A Brief Bitcoin History Lesson - Lightning Network

By B18 | B18CCS | 5 Jun 2023

The thought bubble for this post came from the @⚡️Daniela⚡️post discussing UpHold (the not so popular shitcoin casino).

Being a serial commenter from way back we started a conversation about Brave Browser and how the Brave Rewards were originally sent to Uphold.

As we do, we started to get off track and @⚡️Daniela⚡️came back with the comment:

IIRC, the person (Brendan Eich) building Brave wanted to use Bitcoin but didn’t want to implement, at that time, incredibly young LN. Creating another token out of thin air was much easier and I guess, it made him much more rich.

When Life Gives You S40...in Bitcoin!

Brendan Eich Wanted To Use Bitcoin Lightning Network

Didn't know that. 

  • after researching and writing 40+ Brave/BAT posts on Publish0x, never came across that gem 
  • was Lightning Network even a thing in May 31 2017? The date of the Basic Attention Token ICO.
  • 1st July 2017 was the culmination of the Bitcoin Wars and the fight over block size, i.e. Bitcoin Cash was born with a big block.

As we have no interest in using our sats to buy a cup of a coffee in the foreseeable future. So haven't taken much notice of the Lightning Network's development. Maybe one day we will buy that cup of coffee. In the meantime we are still in the stacking stage.


Time to do a DuckDuckGo and see if the timelines stack up. 

The Lightning Network Timeline


  • 2009, the Satoshi Nakomoto 2009 BTC software release, Bitcoin 0.1 included a draft of raw code  code that could be used to update transactions prior to their posting on the blockchain
  • 2013 April 17, Mike Hearn publishes  [Bitcoin-development] Anti DoS for tx replacement   which expanded the Lightning Network concept
  • 2014, French-based ACINQ was founded, creating a Lightning protocol specifically for the network known as Eclair. ACINQ was the first development team to release a mobile Lightning Network wallet
  • 2015 February, the first draft of the original Lightning Network whitepaper, (version 0.5) is released by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja
  • 2015 February 23rd, Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja present the first public presentation of the Lightning Network
  • 2016 January 14th, the updated and more detailed Lightning Network white paper (version is released by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja
  • 2016 Lightning Labs was formed, a Lightning Network development team
  • 2017 May, Blockstream sends first Litecoin Lightning microtransaction of 1 Litecoin satoshi, the first full, secure Lightning payment on a non-test network
  • 2017 May, Basic Attention Token ICO raises 35 million by selling 1 billion BAT tokens. 500 million were keep for the User Growth and Development Pools.
  • early 2018, c-lightning was in production use on the Bitcoin mainnet. The Elements Project development team is a network of GitHub programmers that are actively working on a C-Lightning version of the Lightning Network protocol.
  • July 7, 2019, Brendan on the Lightning Network, "still doesn't work" and "the fees are too damn high"  (reddit thread)


The timeline fits that the Lightning Network had been around long enough for Brendan Eich to be aware of and possibly consider using Bitcoin as the Brave Rewards for the Brave Browser.

Creating a new token definitely would have been easier and alot quicker for the development of the Brave Browser. Given that 2 years later, according to Brendan, the Lightning Network "still doesn't work" and "the fees are too damn high".

As for creating BAT "out of thin air", hey thats why it's called the Magic Internet Money.


The raising of 35 million from the sale of the Basic Attention Token (ICO) provided Brave with the funds needed to develop the Brave Browser. If Bitcoin and the Lightning Network had been used, it would have required other sources of funding e.g. Venture Capital. And we all know that sort of funding comes with strings and fish hooks attached.

As for the creating (premining) 1.5 billion Basic Attention Tokens making Brendan Eich "much more rich". Assuming the innuendo is that Brendan keep some of those newly created BAT for himself.

1 billion BAT was sold in 30 seconds for 35 million $$. Brendan would have had to pay with ETH like every one else. Note ETH was about $180 each back then.

The remaining 500 million BAT was kept for the User Growth Pool (300 million) and Development Pool (200 million). So he would have had to commit fraud to access those funds, as they were clearly earmarked for specific purposes. e.g. the BAT given away through Braves very generous referral program came from the User Growth Pool. One had to be a Dev to access the Development Pool.

Of course there is an indirect link to making Brendan "much more rich". By choosing to premine BAT instead of using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, this has helped the successful development of the Brave Browser. And as a major stakeholder in Brave, Brendan reaps benefit from future value or advertising revenue of Brave.

A Brief Bitcoin History Lesson

more in the series 

A Brief Bitcoin History Lesson - Early Tokens And Inscriptions On the Bitcoin Blockchain

A Brief Bitcoin History Lesson - Satoshi Nakamoto Messages

A Brief Bitcoin History Lesson - The Genesis Block

A Brief Bitcoin History Lesson - The Faucet - 2010






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