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What the Fuck is a Relay?
Life Like Lightning

What the Fuck is a Relay? 

With twitter imploding right now, many bitcoiners including myself have found their way into nostr. We’ve covered what nostr was before.

I’ve edited that post with the new knowledge I gained after actually using nostr for a bit.

But I know the learning curve can be daunting. Nostr works on relays, it says so in the name. Relays are just servers hosting your notes. In a very stupid way, if you and me are not on the same relay, we might not see each other’s posts. You’ll see a bunch of “post not found” messages etc depending on the client, and images not loading.

Which is annoying if you’re used to centralised social media, which is supposed to load fast and without hassle.

But it’s worth it, bear with me.

All you need to do is to connect with a few relays that are close to you, which means they have low latency, or lag.

Most relays kinda share their notes with others, so it takes just one to overlap with everyone else so you can see everybody’s content.

Now, the default relay list for example on Amethyst that we use for Libby, is quite good. The relays are working, they’re free and relatively fast. You might get spammed but that’s the price you pay for freedom of speech.

The solution to this are paid relays. These are early days, so paid relays have a one-time fee of a few thousand sats for admission. I predict that will change very soon, it cannot be affordable for them to run relays like that. We’ll probably switch to a subscription model soon.

You can find a very handy list of paid relays at nostr.gram. is a must if you want a fast, snappy experience right now.

Here’s a better guide by Kollider.

You can join in on the fun and zap people, right after you plug in your lightning wallet. Follow me on nostr at


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