Opinion: Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Can Power Up AI-Driven Shopping

From Personal Assistants to Global Traders: How Bitcoin's Lightning Network Can Empower AI to Redefine Transactions and Transform the Future!

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The possibilities that AI applications have revealed, within months of the emergence of Chat GPT, open up exciting possibilities. Whether promising or dystopian, remains to be seen in practice.

One thing is for sure, in a few years our lives will be completely different. Artificial intelligence is expected to transform our daily lives, as much as the emergence and spread of electricity in the past or the Internet more recently.

As experts predict, soon we will all have our own personal assistants. Of course, we are not (yet) talking about humanoid robots, which will act as housekeepers, butlers, psychologists, doctors or lovers. In the beginning things will be much more… simple. The smart assistant will be on our mobile phone.

AI will make purchases on our behalf

Ai making purchases on behalf of humans

There is a new interaction between people and computers, as the way we engage with the Internet will be drastically improved. The digital personal assistant will find whatever information we ask for and deliver it to us in a processed form.

We won’t even have to write. We will talk to it and it will understand us perfectly. It will understand what we want to say or what we feel, even from our tone of voice.

One of the activities that the smart digital assistant will take care of for us is shopping. One that will know our needs, preferences, available money to spend and of course our mood, will know what to shop for.

An activity that until now has been done exclusively by us who – at least to a large extent – know what we need and how much money we are willing to spend.

What are we missing to make the perfect purchase? All the information available on the Internet, as we do not have the time and computing power to process it all.

For example, we want to buy a shirt to attend a corporate reception next week. Cotton, good quality, in earthy colors, which can be matched with the shoes and suit we own.

However, the shirt with the most competitive price may be located… in Japan, even if the shipping and delivery time are taken into account.

Obviously, there was no chance of us personally discovering the opportunity or know if the site is owned by scammers who would steal our money.

God bless the artificial intelligence and the digital assistant who will act on our behalf. The assistant whom we trust to proceed with the purchase, having given him access to our personal wallet.

Needless to say, the shop (or the producer) in Japan also has similar salespeople who operate intelligently, taking advantage of the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence.

The two machines communicate automatically, directly and perfectly in their own language. A bargaining session probably precedes the deal and a haggling session before the final deal is closed.

Okay, so we’ve reached the point of ordering. The artificial intelligences of buyer and seller agree on price, quantity, color, quality.

But in what currency will the payment be made? In euros? In yen? Obviously in none of them.

Transferring euros to a Japanese bank takes days to arrive. And that’s not all. Converting to foreign currency costs money. The banking system is not expected to work for free, even in a robotic society.

The analogue banking system, which operates Monday to Friday and is fragmented between geographical areas and banks, does not fit modern, advanced intelligence needs.

The Lightning Network

Bitcoin Lightning Network

So what’s the alternative? Have the transaction made with cryptocurrency.

In seconds, with zero cost and security.

How much more sensible, the AI models when they start buying and selling on our behalf, to transact with digital currency.

Through a payment network that is fully compatible with a language they understand. A currency that will be the same program and will be able to adapt to the personalized needs of the consumer and the producer.

Which of all the cryptocurrencies? Bitcoin is the obvious choice of currency for any AI. It is purely digital, censorship-resistant, demonstrably rare, and its intrinsic value is entirely dependent on the cost of electricity. A unit of account that AIs understand very well.

Indeed, the prevailing scenario envisages Bitcoin through the Lightning Network protocol.

Alternatively Ethereum after upgrades are completed or even a stablecoin. Certainly no sovereign currency, however, at least as long as it remains attached in its current form.

Lightning Labs

Of course, we are not the only ones who perceive that the future is heading in that direction.

Lightning Labs, one of the major companies working on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, has announced the release of a new set of developer tools that integrate the Lightning Network into Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT.

The tools are based on the L402 protocol (a built-in Lightning authentication mechanism) and Langchain (a library that facilitates the creation of applications using LLMs).

All of this is done in an automated fashion. LangChain allows AI applications to interact directly with Bitcoin and the Lightning network, sending and receiving satoshi through a Lightning LND node.

In addition we have Aperture, what is able to turn any programming interface into payments via Lightning.

With Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, digital transactions can be made all over the world, even in areas with non-existent banking networks, with almost non-existent fees. Universal, instant, zero-cost access, without intermediaries, will drastically change many sectors of the economy.

Final Take

With Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, digital transactions can be carried out all over the world, even in areas with no banking network, with almost non-existent fees.

Universal, instant, zero-cost access, without intermediaries, will drastically change many sectors of the economy.


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