Seetee Invests In Bitcoin Lightning Company Breez

Norwegian investment company focused on Bitcoin, Seetee, has become the newest investor in the Bitcoin and Lightning company Breez.

Bitcoin payments company Breez has announced that Seetee, the bitcoin-focused subsidiary of Norwegian investment group Aker, has become their newest investor.

“Seetee’s investment shows that they believe Breez can help bitcoin achieve its destiny as a currency and do so in accordance with Bitcoin’s foundational principles of openness, decentralization, and autonomy,” said Roy Sheinfeld, co-founder and CEO of Breez.

Breez is focused on building the network’s payments infrastructure, leveraging the Lightning second-layer network. By providing a seamless and fast Bitcoin experience on top of Lightning, Breez helps users to take advantage of the unique value proposition of Bitcoin – final, unstoppable, uncensorable money.

The Lightning Network is a decentralized scaling solution for Bitcoin that abstracts small transactions between users away from the Bitcoin blockchain. It utilizes smart contracts to settle the final balance of those payments into the Bitcoin “base layer” while ensuring that all transactions abide by the rules of the Bitcoin protocol.

By not requiring the transaction fees or wait times that on-chain Bitcoin transactions typically do, Lightning enables its users to enjoy affordable, fast, and private payments.

Therefore, the second-layer network debunks common criticisms that bitcoin could not scale to be a proper medium of exchange –– an essential property of money. The people of El Salvador, for instance, have already been experiencing the power of Lightning.

And the more Lightning grows, the closer Bitcoin gets to enabling global, peer-to-peer, trustless, instant payments. Seetee sees that potential and is joining the community tighter now after realizing the power of Bitcoin earlier this year. Breez is the first software venture to join Seetee’s portfolio.

“The team at Breez is…building free open-source software that is intuitive and a pleasure to use while respecting the user’s rights,” Seetee said. “Its non-custodial and trust-minimized architecture allows consumers, merchants, content creators, and other peers to transact on the Lightning network quickly and easily. No configuration or expertise required.”


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Human Rights Foundation Donates $210,000 In Bitcoin Ecosystem Grants

The Human Rights Foundation has awarded $210,000 in grants to propel six Bitcoin projects, including developers and Lightning apps.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) Bitcoin Development Fund’s latest round will award a total of $210,000 to three Bitcoin Core contributors, two Lightning Network wallet teams and an Arabic translator.

“This round of gifts will focus on: Bitcoin core development, making it easier to run nodes and making it harder to Sybil attack nodes, wallet optimization for emerging markets, privacy improvements for Lightning apps, [and] expanding arabic language Bitcoin education and translation,” announced HRF Chief Strategy Officer Alex Gladstein.

HRF will award the largest sum to the Bitcoin Core developers Calvin Kim, Dhruv Mehta and Abubakar Nur Khalil –– who will receive $50,000 each.

Kim currently researches ways to scale the Bitcoin base layer with the Utreexo client and has recently shown promising results. With this new grant, Kim will take it a step further and work “towards making Utreexo usable by an end user,” he shared on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mehta will continue working on Bitcoin Core’s security, while Khalil will be working on wallet optimization for his home country of Nigeria.

The Lightning Network app ecosystem will receive two grants, each totaling $25,000. According to the announcement, Sphinx Chat, a Lightning wallet and encrypted messaging service that allows for chatting over Lightning, will use its grant for a new donation interface for humanitarians and activists. And Breez, another Lightning wallet, will dedicate its funding towards bounties to add Tor and NextCloud to its platform and integrate Lightning with Matrix.

Finally, Arabic HODL will use its $10,000 grant to continue translating Bitcoin content into Arabic.


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Breez, Voltage Partner To Offer Lightning Nodes To Podcasters

After its recent integration of a native podcasting network, the Breez Lightning client has announced that it is partnering with Lightning Network node hosting platform Voltage to give podcasters more seamless connectivity to the Layer 2 network.

“While podcasting requires both listeners and podcasters, the two groups have different technical needs, and our mobile Lightning platform (predictably) serves the listeners better than the creators,” Breez’s Roy Sheinfeld explained in an announcement post. “Voltage offers exactly what podcasters need: Lightning nodes with ceaseless connectivity and minimal configuration, which is why Breez has partnered with them to deliver podcaster nodes.”

While Voltage will provide Tor-enabled Lightning nodes that are updating and maintained for Breez podcasters, Breez will ensure that those nodes have one-million-sat channels with sufficient inbound liquidity and successful payment routing. With some of the technical burden of maintaining Lightning nodes and channels out of the way, the goal is to ensure that podcasters can be directly compensated for their content by listeners via the Lightning Network, without the need for intermediary advertising networks.

In the weeks since Breez announced the podcasting network, it has seen enthusiasm from users.

“Adding podcasts to Breez has turned out to be such a big hit with listeners that finding a way to help podcasters get started seemed like a natural — and necessary — extension,” Sheinfeld told Bitcoin Magazine. “Adding our Lightning service provider services to Voltage’s low-config, reliable nodes lets us onboard podcasters with the least friction imaginable. This collaboration is in perfect harmony with our platform’s philosophy.”


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Breez Lightning Client Integrates Native Podcasting Network

The Breez Lightning client now includes a native podcasting network — a major step toward bringing the decentralized economy to podcast creators.

As consumers increasingly turn to podcasts for digestible content, content creators have found the world of podcasting rife with adversarial monetization. Traditionally, creators must rely on advertisements embedded within their podcasts. This not only breaks the natural flow of the content, but encourages podcasters to pander to their advertisers, and not their audiences.

Enter Breez: By integrating the streaming of podcasts with an instantaneous payment system like the Lightning Network, podcast creators become self-sufficient and self-monetized. This is often referred to as “Podcasting 2.0.”

“When we started the Podcasting 2.0 movement, we anticipated Lightning service providers and wallet developers would see the use case of value for value streaming payments,” said Adam Curry, an original champion and long time proponent of podcasting, in an announcement about Breez’s new support for podcasting sent to Bitcoin Magazine. “The whole team at Breez made the vision a reality with their in-app podcast player. This is a game changer for podcasting and Lightning.”

The legacy podcasting industry is largely dominated by centralized services which take large portions of earned ad revenue. By eliminating this extraneous drain on revenue, streamers can reconnect their effort with their earnings. In addition, Podcasting 2.0 encourages creators to reconnect with their audiences, as they become the financial driver of the podcast’s growth rather than advertisers.

“Streaming sats to podcasters is a great example of how we can expand the P2P Lightning economy into many new areas,” Breez CEO Roy Sheinfeld explained in the announcement. “The fact that users carry a Lightning node in their pockets adds a lot of freedom, and it can really improve our overall quality of life.”

The increasing ease with which consumers will be able to directly pay content creators is going to play a large role in the decentralization of the economy. Breez mobilizes this economy via Lightning and Bitcoin, and is leading the charge in offering real alternatives to traditional, centralized streaming platforms. 


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