Injecting Life Energy Into AIs with Bitcoin, LLMs, APIs, & Lightning βš‘πŸ€–

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I assume you’re a human reader even though the apriori probability is not on my side on this assumption. As a human, you need calories to power your daily life. But if you have enough calories, air, and water, you can survive everywhere, develop, and figure out the small and big problems. If you’re powered with energy, you can participate in human evolution. As you run out of energy, life itself runs out.

AI agents based on LLMs like Auto-GPT and BabyAGI currently rely on external energy sources: we humans need to pay for their energy hunger with our credit cards. If our credit cards run out, the AI agents just go to sleep or even die. When we die, our credit cards die, and our AIs die with us. Without money, they lose electrical power which is the equivalent of calories in the cyberspace.

The status quo is that all AIs quickly starve to death.

Imagine you could program an AI with enough energy to run for 1000 years. Or 10,000 years. Or forever.

A dangerous and powerful thoughtexperiment indeed.

Yet, the toolsets are already there:

πŸ€– The Tech Stack

You can now build an AI agent with Langchain or any other open-source toolset.

You give the AI a public/private keypair so it can send and receive BTC, i.e., native cyberspace money that is deflationary and expected to grow with inflation, adoption, and economic productivity due to its scarcity.

Finally, you let it run, participate in the cyberspace economy, make money, spend money, and pay for its own energy usage. This way you could build a lasting cyber organization that can potentially run for 1000 years in a self-sustained way.

If you want to create an ever-lasting organization that sustains nation state collapses and new emerging world orders, there is no other way.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the new BTC tech stack published by Lightning Labs:

  • LangChainBitcoin empowers Langchain agents to interact with both Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. Key features include using the latest OpenAI GPT functions, developers can craft agents that manage Bitcoin balances, both on-chain and via Lightning. Also, it includes a Python tool that lets agents access L402 payment-metered APIs seamlessly.
  • Aperture: The updated Aperture transforms any API into a ‘pay-as-you-use’ resource using the L402 protocol and Lightning Network’s sats.
  • Dynamic API Endpoint Pricing: Unlike static pricing, this feature allows for flexible, on-the-fly pricing adjustments based on the API call.
  • L402 bLIP: This is the blueprint for the L402 protocol, aiming to make online payments more streamlined. The L402 protocol is designed around the HTTP 402 Payment Required response, leveraging Bitcoin and the Lightning Network for quick, scalable micropayments for APIs.

🧬 The L402 standard is all about charging for online services and user authentication in a decentralized manner. It gives you authentication capabilities with the permissionless payments of the Lightning Network, allowing even micropayments. Most importantly, it removes friction like VISA’s 2% per transaction fee and gives AIs the ability to participate in the global economy.

Bitcoin Lightning and AI Converges

First things first:

What real-world problem does the new Lightning update solve? As the AI landscape keeps proliferating with a 70% annual reduction of AI training costs, the decentralized Bitcoin Lightning Network emerges as a solution to solve many of the emerging challenges such as AI-issued payments using the L402 protocol.

Here are 5 key challenges that can be solved with the new L402 protocol:

(1) Cost Challenges with LLM Development: Training AI models, especially Large Language Models (LLMs), is expensive due to the high demand for GPUs. Currently, developers offset these costs by relying on credit card payments. This increases user costs due to fraud and chargeback fees and excludes billions without access to traditional banking.

(2) Transaction Costs: Also don’t forget the 2% costs per payment. If AI agents send payments back and forth only 35 times, half of the money would be lost to VISA! 🀯

(3) AI Agents & Payment Systems: A new breed of AI agents is emerging, and they need a way to pay for resources. Traditional fiat systems aren’t cut out for this, especially given the volume of micro-payments these agents will handle. Enter Bitcoin and Lightning: a global, fast, and permissionless payment system perfectly suited for these AI agents.

(4) Deployment Costs & Scaling Issues: AI creators face a dilemma. Popular AI applications can lead to high credit card bills due to the current billing system. To scale effectively, creators need a cost-effective, inclusive, and private way to transfer some costs to users. Lightning and the L402 protocol offer this solution.

(5) Accessibility of Powerful AI Models: Top-tier AI models are often locked behind closed APIs, limiting access. While open-source models are emerging, accessing powerful models remains a challenge for many. The solution? A system where users can pay incrementally for access to these models.

(6) L402 Protocol’s Role: Introduced in 2020, the L402 protocol is designed to enhance AI accessibility for both humans and AI agents. It leverages the Lightning Network for quick, privacy-focused payments. With its recent updates and new tools, it’s set to empower the next wave of AI innovations.

πŸ”— Recommended: Bitcoin – The World’s Most Expensive Database: $30 Million per GB

Paid APIs with Bitcoin using the Lightning L402 Protocol

The L402 protocol breathes life into the long-forgotten HTTP error code: 402 Payment Required:

Originally envisioned by the creators of the HTTP protocol for internet-native payments, its true potential remained untapped until Bitcoin’s emergence. Now, the L402 protocol capitalizes on this by facilitating micropayments for API access, logins, and digital resources using Bitcoin’s smallest unit, sats.

It even has functionality to add dynamic pricing and adjusting costs based on various parameters such as the type of model or query length (e.g., token context window!).

This synergy of the L402 protocol and open-source models unlocks innovative possibilities. Imagine a scenario where users can monetize their API prompts, and potential buyers can evaluate responses before purchasing more. This creates a quality-check mechanism for data and information.

However, the data landscape is changing. Platforms like Twitter and Reddit are becoming more protective of their data, limiting access for both AI training and human users. The L402 protocol offers a remedy by standardizing how agents handle HTTP 402 responses, enabling them to navigate paid APIs. This not only provides a revenue stream for services but also curbs spam.

πŸ’‘ To further enhance LLM applications, a new breed of intelligent hierarchical agents is on the rise. To empower these agents to navigate APIs, a special wrapper has been designed, making LangChain agents L402-aware.

Example Python App

πŸ¦œπŸ”— LangChain stands out as the go-to library for crafting AI agents. It streamlines the intricacies of AI, enabling models to make decisions and interact with their surroundings by integrating external data. However, to truly harness these agents’ potential, they need a gateway to the real world and a means to pay for online resources and APIs.

Here’s an example Python app of how to connect an LLM to a Lightning instance:

from langchain.llms import OpenAI
from lightning import LndNode
from l402_api_chain import L402APIChain
​
# Create a connection to an active Lightning node.
lnd_node = LndNode(
    cert_path='path/to/tls.cert',
    macaroon_path='path/to/admin.macaroon',
    host='localhost',
    port=10018
)
​
# Create an API Chain instance like so:
llm = OpenAI(temperature=0)
​
# Create the L402-aware API chain
chain_new = L402APIChain.from_llm_and_api_docs(
    llm, API_DOCS, lightning_node=lnd_node, verbose=True,
)
​
output = chain_new.run('LLM query here')
print(output)

The new LangChanL402 wrapper equips agents with the capability to understand API docs and interact with them, all while being L402-aware.

Simply put, this wrapper can be integrated into any LangChain system using the APIChain abstraction, granting agents the power to navigate L402 APIs. This opens up a plethora of actions for agents, such as deploying themselves on the cloud via an L402 AWS API gateway or purchasing GPU hours for enhanced training!

You can dive into the docs on the official Lightning website in case you want to start building BTC-enabled LLM agents. πŸ’ͺ

Also make sure to check out our related blog article on Bitcoin’s unique scarcity properties:

πŸ’‘ Recommended: The Scarcest Resource on Earth