Getting your friends, family, customers or strangers at a dinner party into bitcoin through sheer orange pilling is a tough task. Despite how good your arguments might be, normies have to see it in action to believe it, and rightly they should. When it comes to bitcoin, you “don’t trust, you verify” so what better way for a user to verify the bitcoin experience themselves than getting them to claim some satoshis?
While you could get them to download a wallet and send them bitcoin, this doesn’t really show how different programmable money is and what it can do. I mean you can send money from your bank or preferred fintech app to one another; it’s no big deal.
What is a more impressive demonstration is coding satoshis into a withdrawal invoice and showing them how to claim it. Being able to embed bitcoin in a QR code that you share digitally, physically or through a link is a far more powerful statement and is fairly easy to do using the Lightning Network. Applications like LN Bits, LN.Cash and Lightning gifts make it easier than ever to onboard users and get them to accept their first bitcoin in a frictionless manner.
Using any one of the three services I mentioned, you could create payment links that request payments, or you can create payment links that have already held funds ready to be claimed. You could create prepaid Lightning invoices and hand them out as gifts to friends and family, create reward options for your customers, encourage engagement on social media, or even create a treasure hunt or lightning-based airdrop giveaways and competitions.
You can use these gift cards as you like because that’s how bitcoin works; you’re controlling how value is distributed on the network. If you want to give it away, go nuts, and if you are dead set keen on giving some way, shoot some sats my way.
Anyway, back to how to create these Lightning-based giveaways using Lightning Gifts.
What is Lightning Gifts?
Lightning Gifts, as the name suggests, is a service that allows you to create unique codes used to gift people bitcoin redeemable on the lightning network. In 30 seconds or less, you can create low-free bitcoin gift vouchers to share with friends, family, and your haters.
Lightning Gifts is powered by LN Pay which provides abstractions that sit on top of your Lightning Network payment processor integration of choice. LNPay offers users a cloud-based Lightning infrastructure service; they handle all the technical aspects, and users manage the liquidity and operations via their platform. LNPay charges a monthly subscription for the use of the software abstractions. All Lightning Network fees are processed on the Lightning layer – how they are handled varies by integration.
Using Lightning Gifts
To get started, you would need a lightning network wallet, be it custodial or non-custodial and for it to have a balance in bitcoin. You will then create a custom link fund the link with bitcoin first, and in return, a special LN-URL or QR code will be presented. Once a Lightning Gift link or QR code has been created and paid for, you can share this link or QR code with anyone.
Copy and paste it in a chat, post it on social media, print it and hand it out; the way a user claims it is all up to you. Claims can only be made once for the full amount, so whoever gets to it first gets to keep the funds.
Creating prepaid invoices
- Head over to the Lightning cash site
- Add a senders name
- Set the number of satoshis you want to store in the link
- Add a special message for the person who receives the funds
- Click create
- You will then receive a QR code and an LN-URL Withdraw link; you can save either one or both and use them as you please
Note: It’s important to note that once you transfer these funds to this secret link, you no longer have control over that money, as it is hosted by a third party. If you lose the link or QR code, you will no longer have access to those funds, so create these invoices with care and ensure you copy them down correctly and don’t place too much money in them.
How are links paid for or claimed?
Once you’ve created the funded Lightning Gifts invoice, you can claim immediately; there is no time delay. You can send it to a friend or family member, post it on social media and anyone who sees it first and claims the funds will receive it in their wallet.
You can also write the LN-URL to an NFC device like a Bolt Card and transfer the funds to a bitcoin wallet that supports Lightning and NFC; Your device will also need to support NFC too, which is standard for most smartphones, but not so much laptops and desktops. There is no sense in trying to claim using your desktop wallet unless you have an NFC reader connected.
Get the app
There you have it, another tool you can use to improve your Lightning experience and make your life a little easier and have fun with the Lightning network. If you’re new to the Lightning Network and you’re only getting started with your Lightning wallet or Lightning node and all the things you can and should do, it can be overwhelming but take your time to learn more about each app and why you would want it added to your bitcoin stack.
Applications like Lightning Gifts give you a reason to try out Lightning, spend your sats, distribute the coins, support bitcoin adoption and promote bitcoin.
If you would like to learn more about Lightning Gifts and dive down the rabbit hole, we recommend checking out the following resources.
Are you a bitcoin and lightning fan?
Have you been using Lightning to make micro-payments? Stream sats or engage with apps? Which app is your favourite? Have you tried all the forms of Lightning payments? Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments down below.