Digital information is costless to duplicate. Bitcoin is often misunderstood because everything that is digital is costless to produce. Digital scarcity is created within the Bitcoin network because everyone can run their own node, verifying the 21 million supply and ensuring that we are all playing by the same set of rules.
Let’s dive into some history…
Napster launched in 1999 and made MP3s more accessible than ever. Users could now distribute audio files globally.
Peer-2-Peer (P2P) networks like Napster have historically transformed copywritten or patented information into a public good. (A public good is a product that one individual can consume without reducing its availability to others and from which no one is excluded.)
Fast forward to today and we have subscription services for nearly everything. Movies, music, dating apps, groceries, wine, and more. The natural response in the corporate world is to make a more affordable subscription model once information is as free as the air we breathe. This is why piracy is not as popular anymore. When unlimited supply comes at a flat price, consumers are typically willing to pay.
This convenience has led to a locked-down management model. So before we discuss value for value, I would like to share some more context and history, starting with digital rights.
Digital Rights Enforced / Digital Rights Management
Digital Rights Management (DRM) became a concern in the 1990s as the internet gained adoption. Piracy destroyed CD sales and online video became popular.
As the physical transformed into the digital, corporations and governments decided to put tools and rules in place. Again when physical goods become digital, they are easily replicated and are less scarce. HDCP is an example of this.
High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of digital copy protection developed by Intel Corporation to prevent copying of digital audio and video content as it travels across connections. Types of connections include DisplayPort (DP), Digital Visual Interface (DVI), and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), as well as less popular or now deprecated protocols like Gigabit Video Interface (GVIF) and Unified Display Interface (UDI).
Critics of DRM argue that this inconveniences legitimate users and that it stifles creation and innovation. In a nation that is dominated by lawsuits, copyright, and trademarks, I can understand how DRM is a valuable tool, but see how it also inhibits innovation and creativity.
Here is a personal example of DRM in action.
I was trying to stream the NCAA tournament this past month. I had it streaming on my Macbook Pro. I tried to cast it to my 75-inch Samsung TV and it would not allow me to broadcast it from the provider I was using. This is because I ordered a license to stream on a personal device. Even though I wanted to simply stream on my big screen, the technology would not let me.
Pick Your Own Price
Middlemen, rent-seekers, and other role players in the legacy industry will continue to create models to try to extract value from creatives. But there are ways around them. One way is by allowing consumers to pick their own price.
In 2007 Radiohead allowed users to use a “Pick Your Own Price” (PYOP) model for their album In Rainbows. This was an early Value 4 Value model before the term was coined by Adam Curry of Podcast Index.
When Radiohead gave In Rainbows away for free there was still a minimum processing fee of $1 due to credit card processing. Bitcoin’s Lightning Network eliminates the need for a minimum amount spent because you can send fractions of a cent.
This technology being used on Bitcoin and Lightning allows users to host their own node, accepting their own payments with no need for credit cards or intermediaries.
Podcasting has been around for two decades and it has not really been innovated much during that time. Over the last 20 years, behemoths like Apple and Spotify have come to dominate the podcasting market. Spotify pays out $0.003 – $0.005 per stream. (At $40,461 Bitcoin this would be about 8-12 sats per stream).
Podcasting 2.0 are platforms are open source projects that are taking an initiative to decentralize podcasting and advance content creation technologies putting power in the hands of content creators and listeners.
Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a wise idea. So, why would you submit your podcast to only one podcast directory? Too much reliance on one platform can be a risk for content creators and podcasters. With the current podcasting boom, diversifying your podcast distribution is more vital than ever. There is a newer directory in particular that can greatly benefit your podcasting endeavors.
Adam Curry who has been coined the Father of Podcasting aka “Podfather” has been known as the first podcaster, and his partner Dave Jones oversees the technical specifications of different podcasting projects. They together created Podcast Index which leads the way in the Podcasting 2.0 movement.
The Podcast Index is an index source of all available podcasts with RSS feeds. Podcast Index is a software developer-focused collaboration that provides tools and data to anyone who wants to create new and innovative Podcast experiences without having to deal with the heavy lifting of indexing, aggregation, and data management.
Voltage’s Role w/ Podcast Index
The Podcast Index was seeking a partner for incredible reliability and uptime of their node infrastructure. When the Podcast Index is not receiving sats/money that is being broadcasted, they are losing money! There was zero room for offline time or inconsistency in customer experience. Voltage has provided a 99.999% uptime and a reliable infrastructure service for the Podcast Index to create an incredible user experience for podcasters and listeners.
Support was also incredibly important to Adam Curry and the Podcast Index team.
“The Lightning Network will swallow you. It will swallow you. It will get better over time/ We look forward to growing with service. There are tons of services coming around (like LSP’s etc). We look forward to growing and knowing a ton is going on on the backend. The Voltage API is great, and the future tools will be great and better for us.”– Adam Curry
Scalability and the ability to dynamically scale were very important as well. With the fast growth and 10,000’s transactions a day, the ability to scale and meet new demand is imperative. Voltage provides rapidly scaling solutions for Podcast Index helping them meet the scalability needs of their developer and podcasting community. This creates an incredible user experience for the listeners of these podcasts allowing for value to be transferred in an easy way.
Customer experience is something we take incredible pride in. Nurturing our user’s specific needs is very important to us, here is a breakdown of Adam’s experience thus far with Voltage.
As the podcast Index, we use our funds mainly to provide liquyidity as we bootstrap this subnetwork within the lighting network. This means we are experimenting with diff fee structures, enormous amounts of liquidity in an experimental mode. And because of the stability, uptime and reliability we spend a heck of a lot less time troubleshooting shit. The first thing I always question is the node when troubleshooting, and I never have to question our node. Simplifies troubleshooting by not having to troubleshoot the node.– Adam Curry
We take tremendous pride in bringing the greatest infrastructure to market that will empower and support futuristic thinkers build the new digital economy. I hope this was informative and helpful in breaking down how value for value works, and the role Voltage is playing daily in making innovations on the Lightning Network possible. Read the Podcast Index Case Study now and learn more.
If you have not read the freedom of value by Dergigi, I encourage you too. It gives good context about Value 4 Value and more.