Will Thefts Become a Meme & Could It Stop Future Torches?
Roughly a week ago, the second Lightning Network Torch was launched by Twitter personality Hodlonaut. The Lightning Network fan and champion to many in the Bitcoin community rose to fame when he launched the first torch in 2019.
The Lightning Network torch is in essence a proof-of-concept of the Lightning Network's capabilities. At launch the torch started with 100,000 satoshis and every participant who receives the torch adds an additional 10,000 satoshis. The goal is essentially to pass the torch to as many participants in as many countries as possible until it "breaks", as Hodlonaut said. The first torch was eventually valued at $217 USD and was donated to Bitcoin Venezuela, a non-profit organization.
2020's LN Torch
The second Lightning Network Torch was aptly dubbed the #LNTrustChain2. It seems that it has been in some ways more successful than the first. While both torches were passed to mostly big names in the cryptocurrency world, the second torch can overtake the first in some respects.
The first torch reached 56 countries and was passed 293 times over the course of 83 days. The second torch has reached 51 countries, was passed 148 times and is on its 9th day of activity. There is one problem however, the second torch was stolen by participants over 5 times. Each time it was stolen a different participant payed out-of-pocket to reignite the torch.
After the first theft a series of copycat thefts occurred. This tarnished the second torch a bit, and the thefts have become a running gag of sorts. Hodlonaut has speculated that some are following the torch with the intent on stealing it.
#LNTrustChain2 is fast becoming a meme with all these thefts. It's clear that a lot of people are following it with intent to steal.— hodlonaut🌮⚡🔑 (@hodlonaut) January 27, 2020
Can it redeem itself? Maybe, if torch bearers adapt their trust model to this new situation?@Crypto49ers is waiting for invoices for 1.44M sats. https://t.co/pwShay03FX
Hypothetically these thefts could sabotage the torch as a project. Perhaps Hodlonaut's musings were correct, and a change to the trust model is needed, although pranksters and online trolls are hard to deter.
While the torch many be somewhat successful, one can wonder when the Lightning Network 2nd layer solution will a success. The somewhat complicated network has caused a user to temporarily lose 4 BTC, which he later recovered and is more complex than using Bitcoin. Other solutions have also been available, such as increasing Bitcoin's blocksize to increase scalability. Blockstream's own Adam Back recently seemed to recommend Blockstream's Liquid Network as an alternative.
Either way the torch will be interesting to follow.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado