#LegendsOfLightning is an accelerator style event open to anyone globally to help foster innovation, and collaboration in bitcoin and lightning. We partnered with Fulgur Ventures to provide some crazy prizes. The event is running from Oct 12 until Dec 7 which is much longer than our previous format with #ShockTheWeb which was only a week.
Hopefully this can activate folks all over the world to participate and get mentored by some of the big hitters in the industry (and ye... there's a 3 BTC prize pool).
We need to grow the talent pool of developers, designers, researchers, and copywriters in the industry. Why? For bitcoin's global takeover! We think this platform and event format is something that can inspire people towards that.
Topics to ask us anything but here's some examples.
  • Legends Of Lightning
  • Hackathons
  • Building in public
  • Learning in public
  • Onboarding new talent into bitcoin
  • Innovative use cases of bitcoin and lightning network
  • Developing lightning applications with APIs (WebLN/WebBTC, lnurl-auth)
Check out the tournament: https://makers.bolt.fun/tournaments/1 Check out the posts from the community: https://makers.bolt.fun/feed
Bolt.Fun looks like an interesting platform, what is your vision for what you want the site to become over time?
On the technical side, we want all data entered by someone on the platform to be portable and owned by them. You should be able to carry your profiles, stories, projects, badges where ever you want. Maker profiles by the way represent your proof of work, you've shown your knowledge from the beginning of your journey by #LearningInPublic, or your process of building a project so you should own this data.
For the grand vision we want to inspire people to join the bitcoin revolution, start projects and be able to sustain them so that we can further push bitcoin's global takeover.
awesome, just added Bolt.Fun to Stack Sats
Can you blog? I currently use medium
You can now with stories ✍️ All you need is a maker profile which you can create using any lnurl-auth compatible wallet!
Makers can use a basic M⬇️ editor to create content and share knowledge and resources. As you might have noticed, there’s not enough material for devs and designers to absorb when it comes to bitcoin and lightning app development. We want our platform to turn into a bustling hub for makers to share these kinds of stories, tools, and ideas.
Go join the fun!
Ahh so if I wanted to blog about sports probably not the best place but blog about my journey Learning to code is more appropriate
Have you guys thought much on the post hackathon results? IE, team builds something awesome, maybe wins, then all go separate ways and back to their day jobs.
At one hackathon, I was paid by an independent party present there to finish our PoC and write up a case study. But I assume with the heavy hitter VCs that'll be at this hackathon, there could be a chance to turn a project into something real. Is anything done on your side to help facilitate that? Really looking forward to participating, thanks!
You hit the nail on the head most times with hackathons as you mentioned the team split up on the project dies. This really sucks because we hardly get to see if they have real potential.
We noticed that in our previous #ShockTheWeb hackathons also. Sustainability was one of the keywords when we started planning this event.
⁃ You’ll have a chance to pitch investors and even do office hours ⁃ If you’re not interested in creating a startup and want to make an open source public good, we’ve got folks to help you with crowdfunding like Geyser.fun. Actually they’re a shock the web participant, Geyser Grants was built at our first hackathon. ⁃ There’s also mentors for design, marketing, and lightning dev who can help you make your project world class.
Hell yea! ;)
As Johns mentioned, we're doing our best to solve this issue with #LegendsOfLightning, creating more of an accelerator rather than a typical weekend-long hackathon!
What do you think we could also do to solve this issue of project momentum loss?
  • E
Good question, and I appreciated Johns answer too, I like that approach. It sounds like the way you guys are setting it up should be supportive of "all the tools are here, use them if you'd like, we highly encourage it" which is great.
I typically do 48 hour hackathons which is completely different but also fun. I can see them being harder to keep the momentum going, especially when everyone is sort of burnt out at the end (at least me). Which probably plays into more the idea of "that was fun, let's go back to our lives" problem. I hope the long running hackathon helps build the spirit of getting something usable and clean that might have a better chance for the creators to succeeding afterwards, both in spirit and ability.
As a lifelong dev that typically does these hackathons with other lifelong devs, it's a very big leap both in knowledge and safety to consider moving the project into the next steps of a serious product/company. Funding, general startup/company knowledge, etc. are typically the bigger gaps of knowledge than actual development. People come from all kinds of different places, but I don't need help creating a lightning app, I need help creating a company lol. But I'm going into this hackathon with the thought process of: what if the idea we work on is great and how will we finally take that leap now. So very excited about this hackathon, even if our project doesn't work!
We wish you luck with your project and hope it works out 💪 It’s always scary going from concept to company!
That being said, towards the end of #LegendsOfLightning we’ll be offering workshops from grant platforms like Geyser & Open Sats, as well as office hours with the tournaments main sponsor Fulgur Ventures (+ Hivemind VC and Lightning Ventures). So you’ll have plenty of access to coaching in these areas you don’t feel as comfortable in! This is why we want to start wearing the “Accelerator” badge 🏃‍♂️
With regards to the feeling of burnout, we’ve been there too. We’ve run those sorts of events in the past (shorter hackathons), but that burn out was the exact feeling we’d get - even ourselves. The longer format tournament is designed to do a couple of things:
  • Give you more time to get access to any tools, resources, and … well, more time. This way projects can be really focused and be super high quality!
  • We want people to form a habit of hacking on their nights and weekends, even if it’s just to learn a new spec or developer tool. In the long run, this will hopefully compound into adding more contributors and makers to the open source space, as well as breeding awesome innovative lightning apps and tools! Habits generally tend to form over periods longer than 30 days, so that’s definitely a strong reason for choosing the long format 🦾
If the tournament ended at any time other than the beginning of December, that would give teams the chance to raise VC money on their momentum.
Everyone underestimates how checked out people are in December.
You raise a good point ☝️
That being said, two things:
  • This is just the first tournament, we hope to run x4 / year. So this shouldn’t be an issue for the other 3.
  • Towards the end of #LegendsOfLightning we’ll be offering workshops from grant platforms like Geyser & Open Sats, as well as office hours with the tournaments main sponsor Fulgur Ventures (+ Hivemind VC and Lightning Ventures). So immediately off the bat the best projects will have great access to funding resources, even if the investors want to take some time to see family time, stock up on wine and turkey, and slide down the chimney 🎅👍
I have every Lightning wallet under the sun, funded and ready to go, yet I can't even vote on the website without a proprietary connector from Alby.
Project seems very biased towards a specific stack, so how can it be judged fairly when organizers exclude every lightning wallet but one?
Might be a good idea for something to hack on for the Legends of Lightning Tournament ;)
The irony that this is a very biased take in itself.
The site is built using the new web-ln open standard: https://webln.dev. You can use it from any browser that supports web-ln. On mobile it's a bit trickier because it's so early, but I just used the site from the Blixt wallet in-app browser and it worked perfectly fine 🤷‍♂️
No native device browsers support it, and installing a separate app from an app store to use a website is absurd. May as well have made the whole thing an app.
I explained to you over and over again how WebLN can work with other APIs like the one that you prefer. Things are early and need to be developed and everybody is invited to propose solutions and make things better.
But talk is cheap and it is easy to critizise what others do.
It’s a tough one, at the moment it’s hard to get the interoperability we want as a web app if using all sorts of LN payments. Not to mention we are trying to implement Lightning into our web app without having to custody users’ funds.
One big hurdle we have is collecting pre-images upon successful payment. As you might have noticed, voting 🔥 in the app uses Lightning to send sats to the creator of stories/projects. But in order to increase the tally of votes, we need confirmation the payment went through (👍 0 > 👍 1) . One thing we’ve been pushing for is lnurl-verify, which would allow us to quickly check a payments success.
Thanks for the feedback though, we appreciate the frustration and it’s sometimes one we feel ourselves. You can use:
  • Breez / Blixt in-wallet browser
  • Any browser with webln integration (Alby extension installed)
That being said this is only required for in-app payments, you can still use the app, create a maker profile, write stories etc using any wallet with lnurl-auth support…
It's not that tough, literally every wallet supports a QR code, particularly the ones that are fiat on-ramps like Strike and CashApp that are the source of much of the Bitcoin comes into the network.
