Lately we have been speaking with many businesses and potential partners about how the Lightning Network could help their business by opening up their APIs to a broader audience, expanding channels, and creating new revenue opportunities. As expected, there are many questions about how does Bitcoin work? What is the Lightning Network? And other general questions about cryptocurrency.
One question, however, keeps coming up and one we felt worth writing a brief piece about. That is: how do users sign-up? Where is the account creation?
The answer, to the surprise of some, is there no account creation with our cryptodata model. There simply is no need. There is no traditional sign-up process. No entering of credit card information. No questionnaires about your interest. We store no personal information about anyone because a) we don’t have it and b) we don’t need it. You will not see either long or short-form account sign-up widgets at Suredbits and most other Lighting applications or “LAPPS”.
With Bitcoin and Lightning, all someone has to do is connect their Lightning node — or be connected to a node that is connected to us — and that is it.
Thats all someone needs to begin requesting data via websocket.
Once people understand there is no account creation, the next question we often hear is: “But how do you get paid?” Setting aside the fact that we are currently only running on testnet while we develop our MVP for cryptocurrency exchange API, payment is part of the API request.
As long as a person has funds in their wallet, payment is verified and the data delivered nearly simultaneously. Payment and data delivery are part of the same Lightning transaction.
Here you can see a quick demo of payment and data being delivered within a single Lightning transaction:
In summary, there is no traditional sign-up process in Bitcoin/Lightning. We do not and cannot know who users are and payment happens as part of the trustless transaction.
This definitely presents challenges to traditional API models that require advance pricing and account creation. Things get more interesting when dealing financial exchange data e.g. NYSE, CBOE, or NASDAQ, etc. as there are volumes of regulations and Know Your Customer rules. But we believe the opportunity to share data widely and with broader audiences will be worth it and future is more data to more people.