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Lightning Labs Enables AI to Hold, Send, and Receive Bitcoin with New Tools

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / 24K-Production

Blockchain infrastructure company Lightning Labs has unveiled a set of developer tools that enable the integration of Bitcoin (BTC) with AI applications and Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT

The company, which develops software that powers the Lightning Network, said these new tools are intended to promote the development of global, inclusive, and cost-effective LLM tooling that seamlessly incorporates Bitcoin and Lightning, according to a recent blog post

The tools are built on the L402 protocol, a Lightning native authentication mechanism, and Langchain, a widely-used library that simplifies working with AI agents by augmenting them with external data for enhanced functionality. 

The suite of tools includes LangChainBitcoin, which empowers Langchain agents to directly interact with both Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

The first feature offered by LangChainBitcoin is the LLM Agent BitcoinTools, which harnesses the power of OpenAI’s recently launched GPT function calls. 

These tools enable developers to design agents that can hold some BTC, both on-chain and on Lightning, and facilitate Bitcoin transactions on the Lightning Network. 

Additionally, developers can directly use a Lightning Network Daemon (LND) node to drive these agents.

Another tool introduced is the L402 HTTP API Traversal, a Python wrapper for LangChain’s LLM chain (APIChain)

This facilitates seamless access to L402 payment-metered APIs for agents, enabling them to transparently interact with externally provided services.

Aperture, the latest release, complements the toolset as a drop-in reverse proxy server implementing the L402 protocol. By utilizing the Lightning Network, Aperture transforms any API into a pay-per-use resource gated via L402 functionality. 

Lightning Labs Announces Bitcoin Lightning Improvement Proposal for L402

Lightning Labs has also presented the L402 bLIP, a Bitcoin Lightning Improvement Proposal for the L402 protocol standard that would share the fundamental building blocks of these components.

The L402 protocol, derived from the HTTP 402 Payment Required status response code, represents a significant advancement in decentralized payment systems. 

It combines the authentication functionality of macaroons, an authentication mechanism for distributed systems, with the global permissionless payments offered by the Lightning Network. 

An additional advantage these tools bring is their ability to monetize access to various software applications. 

As the expenses associated with training GPUs for AI applications can be significant, developers often look to recoup costs through credit cards, resulting in higher fees for end users due to chargebacks and fraud expenses. 

The L402-enabled tools now offer users the opportunity to sell and pay for API queries, unlocking new revenue streams and promoting a more sustainable economic model.

“With the L402 protocol and LangChainBitcoin, we’re able to ensure the open models can be accessed using an open payment system,” the company said in the announcement, concluding that “in the end, open source will win.”

The AI industry has seen a surge in popularity after the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT last November. 

OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research company and ChatGPT is one of its advanced chatbots that garnered more than 100 million users a mere two months after launching.