclusively on Bitcoin to pay for lunches, coffees, and anything else I wanted. I also took the opportunity to send Satoshis to some of the speakers and people that I met at the event. It was incredible. It gave me all the privacy and benefit of cash, along with all the benefit of digital money.
So my earlier assertion that Bitcoin is a store-of-value but not useful for day to day purchases? Wrong.
In fact I’m on the hunt to get a Lightning coin machine like the one at the event to have in my house. I’d love to be able to have people come over and get their first Bitcoin experience by installing a free Lightning Wallet, putting a quarter in a box and scanning a QR code to leave with 1,000 satoshis! 🥳
I got my Blockclock Mini at Bitcoin 2023 in Miami and have it setup at my desk. I’ve wanted one of these for a while and now I can remember the conference with it.
My QR Codes
At Bitcoin 2023 we were talking with some folks from New York at our table while enjoying some Cuban chicken and rice. At the end of the conversation one of the guys showed everyone his phone with a QR code for his LinkedIn profile so we could connect. Everyone loved it — very easy.
I’d like to be able to do that, and I know Shortcuts makes it very easy to do. So I whipped up My QR Codes. Tap on that and it should allow you to add that to Shortcuts. The shortcut is very simple, and you will want to modify the Dictionary at the very top with your own list of links and names.
After you have customized it, add it to your Home Screen using the share function and you have a super simple way to share your most common links with people.