Lyle Pratt is the founder and CEO of Vida, a platform for letting anyone monetize their time with paid messages, calls, and livestreams.
In our discussion, Lyle explained how Vida works, the role Lightning payments might play across social media, his experience building on Lightning to date, and how Vida could help more people earn more Bitcoin.
→ Vida: https://vida.page/?ref=kr
→ Voltage: https://voltage.cloud?utm_source=kevinrooke&utm_medium=Youtube&utm_campaign=1mo
This show is a Lightning podcast. That means instead of asking for likes or shares, I ask for sats.
The best way to show your support is to download Fountain from the App Store, load your wallet with some sats, and send them over the Lightning Network to email@example.com.
→ Fountain: https://www.fountain.fm/
→ More Episodes: https://play.fountain.fm/show/P6XXuSPg6f2rj4ECB0fT
→ Lightning Address: ⚡firstname.lastname@example.org
→ Stack Sats: https://www.stacksats.how/
→ Twitter: https://twitter.com/kerooke
→ Books: https://www.kevinrooke.com/book-recommendations
→ Blog: https://www.kevinrooke.com/blog
00:00 - Intro
02:06 - Lyle Pratt Intro
05:37 - Vida’s Vision
12:27 - Why is Money the Right Tool to Reduce Spam?
18:08 - Will Advertisers Target Vida Users?
22:53 - Emerging Vida Use Cases
32:25 - Payment Splits and Referral Systems
41:59 - Vida Adoption To Date
43:46 - Lyle’s Experience Building on Lightning
57:47 - Creators Earning on Vida
1:02:20 - How Will Vida Capture Value?
1:16:47 - The Lightning Round
Lyle Pratt - 00:00:00:
You know, the vast majority of sats paid on the network so far have been for messages, for paid messages. And the thing is, it doesn't have to be a lot. I'm not saying you have to charge $5 per message. It could be a cent. But that is enough to discourage a bot from messaging you. Vida today, we're bootstrapping this network by providing sets of tools and services and APIs that facilitate the instant settlement of communication via Lightning. You spin up a Lightning node, you get one channel in, and you can accept payments from 100 million Cash App users. That is an incredible innovation, and it's one that thousands of Lightning developers are going to continue to build on again. Adding barriers and gates is a losing game. You have to expand the pie for these creators and for the users as well by enabling new experiences that weren't otherwise possible before.
Kevin Rooke - 00:01:02:
Lyle Pratt is the founder and CEO of Vida, a platform for letting anyone monetize their time through paid messages, calls, or live streams. In our discussion, Lyle explained exactly how Vida works. We discussed the implications of inserting Lightning payments into social media. What are the positives? What are the negatives? We also discussed Lyle's experience building on Lightning so far. What features would he like to see added to enhance Vida's capabilities? And we also discussed how we can help more people earn more bitcoin. I've also added Lyle to today's show splits. So if you learn something new today, the best way that you can show your support is by sending sats over the Lightning Network. You can use any Podcasting 2.0 app. My favorite to use is Fountain. Quick shout out, today's show is sponsored by Voltage. Voltage is the industry standard and next generation provider for Lightning Network infrastructure. And we will have more from Voltage later in the show. Lyle, welcome to the show. I am so excited to talk all things Vida today. But before we get into exactly what you're building, why don't we start with a background on why you decided to build on Lightning and what you were doing beforehand?
Lyle Pratt - 00:02:22:
Yeah, well, I guess the summary of why I'm building on Lightning is I think that global communication needs trustless, real time settlement, and Lightning is essentially the only technical solution capable of scaling to the needs of the world. There's literally nothing out there that can do it, and that's why we're using Lightning under the hood. I came from a telecom background. My last company that I built was a telecom startup. It was acquired by the largest wholesale telecom network in the world by volumes. I worked for them for about five years and learned firsthand how valuable being able to settle telecom in real time would be in eliminating fraud and spam and a host of other issues. And when the Lightning Network came out in 2018, it seemed like the obvious thing to do next. I couldn't really get it out of my mind. And that kind of led me to Vida.
Kevin Rooke - 00:03:30:
How long does it take for you to go from learning about the Lightning Network to saying, I got to just jump right in and build Vida?
Lyle Pratt - 00:03:39:
Well, I kind of started tinkering pretty quickly. The first thing I built was a SIP proxy. I don't know if you know what that is, but SIP is just a voice and video protocol. I built a SIP proxy that basically wouldn't work unless you paid it, bitcoin over Lightning and implemented SIP 402. And in fact, SIP 402 is SIP 402 payment required, very similar to HTTP 402 payment required. So it's just a response code and the protocol that says, hey, you got to pay me to use this. And that code still exists inside of Vida today. In fact, all the audio, video, and messaging communication that happens uses SIP under the hood and implements SIP 402. It's kind of hard to tell, but eventually you'll be able to interconnect with the Vida network using that protocol, and we're going to release standards for how you can implement it yourself so that other apps and protocols can trustlessly, integrate and interconnect. Kind of rabbit hole there. But that's the first thing I built.
Kevin Rooke - 00:04:49:
So this will be outside of Vida, right? Like, if I have an app outside of Vida, I can use this SIP protocol to communicate with a user on Vida. Is that correct?
Lyle Pratt - 00:05:00:
Yes. Even today, it's kind of buried in settings which you can configure a Vida account to forward to any SIP destination and register to a Vida account with any VoIP phone. So I don't know if you got one of those little polycom phones on your desk, you got like, a VoIP app on your mobile phone or something like that that can actually register to Vida today, and you can make and receive calls from that. It hasn't been productized well, but that's definitely a piece of the vision.
Kevin Rooke - 00:05:37:
Very cool. So let's give listeners a better understanding of the overall vision here. If that's one piece, what is Vida's mission? What are you guys trying to solve here? Because you have a few different products right now.
Lyle Pratt - 00:05:49:
So the vision is to create an open access communications network, communications platform, communications API where spam doesn't exist. And those two things, open access and spam in most networks today, go hand in hand because you can't really provide an open access without having spam. The only way to do it is to insert some sort of market mechanism or some price mechanism to discourage or disincentivize communication that nobody wants. Vida today, we're bootstrapping this network by providing sets of tools and services and APIs that facilitate the instant settlement of communication via Lightning. And today this looks like paid audio, paid video calls, messages, live streams. But later it will be a lot more. And I hope that Vida is broadly successful enough to serve as an example to the rest of the world and to the rest of communication apps and services of what is possible when your money no longer has velocity constraints, when you're not dealing with debt money anymore. And I hope that it serves as a conduit to introduce tons of people to Bitcoin and the Lightning Network in a tangible way. It may seem a little weird that right now Vida is a link page product or has link page features and that it does so many consumer facing things. But if you think about it, it's not all that weird because every network needs a directory, every network needs a discovery mechanism. And your Vida page just functions as your public page for finding you and your rate on the network, just like a paid phone book, but in a more familiar and applicable format. You can't just bootstrap a network with nothing. If you build it, they will come isn't a real strategy. You have to have lots of nets that catch potential network participants by providing value and utility to real people. And basically what I'm saying is our vision for Vida is facing a classic chicken or the egg problem. That's a very difficult problem to overcome when you're building a product. You can't just build something and expect it to succeed. So our initial strategy is to build products and services for creators that let them pull their existing audiences onto the Vida network by providing tools that help them monetize those audiences. A lot of our upcoming features are focused on that, including our plan to give every Vida user a virtual phone number as one example, but plans later on down the line, revolve around us letting people integrate with the network, build applications on the network, API products, all sorts of things like that. So that's the big 50,000 foot view.
Kevin Rooke - 00:09:10:
Nice. Now, there have been a few attempts at building, I guess, paid messaging products in the past. I remember, I believe it was 21, 21.co or 21. They eventually spun out into Earn.com. I think they were acquired by Coinbase. There were a few of these ideas that were really promising and it felt like we were there, and then it kind of just didn't live up to that hype. What is it about Vida's architecture or Vida's technology today that makes this the right time to build a product like this and to allow anyone to do paid messaging? Is it? The Lightning Network. Is that the big unlock? Is it something else? How do you think about why some of these past iterations haven't succeeded and why Vida will?
Lyle Pratt - 00:09:59:
Yeah, that's a great question, one that I thought about quite a bit. I think, as with most things, there's a few answers to this question. There's a few reasons why. I think the most obvious reason why is that the early attempts were just too early. But today we have lots of examples of success of this model. In some ways you could consider them competitors with what Vida is today, but I think that is a short lived thing. Today we have Intro.com, we have Cameo, which now offers paid messaging in a way you can think of Only Fans as a similar product, paid communication. These apps are succeeding in the market today and they're serving as a great validation of the concept of paid communication. Paid but open access communication. And we are trying to build similar tools that make this a standard and that make it easy for anyone to use or integrate. Like if you think about Intro today, it's a gated website that has a review process for creating an expert account. An expert account is just basically an account that can get paid. We're not trying to do that. We're trying to build a network, a set of standards that any app can integrate with. We're trying to build SIP 402 and HTTP 402 and that wasn't possible until the Lightning Network came around. That wasn't possible until instant settlement existed. Because without Instant Settlement all these products are forced to become walled gardens and they don't look anything like networks. And if you don't have any kind of way to trustlessly interconnect with the network for paid communication, then there is no network, there is no participants that can pay each other directly and use the network services as network services. Hope I'm making sense. But basically what this means is that there's a lot more features and more tools and more ways to interconnect coming, more nets to capture network participants. It's probably a little hard to spot the difference at this point, but things will become more clear as we release these API products and services and make it easier for folks to programmatically leverage and interconnect with that network.
Kevin Rooke - 00:12:26:
Interesting. I want to explore the use for payments in reducing spam and maybe one way to start this is why are payments the tool that you're trying to use to cut out spam? Are there other tools, are there social measures that could be used instead? What makes money the right tool for this job?
Lyle Pratt - 00:12:50:
Yeah, of course there are social measures to reduce spam. That's essentially how all of the apps work today, right? It's just that if you want public accessible communication, in other words, if you want to be able to be reached by someone you don't know without an intro, which is a social connection, then you have no way to filter who is serious and who is a bot. I don't think there is a better way than a market pricing mechanism. And the thing is, it doesn't have to be a lot. I'm not saying you have to charge $5 per message, it could be a cent, but that is enough to discourage a bot for messaging you. My reasoning behind it, I think that there's a lot of ways to attack spam, but I think there needs to be a market pricing mechanism to create signal from the noise and there's millions of applications out there for facilitating free communication and free access. I don't think they're going to go away. I don't think that your mom is going to start messaging you paying to message you on Vida. But if you want to be contacted cold contacted by someone and you're interested in receiving that type of communication or monetizing your time in that way, then Vida is going to provide tools to facilitate that.
Kevin Rooke - 00:14:32:
That's fascinating. Just the idea of having a market price for your time. I think right now that is such a foreign concept to so many people. They've been so used to giving it away for free on the internet that like, oh my data is worth something, my time is worth something. No way. They almost don't believe it. How do you convince people to get on board with this? What are some of those like challenges in getting people to recognize that their time is valuable? Maybe it's only a penny, maybe it's only $0.10 or a dollar or whatever, but that there is a value there in your time.
Lyle Pratt - 00:15:11:
Yeah, I mean it looks different for different kinds of people. For creators, people are part of the creator economy. It's kind of obvious because they're getting inundated by unsolicited communication all the time and so they're looking for tools that help them separate the signal from the noise. For people without such large followings it is currently a more difficult sell because for the reasons you just said, and I think it's a part of the equation is creating tools that let you continue to receive communication from the people that you expect to receive communication from. For example, from people in your contact, address book in your phone already like you expect them to just be able to call you. But for anyone else who tries to call you they hit a pay wall that says, hey, if you really want to talk to me then you have to go through this mechanism and there are no solutions like that that exists today but it's a solution that could provide value to any number of people in the world.
Kevin Rooke - 00:16:28:
Did you consider the value for value model at all in this process of figuring out how to monetize time? And if so, what was the downside of that value for value approach that led you to this pay first model that you're using today?
Lyle Pratt - 00:16:49:
Well, I think that there's a lot of downsides. For example, when it comes to let's take the old Earn.com model where you could request, you could essentially request someone's time and you only paid if they sort of accepted your invitation. Right? But what is that request? The request is an email message hitting your inbox that requires your time and attention to decide if you even want to look at it. Right. In a way it's another form of unpaid unsolicited contact. And that kind of defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to build, which is, look, if you want to send me a message, if you want to distract me and have me look at it, then there has to be a cost to do that. So if you're actually going to have an open access network that any other application can integrate with, you can't have these gated payment flows. It has to happen at the time that the communication happens. I don't know if I'm specifically answering your question about value for value. I mean, I'm a big fan of the value for value movement. I think Vida fits into that movement in a lot of ways. So I'm personally kind of excited about that.
Kevin Rooke - 00:18:06:
Yeah, that makes sense. Do you foresee advertisers using Vida in this way where if I'm not a creator and if I don't necessarily have a lot of people requesting my time and constantly being inundated with messages, maybe advertisers want to target me still, right? Is that something that falls into the Vida vision here where an advertiser can reach out and say, hey, I would love to tell you about my new product for $0.15. Take a look.