The back-end could easily increment on payment completion to increase the vote tally, no rube-goldberg machines needed that exclude the wallets everyone already uses.
These horrible design decisions indicate the project has an agenda, not doing what's best for adoption.
As long as we don't have universal APIs to validate payments backends do not have a chance to check if a payment was made. -> the payment here happens directly between voter and maker.
For this we recently also proposed the lnurl-verify spec to be no longer dependent on validating the preimage (and thus webln) but still have it easy for users to simply use their lightning address.
I encourage you to propose solutions and get those solutions adopted. Talk is cheap and your negativity does not help anybody. And as I said here: #77154 we also have shown how things can work with other backends. so maybe better write code or come with some productive solutions. thx.
The API is irrelevant, Lightning spec is usable on plenty of apps without this nonsense. StackerNews is a great example :)
BoltFun however decided to make a non-Lightning website, and that's sad.
Obviously new solutions should be encouraged and tried, but it's hostile design when they create a walled garden such has happened here- where otherwise fully equipped Lightning users have to deal with added friction.
On the incentives of creating solutions, which is the point of bringing this up in this context, why would anyone invest time into this hackathon if it's clearly hostile to solutions that would embarrass WebLN?
How could an alternative to WebLN be judged fairly when met with this kind of unhinged response to feedback?
StackerNews is a custodial solution. I think the goal here is to trend to a non-custodial solution. It's not where it should be yet, but it can be worked on through WebLN.
with all respect, but I guess you know that this is bullshit and nothing more than talking bad about others people's work.
bring a solution, do something productive. bolt.fun is also open source...for example write a few lines of code and make it better. Talk is cheap.
Past participants had build all kinds of things and without webln. bolt.fun also uses nostr for comments, but you don't have to use that also.
And if you don't like it, then maybe just build something better.
This toxic response to honest discussion is beneath you Bumi, if this is your position you should probably recuse yourself as a judge.
You've demonstrated you have no capacity to honestly consider perspectives that aren't aligned with your vision for WebLN.
As I said, bring a solution, people will like it. Then you also don't need to just complain.
You can easily write a few lines of code and make it work with your lightning.pub stuff.
Lightning will only excel if we all collaborate constructively, but that's up to you...I haven't seen much from you in this regards.
I think Bumi is trying to explain some of the difficulties in building non-custodial web applications that use Lightning. I've never heard Bumi utter the words "That app sucks because it's not on the web." We all specialise in different areas, and we welcome this diversity it to our judging panel. There are many other judges that have the same weight as he does and I would think they will ALL evaluate your project on what you build.
You pointed out a shortcoming of our own platform, totally get it. Very valid concern and something we'll take onboard. Thanks for your opinion 👍
We're just trying to have fun with lightning and see what's possible. Of course we're going to make mistakes, and we appreciate you helping give feedback, but pointing fingers for the sake of it is a waste of everyone's time. As Bumi said, please propose a constructive solution rather than just drumming up some negativity for the sake of it.
Want to open an issue? Go right ahead: https://github.com/peakshift/makers.bolt.fun
And yes, Stacker News is great - hence why we're here. We love these guys, but it's a custodial solution that they've implemented, and that's something we chose not to implement on our platform. So does that mean SN has an agenda against non-custodial solutions? Of course not, they've just built their product with how they see fit and also what's available to them at the time... and that's what we're doing too. It's not that complicated. I get your frustration, but talk of agendas is just total trolling at this point...
With regards to hacking at the tournament, you don't need to worry. Yes our first events were geared towards WebLN but that's because we needed to focus our events as we're a small team. The #LegendsOfLightning tournament isn't biased towards web applications, you can build on lightning, on-chain, even hardware or come up with a concept for educating people through a children's book... the possibilities are pretty endless. The only barriers that are up are bitcoin only, that's the only real rule...
Hope to see you there and please don't be discouraged by our previous web focus. We're all here to learn and have fun, so let's keep it in the spirit of the game 👍
For onboarding new talent into bitcoin, is there much space for anyone without any coding experience or education? That is, can Bitcoin be a place for someone to start in coding?
