How To Forward Nostr Zaps

Forwarding nostr zaps

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Nostr has become Zap central, and every day thousands of satoshis are sent back and forth between different users as payment for development support on projects or a dank meme. Since the Zap NIP went live, we’ve seen just shy of 500 000 payments made between Nostr users.

Sure, this could simply be people “wash trading” the same satoshis between themselves, tipping one another for shitposts, but to the Lightning Network, it doesn’t matter; routing nodes are moving those balances as it would any other payment.

Zaps began as a way to tip users for content, but as the Zaps mature, we’re seeing new users find new and interesting ways of using it. We’re seeing client developers request funding for features users want to see built, relays request access to their services through Zaps, and you can even Zap posts with satoshis or fiat amounts backed by Bitcoin.

Now the latest update to the world of Zaps is the ability to forward Zap payments to other users instead of your wallet.

Nostr Zap activity – Source: Nostr.Band

To set up a Zap forward:

  • Create a post. (You can test it out on Snort.Social)
  • Select the advanced option.
  • Paste the new Lightning Address or LN-URL you wish to forward payments to for this post.
  • Publish the post.

If your note successfully broadcasts to relays and displays in clients, any user that Zaps that post will see those sats ignore the default wallet set in your account and push that payment onto the wallet specified in your Zap forwarding field.

Note: Not every nostr client has support for payment forwarding yet; if you receive zaps from other clients, it will go directly to your wallet, which you would then need to manually match and forward, making it a total pain in the arse until all clients get on board.

Forward Zaps setting on snort.social

Advantages of forwarding Zaps.

Payment forwarding in legacy systems causes problems for either customers or those processing the payment.

If the customer handles the forwarding, you would need to provide the individual with detailed instructions on who to pay, instructions that might fall on deaf ears or push people away from paying entirely.

If the payment processor handles it, someone has to keep track of the payments, make sure they settle and then pass it on, and in that process, payments can fail or fall through the cracks.

When you use digital native payment rails like the Lightning Network, you use programmable money to execute commands on your behalf. Instead of having to set up a certain process to manage payment forwarding, all you now do is specify the final destination for payments and have clients ignore your default payment destination set on your profile.

  • It’s a simple way to outsource payments: Companies, accounts or individuals that use the payment redirect method don’t have to worry about building an internal payment infrastructure.
  • Lightning can offer a better user experience: As long as you have channel capacity or use a trusted Lightning Network-based custodian, you will have the resources and expertise to process any amount of funds.
  • Support multiple forwarding: Since every post can be customised to forward to a different Lightning Address, you can promote different causes with little friction.

Why would you want to forward Zaps?

Features are always fun to explore and test out, but what would you use Zap forwarding for other than testing?

  • Does this feature have legs?
  • Can it be used practically in the wild?

Let’s look at some possible use cases.

Raising funds for a project.

Suppose you found a really cool project on Geyser, a Lightning-based crowd-funding platform; you could promote it on your Nostr account, and any Zaps that post received would bypass your wallet and go directly to the project’s wallet.

Project ambassadors, volunteers, and backers can also keep their followers up to date on how the project is progressing and have all Zaps from these posts redirected to a single Lightning wallet instead.

Raising funds for a community.

Plenty of grassroots projects worldwide are trying to push Bitcoin adoption and build small Bitcoin circular economies; anyone involved in these projects can now monetise specific posts. If they’re speaking about the project or showcasing new developments, those posts can automatically forward any satoshis earned directly to the communities wallet.

An example of a post forwarding zaps on to another account

Rewarding the original creator.

Suppose you found an interesting article on a website and the user has a Lightning Address; you could post the article on your account and set a forwarding address for any Zaps that the post gets. You’re now promoting and supporting the original creator of the content.

Encouraging users to get on to nostr.

Maybe you have a friend or family member who isn’t on Nostr and is still not convinced; you could create a post with payment forwarding to the said Nostr non-believer. Since Lightning payments can pass on comments, that user will be able to see payments flooding into their wallet coming from Nostr with unique messages of encouragement to join up.

If you can’t get someone to join your cult, why not sucker them in with sats?

Dangers of Zap forwarding.

Cybercriminals are constantly thinking of new ways to scam unsuspecting customers. That’s why it’s essential to be vigilant and verify requests before hitting that Zap button. Scammers can use multiple tactics to trick people – and businesses – out of money, and because you’re using Bitcoin, there is no way to recover funds once you’ve handed it over to a scammer.

There is no way to put an account on hold, flag an account or request a chargeback; when using Bitcoin, your wits are the only protection.

Since Nostr is an open protocol, it is not hard for scammers to create copycat accounts of popular businesses or figures or create accounts for brands and personalities not yet on Nostr. The profile could look exactly the same as the official one, but the posts could be forwarded to another Lightning Address instead.

If you suspect something is fishy about a payment request:

  • Check their NIP-05 ID.
  • Check who follows the account.
  • Check the comments on their posts and their post history.
  • Check that the forwarded address matches the account unless the post states payments are forwarded.
  • Something may be off if the user requests that you Zap a specific post, not older posts or their profile.

While these tips might help you with 99% of these scammers, there is the 1% who will get access to a Nostr user’s official account and be able to milk a user’s followers. The only way to protect yourself is to be prepared, question any payment request and understand how these Lightning invoice scams work.


Do your own research.

If you want to try out Nostr or learn more about it, we recommend checking out the following resources to kickstart your research.

Are you on Nostr?

If you are a Nostr user and want to hang out and chat with us or follow our content on your preferred Nostr front end, feel free to add us using our PubKey below and send us a Zap if you’ve got sats to spare.

npub10mxnle348mzv2dnj0ylgz3zu9gceenc29x9fr4m6mnars66j7vxsnkn8mj

The Bitcoin Manual’s Nostr Pubkey

Please give us your notes.

If you have used Nostr, which client do you prefer and why? Are there any clients that you think deserve mention? Let us know in the comments down below.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. It is for educational and entertainment purposes only. As of the time posting, the writers may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency, as all investments contain risk. All opinions expressed in these articles are my own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of The Bitcoin Manual

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