Lightning Labs Enables Bitcoin Payments for AI Like ChatGPT

Lightning Labs Enables Bitcoin Payments for AI Like ChatGPT

Bitcoin software company Lightning Labs announced a range of new developer tools that allow AI models such as ChatGPT to hold, send and receive bitcoin (BTC). Transactions are processed via the Lightning Network, the payments layer built on the Bitcoin blockchain.

According to Lightning Labs, the Lightning Network is a cheaper and faster way to process financial transactions than traditional credit cards or other banking rails, which have been the go-to payment method for billions of Internet users.

The bot pays you!

The major concern with existing large language models – software applications that produce human-like responses to user prompts – is that they lack an internet-based payment system native to AI.

Olaoluwa Osuntokun and Michael Levin, the engineers behind the tools, said this was a problem for artificial intelligence app developers, who are compelled to rely on old and expensive payment options like credit cards.

“In 2023, the bots pay you!” Osuntokun tweeted.

“The expense of training GPUs [for AI] requires costs that developers look to recoup via the low hanging fruit of credit cards,” the engineers wrote in a July 6 blog post.”[This] results in higher than necessary costs to the end user to incorporate chargeback and fraud fees.”

The engineers at Lightning Labs explained that conventional business models have tended to ostracize “billions of people” who do not have access to credit cards from using AI in things like “education, productivity, and creativity.”

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Lightning Labs built its new tools on the L402 protocol, a Lightning native authentication mechanism. It also employs “LangChain,” a library used for simplifying operations with artificial intelligence applications.

The tools leverage OpenAI GPT function calls to enable developers to create programs that can hold, send and receive bitcoin on-chain or through the Lightning Network.

“With the L402 protocol and LangChainBitcoin, we’re able to ensure the open models can be accessed using an open payment system…in the end, open source will win,” the engineers said.

AI chooses bitcoin as native currency

The artificial intelligence industry has seen massive growth since OpenAI launched ChatGPT November. The chatbot went viral, amassing over 100 million users within three months to start an AI arms race that has sacked in big tech companies like Microsoft and Alibaba.

As MetaNews reported earlier, former Bitmex CEO Arthur Hayes believes that “AI will choose Bitcoin as its native currency.”

That may already be happening, thanks to Lightning Labs bitcoin-powered AI tools. The firm proposed a new way to monetize software by charging for API access. APIs, or application programming interfaces, allow different pieces of software to communicate with each other.

Lightning Labs envisions a future where software agents can query each other for a fee. For example, an AI software program could query another for information, and the querying agent would only be charged if the response was satisfactory.

“A user can sell a prompt by gating access to an API capable of responding to queries,” said the company in its blog post

“Potential buyers can then ask their own local agent to evaluate the response given a set of criteria. If the agent approves of the response, then further responses can be purchased.”

Michael Levin, product lead at Lightning Labs, tweeted that: “Chat user interfaces are just the tip of the iceberg for LLM usage. Ninety percent of use cases lie beyond this initial foray.”

He expects “SaaS/Enterprise/API products built on LLMs to uniquely solve user problems” to become the dominant use-case for chatbots.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.