A public art board of sorts has appeared online and is powered by the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Users can pay one satoshi per pixel to draw on a 1-million pixel art board that is constantly changing. Needless to say, a lot of strange things have already appeared on it, but it can at times have a strange visual appeal.
Welcome to Satoshi’s Place
Satoshi’s Place seems to be meant to showcase the low cost and flexibility of micro-payments offered by Lightning Network. For the price of just one satoshi, anyone can post a single pixel to be shared. Of course, one can post as many pixels as they want, as long as they’re willing to pay for it. At today’s prices, 1000 pixels would cost right around six cents. The entire image can be replaced for $60. Once a pixel or group of pixels is drawn, it can be drawn over at any time.
Satoshi’s Place on June 20th, 2018. Some items have been censored.
The site has seemingly captured the imaginations of many users on Reddit and the idea has spread to a few other sites including one focused on Ethereum called CryptoPaint, and another called pixelproperty.io which also uses Ethereum and works as a Dapp tied into meta-mask.
So far, however, it seems that Satoshi’s place is by far attracting the most amount of activity. According to the site, it is currently getting 448 submissions per day and is averaging just over 1 million pixels. This means the average submission is for around 2300 pixels. This also means that with the site bringing in 1 million pixels per day, Satoshi’s place is earning about $60 a day and is replacing the entire image each day.
Keeping it Classy
The site is not for the faint of heart, however. As anyone can post anything, all sorts of regrettable and unpleasant things are appearing. Some examples include grotesque imagery, web addresses to gross out and shock humor sites, and what can only be described as immature schoolyard toilet humor style graffiti.
But if you’re able to overlook some of these details, at times the image that appears on Satoshi’s Place has something of a pop art vibe and feels like it would fit in perfectly on the wall of an edgy coffee shop in downtown Seattle. There are various classic meme images that have been twisted and corrupted in ways that can only be described as creative. There were also some political statements like “free Tommy” which we would guess is a reference to Tommy Robinson in the UK, and the statement “TAX = THEFT”. Pepe the frog was a common theme on the board as well. Other participants made disparaging comments against Bitcoin Cash (by linking it to a gross out image site) and made some potentially unfriendly remarks against famed Bitcoin Cash personality Roger Ver.
Lightning Network is Here
When we read between the lines of the grotesque imagery and the strange beauty that is Satoshi’s place, what we see is one of the earliest implementations of the Lightning Network. For the past six months, making a Bitcoin transaction that would be less than one cent seemed absurd and even downright ridiculous due to the fees that were seen. At times, recent months have seen fees jump up to outrageous levels that have made some critics believe that Bitcoin simply cannot be used for any real purchase. The classic example being if you bought coffee with Bitcoin, the transaction fee would cost more than the coffee itself.
Now that Lightning Network is starting to take shape and gain more adoption, ultra micro-transactions will soon become realities, and sending a handful of satoshis will be far from unusual. While it’s unlikely that Satoshi’s Place will end up being a particularly important step in Bitcoin’s evolution, it is still a fascinating living caricature of the crypto world that we are experiencing today.