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2 min read



By Brian - @TurboHodl

On episode nine of the Orange Pill Addicts podcast, Don and I talked with Kevin Rooke about a value-for-value economy and the Lightning Network. One of the most exciting properties of the Lightning Network is how podcasting 2.0, discussion boards, and video games are taking advantage of the technology to create a value-for-value system. For those unfamiliar with Lightning, it allows people to send sats (smallest fractions of a Bitcoin) from one party to another instantaneously for nearly zero cost. This technology allows micropayments from a consumer to a producer. This experience could be a listener sending sats to a podcaster by the minute or a reader giving sats instead of upvotes to the author of a discussion board post. Listeners, readers, and video game companies can immediately reward individuals for their work.

To many, the proposition of a value-for-value economy may seem extremely foreign. However, I would argue this response would be a return to how culture viewed repaying value for services. Growing up, my parents instilled in me that if someone provides a service, then we should pay them for it. They raised me to believe that whatever a person receives, they should give equal value in return. Their parents raised them the same way and the same goes for their grandparents. Perhaps, what went wrong is a subject for another post, but I would contend this problem is worse now than it was 100 years ago.

Today, we tend to live in a culture where if it is possible to get something for free, take advantage of it. Examples of this could be not telling a waiter they forgot to charge for food or sneaking into an event without a ticket. Not that I am perfect, I am guilty of both of these, but the point is we live in a culture that tries to get everything for free. Whether a big or small company, the fact is if the business provided value, the customer should pay them accordingly.

Thankfully, many are waking up to this reality and the Lightning Network is acting as a catalyst to create a new economy. This new economy is a return to a set of standards that was common not so long ago. Certainly, there were freeloaders 100 years ago and there still will be 100 years from now. Likewise, there are well-intentioned people now who refuse to get anything for free and those people will remain regardless of the economy. Bitcoin does not fix human nature, but the technology can rally society to better understand and respect the importance of trading value-for-value.

At this point, it is not possible for all content producers to pay the bills with a value-for-value system, but we are on our way. Someday, value-for-value models will be more prevalent than ad-based models or exclusive deals like Joe Rogan has with Spotify. It is hard to say just how much the Lightning Network will transform the content-producing industry, but it has certainly already started. I would expect that an anti-inflationary Bitcoin economy results in resources being less scarce, which creates a culture that is more willing to pay for value. Secondly, I expect the Lightning Network to enable consumers to support the content they use to ensure those content providers continue to produce.

Originally published at on March 22, 2022.

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