Lyle Pratt - 00:18:39:
Yeah, I guess with the model that we're creating, I would say it's impossible to exclude an advertiser willing to pay your rate. Like if you're getting contacted too much, then you need to raise your rate, right? There is a market equilibrium for your time and attention. There is one for mine, there is one for everyone. That's how markets work. So, yeah, I absolutely think that if Vida continues to grow and we have a lot of users that advertisers want to talk to, then advertisers will use it in that way. I mean If you compare a situation like you're an enterprise sales guy, you're trying to contact somebody to sell enterprise software to and you're trying to target this guy that works in Cisco or something like that, old school enterprise software company, you can spam them with LinkedIn ads and Facebook ads and try to sort of target them. But what if you could just call them, pay $100, talk to them? That would be a totally economical and reasonable thing to do if the opportunity existed. But there's about a thousand steps that need to be taken before we get to that point and we're unlike SIP 3.
Kevin Rooke - 00:20:03:
Fair enough. Early days as I think more about like what the world might look like if money is this kind of gate separating people who don't know each other, are there any negative, like, social impacts here? Anything you're trying to worrying about or trying to avoid when designing this product? Because part of me sees this as tremendously valuable, where I can now monetize my time. And another part of me sees, is this going to change the relationships I have with people? Because now it's a very transactional feeling like you must pay X amount of dollars to get 1 second of my attention. How do you get around the feeling of being transactional and some of the consequences there?
Lyle Pratt - 00:20:57:
Yeah, honestly, I don't think too much about that and here's the reason why. Because people are going to use the apps that they want to communicate with the people that they want to communicate with. Like I said before, there's already thousands of different messenger apps that you can use to talk to someone for free. That is the standard today, right? If somebody has your contact information on one of those apps, they can contact you, they can spam you. And so what I'm trying to do is provide an alternative to replace the need for a formal introduction, to replace the need for a social introduction before someone can reach out to you. So as an example with let's say you're using our Twitter bot that responds to your Twitter DMs and says, hey, I don't often check my non follow DM inbox because I get so much spam. But if you want to get my attention then you can message me here on Vida. There's nothing preventing you from switching over to Signal the moment you talk to them or accepting their Twitter request. There's absolutely nothing preventing you from doing that. And I think a lot of users will use the product like that. Some other types of users where they are using the product for more transactional style services are going to have longer form conversations or they're going to jump on a paid video call. Our goal is to provide the tools and the network capabilities to facilitate those interactions and to not necessarily tell users how they should be interacting with the various people they encounter. This is going to become even more true as we roll out more network level and API level services.
Kevin Rooke - 00:22:51:
Interesting. Now you've talked about a couple of the use cases for messaging. Like if it's I want to connect with someone on LinkedIn or something, I don't want to spam them with a bunch of messages or I'm trying to reach someone, maybe I don't even know who they are and I just really want to get in front of them. Are there any edge cases that you think are going to be really cool use cases that people haven't really tuned into yet or maybe unintuitive today?
Lyle Pratt - 00:23:18:
Yeah, I guess I can talk about one of the features that we're testing with some streamers right now and that is paid messages that get overlaid on live streams on other platforms. So imagine you're streaming on Twitch and you want to offer your users a way to do a paid Q and A or just interact with the stream in some way and you want it more prominently focused, prominently displayed on your stream. That's not like your typical sort of chat that gets embedded in your stream. Sometimes that just turns into spam fest like everything else. So this is an example of a way to use Vida to allow your viewers on your twitch streams to interact with your chef. And the way it works is we're going to have an overlay that works with OBS and other streaming software and when we detect that overlay is being used when somebody lands on your Vida page, it's going to say, hey, post a message to the live stream cost XYZ and we filter profanity for stuff. We filter for personally identifiable information, types of things you wouldn't want showing up on the live stream, but all that's built in. But it uses the same messaging flow and API behind the scenes. This is a good example of a way that we're going to let other people sort of ride on top of our functionality via APIs, but with the same sort of paid messaging flow. It's just a paid message that ends up somewhere slightly different than in your normal inbox. Same type of flow is going to be used for audio and video. Like you will be able to join a live stream via video or join via audio kind of like you would in the old days when you call into a radio show, except it comes a new monetization tool that any creator can use and it benefits Vida because it pulls in existing creator audiences into the Vida network.
Kevin Rooke - 00:25:21:
I see. So in the example of the streamer, the stream is being paid for already, right? You're streaming per minute and then if you want to add in an additional comment or something like that or a question, you can pay a flat fee for that set by the creator, right?
Lyle Pratt - 00:25:37:
Kevin Rooke - 00:25:39:
Very interesting. This brings up something that I've been thinking about with this shift. We've had to remote work in the last couple of years. You remember like in 2020 every like conference shut down and all these business and networking events which are like really high value have just disappeared and there's been this like sometimes people do remote conferences and things like that but it's still TBD, I think how those are going to be monetized. But this seems to be like a really compelling use case for that where if I want to host a conference, I could do a remote conference, invite anyone from all over the world and say, hey, here's the fee, it's a dollar per minute or something and if you want to tune in for all 6 hours of the conference day, well, it's $360 or something. If you want to tune in for five minutes to listen to your favorite speaker, that's $5. And it strikes me as like it could be a use case where Vida could almost eat that conference budget. It's a billion dollar industry around the world.
Lyle Pratt - 00:26:53:
Yeah, absolutely. This is a good example because it's one of many ways that one of the tools that Vida is providing can be used to monetize the time and attention of a new audience. It's not necessarily the use case that you would think of to use the first time you land on Vida, but it's absolutely a use case that our software and our APIs and our network enables. And there's no reason why you can't use Vida to accomplish that. And it's like one of a thousand different use cases and I don't even know which ones are going to gain traction first. But by the way, if you're organizing a conference and want to talk about this, hit me up on Vida because it's a great idea. But this comes back to where we're trying to create a series of useful communication tools that let you monetize any kind of real time media, whether that's audio, video, messaging or live streams. And as we open up our network level services and APIs, there's going to be all sorts of stuff like that built on our platform, entire products built on top of our platform that target niche use cases like that that we may not be explicitly targeting ourselves, even though this is probably when we should.
Kevin Rooke - 00:28:24:
Yeah, and then the ability to split out payments too, I think could be really compelling, where if I have a conference and I invite maybe there's ten speakers that are showing up and participating during that day, can each of those ten get a portion of the funds that get blasted through Vida? Is that something that you're looking through?
