Bitcoin Fans Salute Billionaire Saylor, $0.006 at a Time

Michael Saylor has netted literally dollars’ worth of bitcoin ever since MicroStrategy adopted the Lightning Network

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Chim/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Michael Saylor’s firm MicroStrategy recently activated a special Bitcoin “Lightning Address” mapped to his corporate email.

Rather than QR codes or complicated strings of characters, Lightning Addresses allow users to direct bitcoin (BTC) to standard internet identifiers, such as email addresses or usernames.

So, BTC can now be sent to Saylor via [email protected]

Saylor shared a screenshot showing a steady stream of bitcoin tips flowing from fans, each one 21 satoshis (the smallest bitcoin unit, otherwise known as sats).

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a layer-2 scaling solution that makes BTC transactions faster and cheaper, although there are security trade-offs.

Lightning balances and transactions are somewhat private compared to Bitcoin mainnet. It’s not possible to reverse engineer either MicroStrategy or Saylor’s transactional history to determine just how “rich” Bitcoin fans are making Saylor (whose net worth is already valued at $1.2 billion).

Still, as of Monday evening, Saylor had netted 7,985 sats ($2.40), per his screenshot, and he’s almost definitely received more since then. Saylor’s MicroStrategy holds more bitcoin than any other public company in the world, with 140,000 BTC ($4.2 billion).

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Communicating through micropayments like these is common in crypto circles. Hacking victims have even negotiated with their attackers via on-chain messages tied to tiny crypto transactions.

Other instances involve sending BTC to fictional characters to break the fourth wall, as was the case when a BTC address tied to Elliot “Mr. Robot” Anderson briefly flashed on screen in season four.

Fans sent a total of 0.00443373 BTC ($134.14) to Elliot’s address over time, which was eventually withdrawn. Saylor may attract even more to his email-fused Lightning Address. 

But there’s a long way to go to cover Saylor’s potential losses resulting from his ongoing Washington, DC tax lawsuit. The former MicroStrategy CEO, now only executive chairman, is still on the hook for $25 million in unpaid taxes, ​​penalties and associated interest.

That works out to be 828 BTC at current prices, or more than 3.9 billion individual tips of 21 sats a pop.

Read more: The Best Bitcoin Loan Platforms of 2023

Updated Apr. 19, 2023 at 3:35 am ET: Added context about Saylor’s role at MicroStrategy.


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