OFCOURSE! Bitcoin is a space that welcomes everyone since inclusivity is inherent in the technology itself. If you want to code, then sure you can be a coder who focuses on building with/on bitcoin.
There are two paths possible with this question.
  1. Someone who wants to become a coder and work in bitcoin
  2. Someone who wants to be in a less technical role, like writing, project management (really needed in this space), copywriting, customer service, etc.
This is why we especially push #LearningInPublic because then you can follow the paths of other people who have gone towards the skill / work you want to do.
Thank you. This is good info. Nice AMA!
You gotta start somewhere! And #LegendsOfLightning is likely the best place to jump in and try it out. Even if you're not technical, teams will still need help with:
  • Design
  • Project management
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Content creation & writing...
What's your skill? Maybe we can help point you in the right direction...
To join the hackathon, should you have built an LN application before? As a new developer should I still apply even though I’m new to LN development?
These days in lightning it’s possible to build applications using just APIs. Check out our Youtube it's got some videos from previous workshops where we had some folks from LNBits, Alby, and Galoy talking about how to build using their APIs. What's great about them is that each you can self host. So while building you can use the custodial/hosted services but can move off to your own instances when you're ready.
We have mentorships, and you can also see the other makers who have registered and are looking for teams.
By the way for everyone else, you should still apply, even if you're not a developer. Teamwork makes the dream work baby!
Thank you, I’ll check that out! Keep a lookout for my application!
You can also easily use Mash's SDK – which streamlines the process – more is at getmash.com if curious.
You don't have to have any experience building with LN to take part in #LegendsOfLightning! In fact, it's an awesome place to connect with other makers, share resources, and learn the skills of the trade!?
First of all, y’all do great work but my question is are the sites or projects just concepts right now? For example I tried using bolt boosters but it never worked for me. I can’t wait to try it out and explain it through video in English and Spanish 😎
Some of the projects on BOLT🔩FUN are still WIP or unmaintained. SatsStreamer was Kwinten DB’s submission to our first ShockTheWeb⚡️hackathon earlier this year, and like a lot of good hackathon ideas it hasn’t been maintained and supported within the maker community - so that’s what we’re trying to solve!
Soon™ makers will be able to add their own projects to our directory, whether it’s a work in progress or launched 🚀
You doing great job i love you and wishing you Good luck
Thank you! Good luck to you too, sir 🫵 ⚡️
Thanks so much for doing this SN AMA Bolt.Fun, have a couple questions.
What are some tried and true lessons you learned from starting bolt.fun that you could let others in on?
also When do you see Bolt.Fun turning into a real place we can visit?
and thanks again for collabing with ⚡️PlebLab in Austin we love you guys! also thanks for being a personal inspiration to me as well!
Ask for help. It's amazing how much people are willing to help you in this space.
As for a bolt.fun space... In two weeks™? But seriously, it's something I've been thinking about for quite some time but before our own space we'd probably start with something a bit more humble; "BOLT FUN CORNERS" perhaps we can have one setup in the corner of PlebLab 😉
Though for something like this such model would work best since we want to really be involved in the community and make connections within it. We aren't trying to centralise knowledge, or events, we're trying to coordinate the community and create excitement as a collective since we're not printing money like these shitcoins.
ya def would love to talk bolt fun corners 🤘
I love this look of this platform! It looks like you all have been thinking about this already, but how do we (in bitcoin) attract more pre-coiner devs to engage and build with all that's available in bitcoin now?
A common narrative I hear is that other ecosystems feel more interesting/welcoming/innovative and that bitcoin feels dated and slow :(
We need friendly attitudes and a fun environment as makers learn and build in public, that's always going to help attract (but also keep) great devs in the space.
#Bitcoin was built to last, and we've seen it doing just that. But lightning has definitely sparked a more inviting and innovative atmosphere. There are so many amazing tools and APIs you can use now, and a lot more to come! You can be part of that evolution, which is always exciting.
Hey, is there any place where people can discuss ideas for the hackathon?