Lyle Pratt - 00:28:47:
Yeah, that's been a pretty common request. Like the ability to split payments specifically on streams. It's definitely something I want to do, but there are challenges related to split payments when it comes to facilitating it for non custodial users. We haven't talked about this much on this podcast so far, but Vida, it's possible to connect to Vida account to your own Lightning Node via LN Bits and it's possible to connect your Vida account to a strike account so that any money you receive goes straight to your strike account. We're rolling out more integrations like that. Talking to folks at Swan, we are coming out with a cool API. We've already integrated with open node. It's not available in the UI yet, but it is totally possible behind the scenes. And because we want to be able to integrate with other parts of the Lightning Network, whether that's another platform or just a wallet, it makes it hard to do things like split payments. Why? Because a flip payment, unless you are willing to sit in the middle of a payment and then disperse it programmatically across all the receivers, it's hard because the paying sender has to send however many number of payments there are to the participants who are receiving them behind the scenes. In other words, there's no sort of native Lightning way to take one payment and view it across a whole bunch of different endpoints at fixed percentages. So I guess what I'm saying is that functionality right now would probably require you to use Vida custodially, which perhaps that's a decision you want to make, but I wish there was a way to facilitate things like that entirely non custodially so that we didn't have to sit in the middle of those payments if either party didn't want us to.
Kevin Rooke - 00:30:47:
Right. So the plan is over time is the plan over time to get to the point where Vida can be noncustodial. And maybe there's a couple of technical requirements that need to be built into the Lightning protocol to enable that for split payment.
Lyle Pratt - 00:31:01:
Specifically, I mean, Vida can be used noncustodial today. You can connect your Vida account to an LN Bits server that you're running alongside your Node or uncle uncle Jim selling this server. As we like to say, that's really cool because it means that any payments you send so let's imagine you have your account connected to Strike and I've got my account connected to LN Bits. Whenever I send you a message or call you, those payments are going straight to your Stripe account. For my Node, Vida is not touching them at all. So that's really important. The same thing would be if you had an Elm Bits account. Our node would be sending those payments back and forth directly to one another. Vida doesn't have to touch the flow of those funds. So that means that we don't have to enforce KYC restrictions on you if you're a custodial user. We're at the very beginnings of how this would work. But I hope that the technology continues to evolve such that it's easier to build applications like that and it's more common to be able to connect an existing Lightning wallet that you may have to a product or service. Although there are some technical challenges with building things like that today, unfortunately.
Kevin Rooke - 00:32:24:
Right. One of the things that has been top of mind for me lately has been how can payment splits be used for onboarding users and kind of like referrals. Right. I think one of the best Web two referral marketing programs is with Amazon and they have this program for a while, they had a 90 day cookie on your browser, so anything you bought went to you. And now I think it's 24 hours. So if I send you an Amazon link with my code in it, anything you buy on Amazon the next 24 hours is credited to me. But there's still this issue of fiat payment processor. You don't get a payout until you hit $50 or $100 or whatever. It could be months from now. And I think Lightning kind of unlocks a lot of that capability. And you guys actually have a rewards program or referral program. It's quite interesting. Can you explain for listeners exactly how that works?
Lyle Pratt - 00:33:31:
Yeah, well, I guess just talk about it broadly first. Again, we have a chicken or the egg problem we are trying to solve with our product and you have to give people an incentive to. Join the network and to help grow the network. Why? Because building a consumer network, a consumer app is hard. So you need every advantage you can possibly muster. And so creating these incentives to encourage people to share Vida and to use Vida is really important. And so we decided to build an incentive mechanism like that directly into our product as a first class citizen and we call it Vida Partners. It's pretty simple. Basically if you bring someone on the network and what do I mean by that? I mean if somebody lands on your Vida page and signs up on your page or messages you first or calls you, you get credit for that person joining the network. We also offer ref links and things that do something like a 30 day cookie if you want to use it that way. But it works out of the box by default. Like if you're the first person somebody contacts on the network you get credit for them joining the network. So why does that matter? Basically any of the spending or earning that that user does on the network in the future you get a cut of that. A very significant cut. In fact, 100% of Vida's fees are dumped right back in to our Partners program. In fact, the Partners program is the reason why the fee structure exists the way it does so that we have a funding mechanism that pays for itself to encourage the network to grow. So yeah, it's built directly into the product. There's a concept of tier one and tier two referrals. So you can get referrals of your referrals kind of like I hesitate to say this but kind of like an MLM and it can be extremely valuable. I mean, imagine you're a creator. Imagine you're a twitch streamer and you tell another twitch streamer friend about Vida, about using our paid overlays. Well you're going to get credit for bringing that new creator on the platform and anything they earn going forward you're going to get residual revenue from. And it's funded by the audience of that creator. So you could really earn a significant amount of bitcoin by using the partner program in this way. And as you alluded to before, the earnings are accrued into your account instantly and you can withdraw them at any time. You can see who exactly you're earning from, who exactly your tier one and tier two referrals are who is contributing the most to your rewards earnings. So all of that is built directly into the product. And that's also true for future API and network level integrations that other people might build. If you build an app. Let's use the conference, the streaming conference use case as an example. Imagine you built an entire product to facilitate that use case for that market and you build it on top of the Vida network. You're going to be earning percentages of all the fees generated from that traffic directly into your app without having to do anything. So it's built at the network level. Every single message, every single call, every single stream pays into this rewards pool.
Kevin Rooke - 00:37:22:
Very cool. I think the idea of Lightning payments and being able to split everything up instantly is going to just unlock a ton of new experimentation in this affiliates or reward system. It's a tool to just like your time has value. Your introductions to new products also has value. Like, even if I share a Vida link and someone clicks on Vida for the first time, maybe there's a small reward for that. You can incentivize these little tiny actions. Or if I get someone to follow Vida's Twitter account or these kind of things, I imagine over time will be monetized in the same way, where it's not just the person who gets someone to go all the way through the funnel to make a purchase or to sign up and pay on Vida, every single person along that chain can now participate. If you somehow help some user get a little bit closer to being a Vida user, you could benefit from that.
Lyle Pratt - 00:38:29:
Kevin Rooke - 00:38:30:
Looks like a lot of different possibilities there.
Lyle Pratt - 00:38:32:
Yeah. You mentioned one thing, and this is something we've been testing, but on your Vida page you can click on analytics and you can see stats like who has visited your page, how many unique views has your page received, who's clicking on which links on your page. And we have experimented with essentially giving sats rewards for every unique visitor that lands on your page. Clearly there has to be some sort of constraints and restrictions so you just don't get your page bought, you give it away for free. But I'm also really interested in that mechanism. Like you say, it's not just about rewarding someone for finishing the whole race, but it's for starting it as well.
