Yesterday, a rumor began to circulate that Twitter is testing a new feature to allow its users to tip in Bitcoin (BTC) using the Lightning Network.
The rumor was first reported by MacRumors, because when analyzing the beta code of the function Tip Jar, it seems that it is already set up to send tips in BTC.
Currently, Tip Jar allows users to add links to Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal, and Venmo to collect small donations from users, but according to MacRumors there will soon be an option to pay in Bitcoin.
The details of the latest beta version of this feature indicate that users who choose BTC as a payment method will be directed to a tutorial that includes details on how the Lightning Network works and how to use custodial and non-custodial wallets.
Bitcoin wallets for Twitter
Custodial portfolios are expected to include Strike, Blue Wallet and Wallet of Satoshi, while non-custodial portfolios are expected to include Muun, Breez, Phoenix and Zap.
However, it appears that a Strike account will be required to use the feature, as Twitter will apparently use Strike to generate Bitcoin invoices.
For now, support for tips paid in Bitcoin is only available in the beta version of Twitter, and not even for all users, and no word yet on when this new feature will be officially released.
Bitcoin tips with Lightning Network
In addition to this rumor, yesterday a screenshot was widely circulated on Twitter showing the beta version of the new function, which clearly shows the link to the Lightning Network and Strike.
In particular, it is the use of the Lightning Network that makes the difference.
In fact, normally, when one user sends a tip to another, the amount of the donation is usually low or very low. With traditional fiat currency payment gateways, transaction costs are likely to be higher than the amount sent, so it can be inconvenient to use fiat currency to send these little tips.
However, with LN, transaction costs can be so low that they are negligibleeven when small quantities are shipped.
For example, if a user wanted to send a half dollar tip, if LN charged a commission of half a cent, per half dollar spent, the recipient would still receive $ 0.495, while only $ 0.005 would be lost in commission costs.
Additionally, if Twitter were to manage an LN node internally that these transactions could pass through, it could also charge fees. While these are very small per transaction, with millions of transactions they would start to be worth it, at least to cover the costs of the service.
The fact that it is possible to use non-custodial wallets, even if it requires a Strike account, could allow practically anyone to use this new feature, including those who do not have a bank account or a credit or debit card.
Given the enormous efforts of Twitter, Square, and Jack Dorsey to create new Lighting Network-based use cases for Bitcoin, it seems highly likely at this point that the BTC tips are made public on Twitter in a few weeks or months.