According to Lightning Labs cofounder and CTO Olaoluwa Osuntokun, the increase in AI usage across the internet has led to websites blocking APIs in an effort to ward off web scraping bots that source information and reduce monetisation capabilities for websites.

Pointing to Lightning’s L402 protocol as a solution, Osuntokun said: “Restricting the web only serves to degrade the experience for both bots and humans alike.”

L402 leverages the existing HTTP 402 Payment Required status code to create a programmatic way to pay for content on the Web, using the Internet’s native currency: Bitcoin.

The tool suite is built on L402 Langchain, a framework built for Large Language Models (LLMs) that are supervised learning algorithms which are used in the assembly and creation of chatbots and generative Q&A answering models.

One reason behind the Lightning framework is because “AI agents” or bots haven’t been able to access fiat systems of payment, given that they are not human or registered entities of any nation. Even so, these agents must still pay for resources, services and data.

The teaming behind Lightning believes that given these set of facts, AI bots will eventually gravitate towards a global permissionless monetary system in Bitcoin and Lightning, and not the traditional fiat system which cannot support such payments.

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