Kevin Rooke - 00:39:21:
Yeah. Is there a way to take this too far? You mentioned the analogy of MLM and some of the marketing schemes and stuff like that and we've seen it in the past with affiliate marketing. It's kind of gotten a bad rep for sometimes enabling and kind of like incentivizing kind of spamming behavior online. Is there a way to take this kind of like, referral system too far?
Lyle Pratt - 00:39:49:
Absolutely there is. And it's definitely one of the challenges for building a program like this. One of the challenges is just sort of controlling the messaging about the product and the brand. Like, once you release an affiliate program into the wild, you are subjecting yourself to the pitches of potentially millions of users that don't understand your product well or have a different story about your product than you necessarily want to get out there. So providing sort of guidance and material to help set the narrative for your affiliate community is really important, but there's no way to get around the downsides completely and honestly at this point, the entire thing is an experiment. We are casting a lot of broad nets into the market with a set of broadly usable and applicable tools. And whichever ones catch users and the users tend to like, we're going to invest more. But I will tell you that the Vida Partners program has been something that is very interesting to the streamers and the creators that we talked to because it's a way for them to generate recurring revenue from an audience. And the audience doesn't pay anything for this. They don't pay anything extra for it. It's not any extra drag on them. All they're doing is interacting with the creator in ways that they normally would and that's really important.
Kevin Rooke - 00:41:27:
I hope you're enjoying the show so far. I just want to give a quick shout out to our sponsor, Voltage. Voltage is the industry standard for Lightning Network infrastructure, creating layer two applications and services. On top of bitcoin starts with Voltage, where you can spin up nodes, get access to liquidity, optimize your node and much more. Voltage is leading the way as the next generation provider of Lightning Network infrastructure. And if you want to get a free trial and start using Voltage today, you can do so at Voltage Cloud. Now, so far you've got a bunch of different products. We talked about a few of them. Are there any particular ones that you've seen a lot of adoption with so far or a lot of traction on? I know you guys used to have a dashboard on the first version of Vida before your latest redesign and I believe at one point I saw there was like 8 million sats that had been sent through the platform. The number is probably higher now, but where's that money coming from? What are those products that are really getting adoption today?
Lyle Pratt - 00:42:29:
Yeah. The vast majority of sats on the network so far have been for paid messages. Second would be live streams and distant. Third would be paid audio and video calls. There's a number of things that we're doing to sort of adjust the experience for paid audio and video calls to sort of see if we can find some better product market fit with those things. But the network is growing. We've got thousands of people from all over the world that have signed up for our completely free Link page product that does everything that Linktree does except it has built in monetization tools that anyone can benefit from. So we're definitely growing. Another thing that's gaining a lot of traction are these stream overlay tools that we've been testing privately so far with creators. But we're very excited about those things because as we discussed, it's the same messaging flow. It's just your messages delivered in a slightly different medium. Yeah, I mean, there's been tens of millions of sats sent on the network and the only direction is up.
Kevin Rooke - 00:43:46:
Love it. Let's dig into your experience so far in building on Lightning specifically for any developers out there listening or for people who have been interested in building new products on Lightning. What has your experience been like because you have built products in a past life outside of Lightning? How does that relate to the challenges you're seeing today in building on Lightning?
Lyle Pratt - 00:44:09:
Yeah, well, the simple parts of Lightning are kind of magical. I mean, the first time you build an application that can request to pay an invoice programmatically and value is just instantly zapped across the Internet. That is kind of a mind blowing thing. It's instantly zapped across the internet. There's nobody that had to approve an application. You spin up a Lightning node, you get one channel in, and you can accept payments from 100 million Cash App users. That is an incredible innovation and it's one that thousands of Lightning developers are going to continue to build on going forward. But there are definitely still challenges with building products on top of the Lightning Network that people want to use. My opinion is that we need more ways to facilitate applications to connect and use your node. That's relatively easy today or somewhat easy today on the receiving side because we have things like Bolt Twelve and things like LN-URL, but it's really hard on the spending side. And unfortunately, a lot of the ideas for applications like, for example, Fountain that streams that they need to be able to spend, right? They need programmatic access to spend from a user's node or wallet directly. Unfortunately, as Lightning is designed, every time you spend, you have to sign a transaction and there's not a lot of good ways to give an application like Vida access to spend from your wallet with limits, with limitations such as this app can only spend $50 a month and anything more than that is not allowable. Right. There's a lot of talk about ways to get around that, like account based Macaroons. There's ideas that you could generate a Macaroon, which is essentially a key to access and spend from your Node if it had these limits, but nothing is really widely deployed or available out there. That's one of the reasons why we are using LN Bits as our sort of path to do that today. Because it's a service that you can run alongside your Node, you can put a limited balance in an account that we have access to spend from, but we can't access anything more than what is in that wallet specifically given to us to use on your behalf on Vida. So that's like one of the biggest challenges out there. I feel like. I would say we desperately need a solution for it because every other person building an application on the Lightning Network, using the Lightning Network is going to encounter the same problem.
Kevin Rooke - 00:47:20:
Right? And so for today, the only solutions available now, or you have to use a custodian or some kind of third party to set a limit and then you talk to that third party rather than talking to the node. You mentioned a couple of possible solutions people were thinking about if you were in charge of solving this problem or if you could unilaterally make this decision on how to make this functionality available for Lightning Node, what would your thought process be? How would you approach that?
Lyle Pratt - 00:47:53:
Yeah, I mean, it's a difficult problem, which is why there is not a widely deployed solution. But I think I would go the route with the account based Macaroons where no implementations need to have an accounting system built in that is standard with every nodes, where you can generate a macron or essentially an API key that has these spending limits or whatever limits you envision. You could even have time based limits where you can only make one spending request an hour or something like that. Whatever limits the application needs, you should be able to sort of ask the user to generate an access Macaroon with those limits in place and then have the user be able to safely give it to the service in order to spin from those according to those limits that you set. There's other problems with that, such as accessibility to the Note itself, for example, maybe you're running Raspberry Pi in your house and you're behind a Nat, you're behind a router in your home and it's kind of hard to have reliable access from a third party application like Beta to that without using something like Tor, which is unreliable in and of itself. So there's other things to solve, there's other pieces of the puzzle, but that would be generally how I would approach it. Running some software alongside your Node, like LN Bits, which is awesome, it's cool, but it's going to have the same adoption hurdles as every other software. So that's why I think it needs to be sort of a core part of the underlying Lightning Node implementation if we want users to use services like this noncustodially. And until we have that, my opinion is that we're not going to see a lot of noncustodial applications being built.
