Nostr Zaps – The Payment Infrastructure of Nostr

Do You Think Giving a Like With a Zap is Exciting? It’s Only the Tip of the Iceberg!

nostr zaps

Nostr is often viewed as a social media app that is competing with Twitter. Likewise, zaps (?) are seen as likes backed by real world value on social media post. However, Nostr is an entire protocol which will bring many use cases. 

Social media is just the first implementation. Zaps are a much bigger phenomena. It literally has the potential to revolutionise and change the entire web. In this article we will explore how zaps have the potential to change the internet as we know it.

Zaps Enable Global and Instant Payments on The Web

Zaps are Bitcoin Lightning payments natively implemented in the Nostr protocol. This means that everyone on the network can send and receive money with the ease of a mouse click. These payments are global, instant and extremely cheap. 

The Lightning network enables micro payments with a fraction of a penny. Streaming money and automatically splitting transactions to multiple entities are possible too! This will bring many more use cases to Nostr than just a like. Some obvious ones are automated affiliate programs, sharing apps, market place apps, data vending machines ect. 

Zaps Can Establish Trust By Adding Proof of Work to Reputation

If you want to interact with someone on the internet, trust is often required. Currently, reputation and ID verification are used online to establish trust. However, it can cost years to build a reputation and ID verification is very intrusive. With Zaps we can scrap ID verification and establish trust between anonymous people by using reputation and Proof of Work. 

Proof of Work to Establish Trust

The simplest form of PoW is sending some sats to prove that you are not a spammer. A higher level of trust can be established by putting a certain amount of sats in escrow until the deal is done. If you break the contract, your sats will be taken. This is very powerful in combination with reputation. If the sum of reputation and the PoW is higher than the gain of cheating, there is no incentive to cheat. The higher your reputation, the lower PoW is needed. 

Zaps Will Enable a Global Order Book for Commerce

With zaps, permissionless payments are native in Nostr. It will make Nostr a very liquide global order book for any product or service with a strong network effect and without middlemen. Because Nostr is build bottom up instead of top down, individuals and businesses will be able to broadcast their product or service to the network. Relays will filter and categorise the offers and clients will enable users to sort and filter it again to a market place format. 

The point is that all clients are fishing in the same pool of products and services. Their UX and product offering is different, but their source is all the same, the Nostr protocol! This means that the network effect doesn’t play out on the ‘marketplace’ level, but on the protocol level. Once it gets big enough it will be very hard for non-Nostr market places to compete against the enormously wide offerings of Nostr market places.

Zapvertisement is a unique advertising model used on the Nostr platform. It allows individuals and companies to promote their offerings by using zaps. The more you zap a post, the higher it appears in the zap list. This model is not just for companies; it’s also for content creators, non-profits, event hosts, developers, and startup founders who want to reach their desired audience.

Unlike traditional social media platforms, Nostr doesn’t use algorithms to boost reach. Instead, in most clients notes are chronological and zaps are ordered by amount, with the highest value zap at the top. This ensures that your message stays at the top of the list, gaining more visibility.

Moreover, popular Nostr accounts can create advertisement space in their posts or profiles. The advertisement of the highest zapper, or bidder, will be shown in this space, providing an additional avenue for visibility.

Zapvertising allows for a free market for advertisers, while enabling creators to continue their work. It’s a value-for-value model, where you give value and get value in return. This model has proven effective, with thousands of unique visits reported without posting links anywhere but on Nostr.

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