The Bitcoin Lightning Torch has been an exciting and hilarious trend. It is exciting because the likes of Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, Justin Sun, TRON’s CEO, and even Fidelity Investments have all been torchbearers. On the other hand, it caused controversy on February 24 when a holder of the torch refused to send it to someone in Iran because of U.S. sanctions on the country.
Bitcoin Lightning Torch to Showcase the Lightning Network
Bitcoin Lightning Torch is a trend that began on January 19 as a way of exploring the Lightning Network. Started by Hodlonaut, a Twitter user, it was also aimed at showcasing the integrity of the community. Here, all a person had to do was add 10,000 satoshis ($0.38) to the overall amount received and then use the Lightning network to pass it on to a random member of the community.
Therefore, the torch moved from Hodlonaut to several reputable members of the industry. Some of these were Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO; Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO; Justin Sun, TRON’s CEO, and Fidelity Investments. When the torch moved to these individuals, there was a lot of excitement in the community until it landed in the hands of Vijay Boyapati, Peach Inc. developer.
Request Made to Send the Lightning Torch to an Iranian
On February 24, Boyapati the torch holder was asked to pass it on to Ziya Sadr, a Coinex executive based in Iran. However, the developer in a Tweet stated that:
I really wanted to send it to Ziya Sadr but US law makes it very risky for me as a citizen — Very sad that two peaceful people cannot transact with each other across the world because of the state.
The statement and Boyapati’s refusal to send the torch to a crypto enthusiast in Iran did not go down well with the community. Some users pointed out that Bitcoin has been applauded for its privacy, no censorship, and its ability to go across borders, but this time, this was not the case.
Hodlonaut, on the other hand, stated that it was sad that the torch could not be passed to an Iranian due to the sanctions of the U.S. on the country. He also outlined that maybe someone outside the States will be able to send the torch to Iran.
Lightning Torch Bypasses Iran to Blockstream’s Founder
Boyapati who stated that the “wording of the law is clear” finally sent the torch to Adam Back, Blockstream’s founder. There were expectations that Back will be able to send the torch to Iran since he is not residing in the U.S. Sadr also requested that the Lightning Torch is sent to her. Nonetheless, the request was unheeded given that it was sent to Reid Hoffman, Blockstream’s lead investor.
That aside, one can only hope that one of the torchbearers in the future will send it to an Iranian. The torch also had a glitch on January 31 when a holder decided not to pass it on because “I can, and no one can stop me. This is bitcoin,” they said.