Kevin Rooke - 00:49:58:
Do you think it's realistic to expect this noncustodial option to be like the hub for most users that play around with different Lightning apps? And when I mean the hub, I'm thinking like of receiving payments all to this one node in this one wallet that's like it's cohesive everyone knows here's all the funds that I got for today from my 15 different apps and then also for accounting and keeping track of how much you're earning. I feel like an important thing that I've started to experience very recently with creating and Lightning content and all this value for value stuff, but still probably isn't a big issue for a lot of people experimenting and earning ten Sat here and there for playing a game or something like that. Do you think it's realistic, I guess, to expect that node to offer this solution for everyone, because it still seems to be a pretty technical.
Lyle Pratt - 00:50:57:
Yeah, I think it's realistic, but we have a lot of work to do, right? If you are gaining use of your application for only users that have nodes like this, your application is not going to get used, unfortunately, at least not widely used, right? So it's going to be a story about offering users options, offering them products and services that they want and can use out of the box immediately, and then showing them why they should take the extra step to use it in this other way. Non custodially, maybe one incentive like that is KYC. So, for example, if you touch user funds, unfortunately, in the United States, you're pretty much forced to eventually implement KYC restrictions. Well, we don't want to have to do that for everyone if they don't want us to. And part of the big problems today is that you're forced to spew your information across 100 different products and services that transfer value. That's not ideal. It would be better if you could trust a single entity or your own node with your information rather than having to give it to us again as yet another one to give your information to. So I think it's about giving users options to onboard in an easy way so that they can understand how they're going to get value from these products and services that are being built and then holding their hand to take the next step to say, oh, you don't want to give us your information. There's an easy option. You can just connect to your swan account or you can connect to your own note at home if you're already running these things. And hopefully over time, we're creating better software and better capabilities for people to more easily run and connect a node. But it's going to be a hard slog and expecting it to just sort of happen is a mistake because again, if you build it, they will come is a lie, right? You have to show people why it's better to do it this way. And that's true for Lightning and Bitcoin, just like everything else in the world.
Kevin Rooke - 00:53:24:
What are your thoughts on Login with Lightning? And this is a feature I've seen deployed with a few different apps in the space. I think Stacker News has it. LN Markets has it. I think there's a few others. Is this going to be a standard you think that everyone's going to adopt? And kind of to your point about having to fill in information constantly on every single app you use, does it make sense for the node to be the tool that people use to log into different apps?
Lyle Pratt - 00:53:53:
Yeah, I think it does in a lot of ways, especially if it's like a node first product like LN Markets is a good example, right? It runs specifically and interfaces with your node and that's basically all it does. Right. I think it's a great option for things like that, but it's a poor option if you're trying to build a product that anyone in the world can use to understand why Lightning's real time settlement capabilities are important and useful. I'm a little bit skeptical that it's going to become a standard anytime soon, mainly because the benefits don't really outweigh the cost unless you're just really privacy focused and don't want any other information about the user other than a puppy to send money to. Essentially, I think that signing in with email accomplishes a lot of the same things. You can sign in with an email address without providing any extra information and it's a UX flow that people are used to and that doesn't require a user to have a node running. So I'm a fan of it and I want it to succeed in the long term. But building products is about accepting reality and doing what your users are willing to do and helping them do those things rather than forcing new patterns on them that they don't necessarily understand. So as a Lightning geek, I love it. As a product I'm trying to build to introduce a billion people to Bitcoin. It's difficult.
Kevin Rooke - 00:55:37:
Yeah. Now, having built products before Bitcoin as well, and building Vida now, is there any other product advice you can share with Lightning builders tuning in today? Like, if you're building a product, what do people misunderstand about Lightning today? What are people under indexing on? Just any piece of advice for builders?
Lyle Pratt - 00:55:59:
Yeah, I think that it would help if we were all a little more realistic about what new users are willing to do. Building products is about showing, not telling, and definitely not forcing. Right. So it's hard enough to catch Lightning in a bottle with a consumer app or product and generate use. Any additional hurdle or barrier you have is going to essentially prefilter your potential user base. We have to I mean, in my opinion, if we want to create broadly accessible and broadly used products and services, we have to help users on board and join and then show them the benefits of using Lightning natively and show them the benefits of real time settlement and then let them choose to reap those benefits. For example, with creators, we need those creators asking users to fund their balances with Cash App so that they get their money instantly versus other platforms like Cameo or something like that, where you have to wait because of debt money and credit card fraud. We have to help users understand the value of Bitcoin and reap the benefits of Bitcoin and we can't create gates that they have to step through in order to see those because it just simply doesn't work. People don't want to do that and that's just reality.
Kevin Rooke - 00:57:46:
Right. Specifically on the creator side of things, are you see any creators that are starting to outperform web two platforms in their earnings on Vida.
Lyle Pratt - 00:58:01:
Yeah, we're seeing the first signs of that. It's still pretty early, but I would say that's probably the number one data point we're trying to track and prove. We want to be able to drill into the number of okay, if you are a Twitch streamer with this size of audience and you use this tool, you're going to on average generate X revenue from your audience. That's super useful for us to pitch our product to creators, but it's also super useful for us to know if we properly identify product market fit while building our startup. Right? Yeah, it's the beginning. We have early signs that it is outperforming, but we have a lot more work to do.
Kevin Rooke - 00:58:55:
Is that going to be the focal point then, do you think, for a lot of people considering switching over to something like Vida or any of the Lightning apps, like how much can I earn? Or are there other benefits that you could use to convince someone to join Vida if you don't outperform their earnings on, let's say, Twitch or YouTube or whatever platform they're using?
Lyle Pratt - 00:59:22:
I think that the best strategy is to not compete with those existing tools that they're using, but to provide additional monetization tools that expand their pie versus compete with existing sources of revenue that they have. So that's our focus and intent and goal. Right. Twitch streamers that are earning from Twitch gifts is what they call them. We're not going to prevent you from doing that. We're going to provide new tools that help you monetize your audience in a new way that expands your revenue pie. So that's our strategy. Again, adding barriers and gates is a losing game. You have to expand the pie for these creators and for the users as well by enabling new experiences that weren't otherwise possible before. In our Vida Product Vida page, where you have a link page and it's supposed to stream stuff is all built in. We have an idea of what Nets are going to catch users and capture value, but we're not going to come up with all of them. And that's why we're also openly offering these services over networks and APIs in the future as well.
