Jack Dorsey, Bitcoin, And An Open-Source, Web 5 Economy

While crypto developers focus on Web 3 token development, there are a number of companies building open-source protocols and leveraging bitcoin for payments. “We made up Web 5 to show it’s all meaningless,” Jack Dorsey said in our interview, referencing the crypto tokens that are often criticized as unregistered securities.

Dorsey’s company Block Inc has recently placed a large emphasis on open-source development in support of the bitcoin space. “The trending model forward is open protocols and service businesses on top of them,” Dorsey said in our interview. An interesting claim considering the communication took place over NOSTR, an open-source social media protocol.

Dorsey believes that open-source development paired with bitcoin will enable everyone to participate in the future economy. He told me that he will do whatever it takes to realize an internet native currency in his lifetime. He sees bitcoin as the only option for permissionless money transmission and a tool for achieving that goal.

Protocols like NOSTR are already starting to accomplish this with distributed social networking. Companies are also turning their focus to the music and podcasting industries in an effort to put the power back in the hands of the content creators. A decentralized economy may be closer than most realize, all without the need for native tokens and initial coin offerings.

Primal Iterating On Open Source Social Media

NOSTR is a growing social media network which exists as a protocol, much like bitcoin. Users have a multitude of ways of interacting in the social network, but the data remains distributed through a series of relays or nodes, which users can choose to run themselves.

If an individual is not happy with their current interface, they can simply og into their profile with another application. All of their data, posts, followers, connections, transfer automatically.

It is akin to having a single repository for all of your posts and followers on X, Facebook, and Instagram together. If you’re no longer happy with the setup, you can simply move and take all of your data with you.

The most recent iteration involves an application called Primal. This newly developed application interfaces with NOSTR with a feel very similar to X. The main difference being the lack of a central authority for censoring speech or algorithms driving conflict for higher engagement.

Primal also has a built-in lightning wallet that allows users to send value in the form of bitcoin instantly to one another. The Lightning Network is a second layer built on top of bitcoin that facilitates instant and cheap bitcoin payments.

The lightning functionality on Primal and NOSTR allows for bitcoin-native peer to peer tipping, commonly referred to as zapping. It is becoming a novel way for content creators to monetize their posts without intermediaries.

Adam Curry and Value for Value

“We can’t do this with dollars. The micro payments are sometimes less than a penny a minute, beautifully distributed over the ecosystem with programmable money,” Adam Curry said in our interview about the importance of bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

Curry just celebrated the 16th year of his No Agenda podcast, a show with nearly a million listeners an episode. He said they didn’t want to take any advertisement money, so they asked listeners to pay a $5 a month subscription fee.

After disappointing results, they asked the listeners to simply pay what they wanted when they could. After 3-4 years, Curry was able to live off the income and focus entirely on his show. That concept is what started Curry down the path of value for value.

To reinforce podcasting decentralization, Curry started podcastindex.org so independent app developers would be able to get everything they need through a platform without censorship.

The index provides “value block information,” a specification that allows for timed and one-off payments. Timed payments allow listeners to stream a certain amount of bitcoin per minute over the lighting network to creators as they listen.

Podcast index also allows for payment splitting. This way podcast hosts, production crews, guests, and anyone else they choose can all receive value from episodes in a way that doesn’t require financial intermediaries. At the time of the interview, 15 apps and 20,000 podcasts now use Curry’s podcast index to monetize content.

Curry told me that artists are now making more in a week than they made in years on Spotify. “I truly believe because of the value splits that this is why the community has stayed together. It keeps things fair, validating, encouraging,” he concluded.

Federated Computer

David Young, CEO of Federated Computer is building open-source software in order to disintermediate the music and podcasting industry. Their project is meant to make monetization simple by adding bitcoin into their platform as a payment tool. In doing so, they intend to make the music industry more transparent.

While Federated Computer provides these open-source tools as a service, they have self-hosting options as well. By using Federated Computer, musicians are able to sell their music directly to consumers without the need for distributors.

Federated Computer launched in May of 2023 and now have over 2300 customers. Much like Adam Curry’s experience, these musicians are now making more money than they had in years of traditional distribution lanes.

Open-source software is only just beginning to empower content creators seeking to leverage the power of open-source, digital payments. By eliminating financial intermediaries, and in turn transaction costs, more money will inevitably land into the hands of the creators themselves.

These developers hope that the incentives will lead to a fairer industry, putting the power back into the hands of the creators themselves. With leaders like Jack Dorsey at the helm driving open-source strategies, the future may inevitably be decentralized.

This post was originally published on this site