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Blockstream Announces Sale of the World’s Cheapest Piece of Art

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Art enthusiasts and crypto followers celebrated an important milestone last week as the Lightning Network helped facilitate the sale of one of the smallest pieces of art ever created.  Not only was this micro-art one of the tiniest pieces ever to be auctioned, but it’s also the world’s smallest (in terms of value) art purchase to date.

The art piece, the Black Swan, was created by longtime Bitcoinist Cryptograffiti. Cryptograffiti is well-known among Bitcoin art collectors and his latest creation is just one of many stunning pieces this artist has created in the last few years.  This latest creation showcases the artist’s desire to become a thriving piece of the Lightning Networks legacy.

The auction was designed to showcase the micro-transaction capabilities of the Lightning Network. In order to make the concept a reality, Cryptograffiti partnered with longtime Lightning Network developer, Blockstream’s Grubles. Together the two were able to utilize Blockstream’s c-lighting implementation to make history.

Cryptograffiti via Twitter

Cryptograffiti via Twitter

Blockstream C-Lightning

C-lightning is one of the main Lightning Network coding languages in place. The protocol supports micropayments down to 0.00000000001. If this seems like a tiny amount to you, it should. In terms of USD, this equals out to $0.00000000037.

Additionally, the Lightning Charge protocol was integrated to provide bidders with real-time invoicing. Also to simplify the procedure, developers integrated the Nanotip protocol. This frontend add-on made it so that bidders could quickly and easily navigate the process.

The auction went off without any issues. In total, 77 participants made micro-bids for this historic piece of artwork. In the end, @BTC_Spot came out victorious when they bid just 1 millisatoshi. Since this is the smallest amount permitted by the protocol, @BTC_Spot was all but guaranteed the victory with this micro-bid.

Payment Portals

The Lightning Network is able to accomplish micro-transactions through the use of personal payment portals. These payment portals don’t reside on the blockchain. They allow users to send unlimited amounts of BTC for nearly nothing. In addition to having little transfer fees, the transactions are completed in near real time.

Blackswan via Twitter

Blackswan via Twitter

These micro-transactions have been a major focus for Lightning Network developers as the program starts to complete its Beta testing stages. Developers are keen on checking the reliability of the protocol prior to instigating large-scale BTC transfers.  This year may see a change in that stance as the Lightning Network is now more stable than ever before.

A Micro Payment World is Coming

The Lightning Network is a perfect fit for many use case scenarios. Of these, micro-payments are one of the most highly anticipated features this revolutionary protocol brings to the table. In the future, this technology could be used to send value rather than data between devices.

While the concept of reverse auctions may not be that applicable for fundraising activities, it does showcase the reliability and capabilities that the Lightning Network brings to the table. The Lightning Network continues to see increased development as more use case scenarios are created.