Kevin Rooke - 01:00:49:
Yeah, that makes sense. So you're kind of like building on top of the earnings they're already getting from Twitch or YouTube or whatever platform and just offering, hey, here's more money, you don't have to get rid of your first income source here's just another layer. And I think that was something that was pretty smart about the Podcasting 20 movement and I think that got a lot of momentum because of that is like, I share these videos on radio and I share them on podcasts. It's like I don't have to turn off YouTube in order to accept value for value payments. And over time, as I've learned, there have been many months where Podcasting 2.0 revenue has now outpaced YouTube revenue. So it's cool to see that it can outpace, but it doesn't have to eliminate the revenue generated by another platform.
Lyle Pratt - 01:01:41:
Absolutely. Creators, they need new tools. The creator economy is growing. It's not going to stop growing any new monetization tools that help them monetize in new ways. In a way, that's kind of the whole point behind our link page. Your Vida page is your link page. Now, after you do a show, hey, have questions about this, hit up my link page, send me a message now or give me a call. It's a simple thing that's applicable to anybody on the internet. Any creator can use it. It's totally free. All it does is expand the monetization pie for you.
Kevin Rooke - 01:02:20:
Now, just a minute ago you mentioned the topic of capturing value and building Vida and eventually get to the point where you can capture enough value to be a sustainable business. How do you approach that on the Lightning Network where we've discussed this like potential outcome where everyone's on their own node and Vida may not be even in the middle of these payments. How do you think about capturing value in that future?
Lyle Pratt - 01:02:46:
It's pretty simple. We're providing network level software services, right? If me and you have our own node connected to Vida, the payments that we send each other are going to go directly to one another. But Vida also has a network fee rate, which again, currently goes completely into the rewards program, and that is a second payment that happens from the sender. So whoever is sending the communication or making the call or sending the message, that second network fee goes to Vida and gets dispersed along the rewards payment. So that's a mechanism that will work just fine in any future where the users are connecting to our service with their own nodes or with an open Note account. I do think that the fee level will change over time as the market gets more competitive and as the types of network fees change and grow. In fact, we're even thinking about lowering the network fee to something super low like 1% and letting people with Nodes voluntarily contribute to the rewards program. So they're not paying for that if they don't want to. But that's what the world looks like for me. We want users paying us for the value that our network services are providing, that our live streaming, our real time paid livestreaming engine is providing, that our paid messaging API is providing, that our paid video calls are provided. These are services that require infrastructure that we're running in order to facilitate. And we're selling that as software just like anything else.
Kevin Rooke - 01:04:30:
Now, I think you mentioned at the beginning the SIP feature, like if someone can make a call from outside of Vida, are you still earning on that transaction?
Lyle Pratt - 01:04:43:
Yes, and we haven't released the specs on the payment required protocol, but essentially in the signaling between the two parties that are communicating. We send a message that says, hey, it's time to pay the end party. And that contains an invoice and whatever your node is or server that is facilitating that on the other side has to pay it. And then there's the network fee invoice that gets sent as well. And if your communication is being handled by a network level service in the middle, then that service can clearly cut off the communication if you're not paying the network level fee. But essentially it works exactly the same. And again, the reason why we've designed it that way is so that we don't have to sit in the middle of payments offered between two peers. We're just charging for network level services. Does that make sense?
Kevin Rooke - 01:05:41:
Yeah, I think so. Let's say, as an example, if Twitter wanted to offer a paid audio video experience to their users, someone could send an audio message from Twitter to a Vida user, like a Twitter user could send an audio call to a Vida user and Vida would earn for the network level kind of service they provide.
Lyle Pratt - 01:06:10:
Yeah, just like paying for any other API service. It's just sort of built into the negotiation of the communication protocol, if that makes sense. We haven't really talked much about this, but I think there's a big opportunity for Vida in the future in the global telecom world. Telecom fraud and telecom settlement is a massive, massive multi billion dollar a year industry. And right now it relies on tons of trust and tons of middlemen that trust each other. The problem is that sending calls to traditional phone numbers actually cost somebody money behind the scenes. Right? So that's why it's ripe for fraud, because people are paid to actually send traffic to these high cost destinations and the networks are really scared of that being abused. So they're really restrictive about who they actually let interconnect, whether they trust you to pay them and things like that. Well, real time settlement protocols eliminate that entire risk spectrum. If you can guarantee that any minute of communication that is routed is getting paid for, like you know for sure, then you eliminate all of that risk. And that's one of the reasons why we're building this in to a protocol like SIP that's already used by every telecommunications company in the world.
Kevin Rooke - 01:07:37:
Now, is there a trust component still on Vida, though? Do I have to trust that Vida will honor the payment and the message that's going through? If I'm coming from outside of Vida and sending a message or a payment through Vida, there is still some centralization risk there, correct?
Lyle Pratt - 01:07:59:
Yeah, absolutely. Vida is sitting in the middle in this case of the communication that's being delivered from one party to another. They're not sitting in the middle of the payment that is happening between the two parties. Are there going to be completely peer to peer ways to. Facilitate messaging and audio and video? Absolutely. There will be. There are today there's tons of impervious guys are doing some really cool stuff. The key IO guys are doing some really cool stuff. I'm a huge fan. But peer to peer communication has inherent problems with scalability and with discovery and all of the things that we know that it has problems with. And there's still a place in the market for a network level provider that facilitates things like live streams, which requires someone to facilitate the multicasting nature of a live stream. There are some use cases that require a server to be in the middle, and we're going to facilitate those use cases and open them up to APIs. And does that mean that people have to have some level of trust in us? Absolutely. And we take that very serious.
Kevin Rooke - 01:09:22:
Right, okay. So in the context of the telecom industry, the current situation now is that you have to trust payments are going through and trust people to send messages through. And now you don't have to trust that payments are going through.
Lyle Pratt - 01:09:40:
I guess I kind of misunderstood your question. Like, in the scenario that I'm describing, we would license software to these telecom giants that currently have all these intermediaries and essentially let them run the same software that we run to facilitate these payments behind the scenes, except they would be able to do it in their own networks, so we wouldn't have to sit in the middle of that actual communication flow any different. We wouldn't add a new middleman in the communication flow that didn't exist today. We would be removing the six in between, if that makes sense.
Kevin Rooke - 01:10:19:
I see. Okay, so in that sense, it'd be much more like a licensing fee some other telecom provider pays to Vida for the software, and then they get to do with it what they please.
Lyle Pratt - 01:10:30:
Yeah, and if they want to use our network, just plug in. They can. But I don't think that will be a requirement over the long term. Again, that's one of those 3000 step things, and we're unlike step six.