(either for those that want to share and for those looking for what to build)
A lot of makers have been posting their hacking ideas as stories on makers.bolt.fun ✍️ , just search or post using the tag #brainstorm 🌩
You can also join our community Discord: https://discord.gg/vAPxrwkxWS
Favorite Sci-Fi novel?
I was a big fan of Philip K. Dick, in my teenage years. :) but I haven't been reading him much since. I can't recommend the Man in the High Castle, since I haven't read it. I'm not sure if it's considered his best, but is probably one of his more popular novels. I liked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? since it poses philosophical questions, but at the same time it manages to stay exciting. That's how I remember it :) I liked the movie as well, Blade Runner, but it has very little to do with the actual story in the novel , therefore I would consider the film as something separate.
  • Children of Dune
  • 1984
  • Brave New World
  • Frankenstein
TBH I don't read much sci-fi, I need to focus on the self-help stuff, ya feel?
Gotcha, though Sci-Fi can be great self-help.
Damn, that's deep. I think you might be right 🤯
Medicine is never within the enclosure.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (stole this one from Kroum our copywriter who's a huge bookworm)
Is that his favorite (from Philip K. Dick)? Is the Man in the High Castle recommended?
Let's ask him.... "Hey Kroum, do you recommend The Man in the High Castle?" ...
awaiting response ...
Still waiting … but likely yes 👍
What’s the #1 talent someone needs to possess that you seek to hire in your company?
Well BOLT.FUN as a platform is an open source project. We aren't hiring but always welcome contributions. Our stack is GraphQL, Postgres, React, Nostr, Slashtags (soon) and a bunch of cool lightning things.
If you're talking about our design agency https://peakshift.com then we're always on the lookout for UI + interaction designers, design systems and design sprint facilitators you can send your portfolio to careers at our domain or reach out on twitter https://twitter.com/peakshift
Come and join the fun! We need help in all departments, especially social media, outreach, and marketing... it's not easy to spread the word sometimes!
What do you think we all should do more of to onboard new talent to Bitcoin?
We need friendly attitudes and a fun environment as makers learn and build in public, that's always going to help attract (but also keep) great devs in the space!
More tutorials! More guides, more local use cases, better documentation. Generally we need to be more newbie friendly.
Things like the bitcoin.design/guide and community are a great example of what some people outside need in order to start becoming effective contributors to bitcoin.
Which applications do you feel like no one has built yet that the market desperately needs?
Local solutions !!
Just want to see some more solutions to local problems. Sometimes it doesn't need to be focused on the application but on how you get people locally to adopt bitcoin.
I think the bitcoin beach project is a great example of this and something I'd love to see more at this tournament. Setup a node for a local community, create materials to onboard shops and merchants, figure out how to distribute sats to the community, setup a site to get donations from the wider ecosystem.
Boom, that model is repeatable globally in different communities which can really value bitcoin.
You can fork the bitcoin beach one here for example https://github.com/GaloyMoney/galoy-mobile
Then the wallet which starts the same as every other community starts adapting to what people in that location need.
... some other ideas:
  • Dev tools (APIs, guides, knowledge resources)...
  • Community banking and payment infrastructures...
  • Web apps (lots of these please!)...
  • Games...
  • Apps where people don't even know they're using bitcoin/LN...
  • {your-next-idea}
What's the hardest part of running a hackathon at this scale?
Oh the list can keep going on. We're only a few people with no external funding. 100% of sponsored prizes go to participants.
Besides this, as a product person, I'd say getting exposure. When we started not many people understood what it is we were trying to do. Why are we playing around with WebLN, why make login so difficult with lnurl-auth, why use Nostr for our comments?
We needed to use these things so we can experience what it's like to go through the development process. We also needed to understand ourselves what the future of lightning app development looks like.
For the majority of developers web programming is the only type they know, so that's a massive market, and they expect to have great development tools, and resources.
Are you an arm of Spiral?
Nope, we’re just a few plebs having fun 🌀 We do work closely with the Bitcoin Design community though (which was a Spiral led initiative), they do awesome stuff so check them out 🤙
Thanks gotta check it out