Thunder Message: A Decentralized Reddit that Allows Users to Buy Upvotes With Bitcoin

According to The Next Web, Thunder Message is a decentralized social media site that makes use of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. The Thunder Message forum operates very similarly to Reddit, since users can post messages and then choose to up- or downvote different posts. Thunder Message, however, comes with a twist: the site requires users to provide a payment of one Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC) for every upvote or downvote.

How Thunder Message Works

Unlike existing forums, The Next Web reports that Thunder Message runs without any rules or censorship. The website runs on libertarian ideals, where those with more Bitcoin, can provide more votes.

The idea is that any user who has a Bitcoin wallet that is compatible with the Lightning Network can post messages. For users who want a message to rank very well, they can upvote their own message and pay via Satoshis. On the other hand, if they want a message to be crushed, they can purchase some downvotes, and the message may never surface again. Thunder Message’s upper limit is 0.04294967 BTC, which is approximately $350.

While the website has sparked debate and some backlash online, it’s an interesting new experiment. The Next Web notes that the decentralized forum has, however, become a war between those in support of Bitcoin Cash and competing Lightning Network evangelists.

The Thunder Message, however, is built on the Lightning Network, a decentralized network that sits on top of Bitcoin’s blockchain to ensure transactions are cheaper and faster, so any argument between those parties is, as The Next Web points out, quite ironic.

Online Cryptocurrency Community Not Pleased with Bitcoin-Voting System

According to Reddit, a lot of members from the online cryptocurrency community appear displeased with Thunder Message. Many questioned how the website is decentralized and who the Satoshis go to once they have been submitted to the site.

Redditor Draco1200 commented that “the ability to buy upvotes is, not a good thing — that’s a way of introducing bias in favor of the view of wealthier participants, OR comments that are economically beneficial to someone who will fund their placement.”

User tranceology3 agreed, saying that “it’s basically just paying for advertising and control.”

It’s uncertain how Thunder Message will move forward and whether they will continue operating the forum in the same way. Since it’s a fairly new project, it’ll be interesting to see if the developers respond to user concerns and adjust accordingly.

Online Graffiti Board Running on the Lightning Network

Apart from the Reddit copycat, there is also an online graffiti board that runs on the Lightning Network called satoshis.place, created by Lightning K0ala. Like Thunder Message, it costs users at least 1 Satoshi to be involved. While there are one million pixels on the graffiti board, each pixel cost one satoshi to paint. The larger the painting, the more Satoshis you need to buy.

According to The Next Web, if a user is interested in painting the whole canvas, it will cost roughly $67.39. Users are free to doodle and paint whatever they choose. Pixels, however, can be painted over indefinitely. The website was inspired by other forms of online collaborative art like Reddit Place and Million Dollar Homepage.

“I created satoshis.place to explore the application of micro-transactions in the context of multiplayer games,” said Lightning K0ala in an interview with Hard Fork. “I also just wanted to mess around with running a Lightning node figuring out how this stuff works. Things have been amazing so far, it’s been a laugh trip for the last three days watching people draw on the board and comment on social media.”

While Lightning K0ala’s implementation of the Lightning Network was very creative, he did not anticipate that so many people would draw penises on the board. Humorously, users have drawn over 100 penises as of July 20, 2018.

Nevertheless, the clever web app highlights the power and functionality of the Lightning Network. For those interested, they also have a Telegram group where people post suggestions and Lightning K0ala sees what can be fixed or improved.

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