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Jager said it’s always been possible to add extra data to lightning payments. But a recent change to lightning’s specifications has standardized how this built-in messaging system works, so lightning network software remains compatible.
There are other technologies that can be used to decentralize messaging, Jager said, but he argues there are some advantages built into lightning that other apps don’t have.
“Lightning is not the only way to decentralize this, but it does have the advantage that it is also a payment network,” he said. “Running any sort of centralized or decentralized service costs money and with lightning it is easy to pay for that on a per-message basis.”
It’s hard for chat platforms and social networks to achieve “network effects,” whereby they become exponentially more useful as more people use them. But twinning payments and messaging might help lightning
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