Podcasting 2.0: How Adam Curry aims to revolutionize podcasting with the Bitcoin Lightning Network

‘Podfather’ Adam Curry has a promising and revolutionary idea to take podcasting to the next level: Podcasting 2.0. That is a future vision of a decentralized ecosystem for podcasts in which listeners are directly connected to podcasters, based on Bitcoin Lightning Network revenue models. It seems like an ideal use case for bitcoin.

Podcasting 2.0 aims to break the monopoly of centralized podcast platforms, improve freedom of expression and put power and control in the hands of podcasters and their listeners.

Using the financial incentives for developers and a donation model based on direct micropayments via the Lightning Network, a decentralized, independent and self-sustaining ecosystem should emerge.


Podcasts, a type of radio program on the Internet, are hot . For a while it seemed that radio was doomed, but former radio and television host Adam Curry popularized the internet variety at the turn of the century. It earned him the nickname ‘the podfather’. Today, the popularity of podcasts is enjoying its heyday.

For example, one of the most popular podcasts, Joe Rogan’s, has over 100 million listeners every month. Music platform Spotify paid a record amount of more than $100 million last year to convince Rogan to move to their platform.

As elsewhere on the internet, centralization is a growing problem for podcasters. Podcasters are largely dependent on the apps and infrastructure of the big tech giants that control the market. And they increasingly feel compelled to exert their influence, because they are held responsible for the content on their platforms.

Podcasts also depend on third parties for their revenue models. Often, podcasts operate on the basis of donations from enthusiastic fans with enough appreciation to contribute voluntarily. Intermediaries naturally eat part of this, but it is also increasingly common for them to refuse or abruptly stop the service.

It does not seem to be a healthy situation for freedom of expression.

Podcasting 2.0: independent and self-sufficient

With Podcasting 2.0, Adam Curry wants to decentralize the model. In his vision for the future, there is a decentralized and self-sustaining ecosystem where listeners and podcasters connect independently of major tech giants and where donations take place peer-to-peer via Bitcoin’s Lightning Network protocol, without the involvement of third parties.

Above: Click for a short presentation about Podcasting 2.0

It all has to be decentralized, otherwise the old situation will arise again. It is therefore an open source initiative in which everyone can participate. Bitcoin as a decentralized payment method completes the puzzle. It prevents payment providers from being needed and becoming gatekeepers again, but economic incentives can also be built in to make the decentralized ecosystem self-sufficient. After all, Bitcoin is programmable money.

The idea is that 98% of donations will go to the podcaster and the other 2% will benefit the ecosystem. One percent automatically goes to the developers of the app the listener is using as an economic incentive to develop and improve apps. Another one percent automatically goes to the supplier of the podcast index, a kind of list of podcasts to which apps are connected.

This should create a decentralized ecosystem that keeps itself going. He explains it all in a (how could it be otherwise) series of podcasts.

Adam Curry’s main focus is on providing and updating such a podcast index, at podcastindex.org. App developers can develop a podcast app based on that. They don’t have to worry about compiling and maintaining an up-to-date list and can therefore fully focus on the user experience.


One such app is Sphinx.chat, a pre-existing chat application with built-in Lightning Network bitcoin wallet. Sphinx.chat allows users to chat with each other through tiny transactions over the Lightning Network and make microtransactions. That can really be very micro: from 0.00000001 BTC, or 1 satoshi . In euros, this is currently approximately ???????0.00014. So almost nothing. And because it all happens over the Lightning Network, it’s lightning fast.

In addition to the existing functionality, Sphinx.chat will also support Podcasting 2.0. Listeners will be able to search, listen to, chat with the community and make direct donations through the app. A kind of Super Chat for podcasts, but decentralized via the Lightning Network.

As a listener, you decide whether you want to donate and what you think it’s worth. Maybe that’s nothing, but maybe you think it’s worth a thousandth of a cent. Or maybe you even enjoy it so much that you’re happy to make a bigger contribution. It is arranged with the push of a button.

Collectively, donations to popular podcasts usually yield enough to keep going. Thanks to these kinds of new innovations, podcasts may be able to do this completely independently in the future.

Stream money

In the future, functionality may also be added to stream money in exchange for podcasts. Streaming, as in video streaming or audio streaming, means that content is played live and delivered via a ‘stream’ of data. It is actually a lot of separate data packets in a row.

With Bitcoin, and in particular the Lightning Network, it is possible to do the same with money through a successive ‘stream’ of microtransactions. It is one of the more revolutionary and promising innovations of Bitcoin, because it enables all kinds of new revenue models that are not workable in the traditional financial system due to high transaction costs.

For example, you could set up a streaming service with which you pay per second for the content you consume. When the flow of money stops, the content stops too and vice versa. You therefore never pay more than what you use and also not for content that you are not interested in. And all without the privacy concerns and obligations of accounts and subscriptions, because the app you use simply contains a bitcoin wallet under the hood.

Podcasting 2.0 may be the first serious implementation of such a concept. What is particularly special is that the benefits of it may be the first to reach independent podcasters, rather than the big tech giants.

Ideal use case

It seems like a match made in heaven and an ideal use case for bitcoin. Decentralization seems to be an excellent solution to the problem and Bitcoin makes that possible. In addition, podcasts as a content form are extremely suitable for all kinds of other exciting technological innovations.

Podcasts also often have a loyal and enthusiastic community that is happy to go the extra mile to support their favorite podcast. An app that requires no sign-up and allows them to donate directly to their favorite podcaster could just as easily catch on.

Adam Curry’s involvement as an influential podcast pioneer also lends the initiative the necessary appeal. In any case, the initiative seems to have momentum.

So there’s plenty to be excited about. If this works for podcasts, it might work for video and other types of content as well. It could just be the beginning of a whole new era, in which all sorts of things are suddenly possible again. And not just for large companies, but for individual content creators.

Adam Curry is a Bitcoin maxi

Adam Curry is best known in the Netherlands as a former radio and television presenter. His name is often mentioned in the same breath as podcasting internationally and on the internet. Less known, however, is that he is also an avid Bitcoiner.

He said during a podcast with Joe Rogan that he has not always been that way and that he used to be a fierce opponent. He had once received some bitcoins from people, but he didn’t believe in them and sold them shortly afterwards. Over time, he’s changed his mind, and not just a little bit.

He now believes that the financial system is in very bad shape due to problems caused by money creation and inflation and that Bitcoin offers a way out. He doesn’t mince words: “The apocalypse is coming and you’re going to need a bitcoin. At least one,” he told Rogan.

He does not believe in other crypto currencies. According to him, the past ten years have shown that Bitcoin is the only one that cannot be manipulated.

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