Kevin Rooke - 01:10:46:
Yeah, fair enough. I want to get a better understanding for how important interoperability is for Vida. And maybe one way we can discuss that is through the context of telecom networks today. I don't know much about their interoperability. I understand that there are many participants, but how do all those participants work with one another? Are they operating on a single standard? Are there multiple standards? And then can Lightning be this unifying force that gets everyone on the same level playing field?
Lyle Pratt - 01:11:23:
Yeah. The telecom landscape is a lot like the sort of broader Internet landscape. Like, every website that you encounter is served over HTTP or at least some variation of that. And it's very similar in the global telecommunications landscape. The main program protocol for brokering audio and video communications is Sip, which we've talked about a few times on this call. SIP is a protocol very much like HTTP, except it's for facilitating calls and messages. That's one of the reasons why we built it into our core platform. I mean, Vida is compatible with every telecommunications network in the world today. Are we specifically targeting that market right now? No, we're doing some showing on what is possible before we target them. But it's totally applicable and easily integratable with those existing networks. And I think that's important because it also plays into our vision for opening up these services via APIs. We don't want the Vida website and Vida mobile app to be the only way to interact with the Vida network. We want to be able to let anybody build an application that can send and receive audio and video and streams over the Vida network. And that requires us to integrate with open and accessible protocols that there are other standard libraries for interacting with. So, for example, the audio and video calls on the Vida website use a library called SIP JS, which is anybody could use. It's pretty simple and behind the scenes that SIP JS client is registering with your Vida API credentials. And you could literally today go build a Sift JS app that registered with your Vida API credentials and make calls from your own web page. So it's important that we are not the only ones able to provide clients to interact with the network. Somebody should be able to interact with the network from a soft phone or from some software they've written or from another telecommunications network or whatever. If we're going to achieve our vision of not just being a walled garden, but providing a new way and showing the world how real time settlement can power communications, we have to do it like this.
Kevin Rooke - 01:14:06:
I see. So it's very much building on top of this SIP protocol that already exists. It's already widely adopted, kind of like the discussion that happens often with Lightning on the Web or a new Lightning web. The discussion is like, do we build on HTTP? Do we build on these protocols we already have, or do we try and rework the Web to be built on Lightning? I guess your view here, if I'm understanding correctly, is like the approach you're taking is to build on the protocols that already exist rather than redesign.
Lyle Pratt - 01:14:44:
to me, it's kind of the obvious thing to do. Protocols have inherent weight to them in the market. It's like the same argument that Bitcoin would make about how TCP/IP there's not two TCP/IP. Right. There's one protocol that does one thing really well, and then people build applications and products and businesses on those protocols, and there's not a lot of incentive for anyone to switch from them. And so I personally see a world where the benefits of the Lightning Network is real time settlement capabilities, which literally did not previously exist. People are using the Lightning Network for that specifically, and that gets integrated into tons of other protocols. And what Vida is doing is showing the world specifically how that can be done for real time communications, and we're going to provide the tools to make it easy for other people to do that as well. So if I had to sort of hope about the future, I would say, yeah, eventually, every minute of communication between wholesale carriers and people in the communications business fits across network. In other words, if it moves from one network to another, that is settled via the Lightning Network. And I think it's totally possible, and I think Lightning is the only thing that can do it and that's why it's going to do it. But you can't just jump into that existence. You can't even build a product for that existence yet. You have to show the people that are already working in that industry and running those businesses why it's better to do it like this. You have to build tools, you have to build a network, you have to show and not tell. And that's what we're trying to do.
Kevin Rooke - 01:16:44:
Love to see it. I want to finish this off with a segment I do at the end of every show called The Lightning Round. I got a few rapid fire questions for you. Are you ready for the Lightning round?
Lyle Pratt - 01:16:56:
I hope so.
Kevin Rooke - 01:16:59:
All right, first question. Is there any book that has meaningfully changed your view of the world?
Lyle Pratt - 01:17:09:
Yeah, as a bitcoin, I guess I have to say the bitcoin standard read that way back when, but definitely changed my view of the world and helped me understand how important bitcoin really was beyond a speculative asset. I guess I'll pick that one. I hesitate to say, but I do like a couple of celebs books. Fooled by Randomness is one of my favorites. So I think that people get really confused in their lives about what is random and what happened with intent, and you can't really learn to harness your own sort of intent and a decisive action to change the world without understanding how randomness influences that. So I guess maybe that would be one of my others.
Kevin Rooke - 01:18:13:
I like it. If you could change one thing about bitcoin, what would you change?
Lyle Pratt - 01:18:22:
I don't know. The reason why I'm saying I don't know is because I know that the reason why bitcoin exists the way it does is because of trade offs, very real trade offs. You can't wave a magic wand and make a layer one blockchain scale to the global settlement needs of the world. Right. It doesn't work like that. So I'm going to say there's not really anything specific that I would change about bitcoin. I wish that I had a magic ball to be able to understand which features, if added to bitcoin, would not impact incentives in a negative way. The problem with changing bitcoin is that it's impossible to forecast how it affects the incentives of participants in the future. That's why bitcoin is so conservative. That's why we don't have covenants today, which might be nice, and I can totally see this being beneficial, but I understand why bitcoin is the way it is. And if it were easy to change, then it wouldn't be bitcoin.
Kevin Rooke - 01:19:43:
I like that answer. If you could only hold one asset for the next decade and it could not be bitcoin, which asset would you pick?
Lyle Pratt - 01:19:54:
One asset and it could not be bitcoin. That's a hard one. I'm the type of person that I don't like holding baskets of random stuff. I'm not a stock portfolio person. I think that the whole concept of passive investing is kind of a scam and a lie, and that if you don't understand why you own something and why it's worth owning for a long term, then you probably shouldn't own it. So I guess if I really had to pick something, I would say, I don't know, maybe a business, which is evidenced by what I'm doing now. I'm building another business because it's something that I can intimately understand and I can grow myself, and it's something that benefits myself and the people around me that participate in the vision of the business. So that's my answer.
Kevin Rooke - 01:20:59:
I like it. Well, this has been a great conversation. Thank you so much for taking the time. Where can listeners go to learn more about you and Vida?
Lyle Pratt - 01:21:09:
My Vida Page Vida pageliftrap is the best way to learn about me and to get in. Contact me with me if you have any questions about this podcast, hit me up on my page. If you're a bitcoiner and you don't have a Vida page, what are you doing? You should or you can just hit me up on Twitter too. Awesome.
Kevin Rooke - 01:21:32:
Thanks again for taking the time. Hope we can do it again soon.
Lyle Pratt - 01:21:35:
Yeah, thank you. Sure. Appreciate it. It was awesome. Had a great time.