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Show HN: Adblock to Bitcoin (github.com)
128 points by ksowocki 683 days ago | hide | past | web | 127 comments | favorite



If your real objective is to get actually some income in place of the ad, I would highly suggest supporting traditional forms of payment in addition to Bitcoin. Pick your battles and reduce friction for the user to donate. Although Bitcoin is interesting/cool/worthy of existence, 99.9% of users don't have a Bitcoin wallet, so you'll be missing out on a lot of potential income.


It's worth testing. The reason we started with bitcoin is that traditional forms of payment charge a egregious fee (credit card, 3%) or require sharing private information (ACH). With bitcoin, I can send micro-payments trustless-ly.


Paypal does do a "Micropayments Discount" for sums less than $10. It's still 5% + $0.05, so it won't work for your $0.01 suggestion, but you can ask for $0.25, although you get just over a half of it back ($0.13), which still feels might feel like armed robbery, but you'd be increasing your donation volume greatly.

Perhaps a Gratipay, or Flattr link?

edit: speeling

edit: thought Flattr was dead -_-


Why is there no gateway that can handle micropayments properly? Just do the following:

* Let me (in whatever guise, publisher, consumer, etc.) have an account that I can deposit/withdraw real world money into. Charge me a fee (percentage/fixed/minimum/maximum/whatever the market is willing to pay) for these operations.

* Let anyone transfer any amount of money (OK, impose some granularity, but make it like 20 decimal places, that's fine) from their account to another. Do all the right security stuff that we already do for this kind of thing to ensure no abuse.

* If the cost of transfers exceeds the income from deposit/withdrawals, charge some additional fee on a certain number of transfers, or charge a percentage on every $x transferred, or whatever it takes, so long as micropayments are still possible.

Now sit back and count the profit.

How is this not a solved problem yet?


> Let anyone transfer any amount of money

You would probably need a money transmitter license, which is hugely expensive and time-consuming. You will have to Know Your Customer to comply with anti money laundering regulations.

Basically you idea is to setup a bank and make transfers between customers free, which some banks already do, though not to 20 decimal places :-)

As a consumer, my choice is to now sign up for this tipping service, give them my identity, deposit some money, and then I can go tip a website $0.001 for a cat video. So now my identity and some of my money are tied up with the service.

Bitcoin seems more appealing than that scenario.

> How is this not a solved problem yet?

Because the State controls the banking industry.


Ok wow that's a bit hardcore, I don't think you need to actually deposit money or become a bank.

Call it AdPoints, you can buy 1000 AdPoints for $10. Then you spend these points in websites you enjoy.

Add an API so they can be used as a virtual currency for goodwill (I liked this guy's post / comments, so I'll upvote him with my points) in those same third party sites.

Get a couple big publishers on board and it could become a pretty good deal.

You handle point purchase and deliver payouts to your publisher partners, add a reporting function to the API so they can overlay the revenue of adblock users vs non-adblock.


If you're operating in a regulated regime as a legitimate company, then the state will want to ensure that users aren't laundering money through your service.

Scenario:

1) Criminal outfit buys 100M AdPoints with dirty money

2) "Trusted parties" setup blogs and YouTube channels and has them get setup with the "publisher partners"

3) Criminal outfit "tips" innocuous quantities of money for cat videos and blog posts about gardening made by the "trusted parties"

4) "Trusted parties" cash out squeaky clean money

> deliver payouts to your publisher partners

Each partner would have to do the KYC/AML work for each content creator, but if they don't do it for donation sources, then you have the potential money laundering channel so the State will get involved.


Well realistically you would just do your due diligence in each new partner site. Also it would be painfully inefficient to launder money like this, keep in mind you wouldn't even let people buy large quantities.

In a real world scenario, you wouldn't even allow new partner sites to sign up online, instead you'd contact most of them via direct sales and vice versa.

I'm thinking about the NYTs and Yahoos of the world, not cat blogs.

I see your point, but this is more like buying world of warcraft currency than it is a bank.


>Bitcoin seems more appealing than that scenario.

Bitcoin is not fundamentally different. It decentralizes the role of the bank, but adds the step of currency exchange to get bitcoins in the first place. These currency exchanges have to comply with anti-money-laundring regulations that are very similar to those of banks, so they have to know your identity too.

The only advantage bitcoin currently has is that not all governments have gotten around to figuring out which existing regulations apply to bitcoin related businesses.


Well you don't have to go through an exchange to get bitcoin. And you can use the coins for anything, including tipping. This contrasts with "buying in" to a tipping service and locking up some of your money.

Also, there a plenty of governments that have placed Bitcoin squarely within the regulatory framework already.


Yes, I should have made it clearer that I'm envisaging a bank setting this up rather than Joe P. Bloggs! Maybe I'm the only one who imagines they would be clicking "Donate $0.01" buttons all day, if it genuinely cost just $0.01, but it feels as though there's an awful lot of money to be made, even in banking terms.


May be there is no need for this. All those cheap skates which are telling you that they would give something if there would be a micropayment solution, would not give a nickel, even with zero transaction costs.


Because no one wants to set up the account to fund micropayments.

Any solution which would require the visitor to pre-fund an account, no matter how small of an amount, is destined to fail.


Personally I think bitcoin is the move. The long term deflationary nature, the hivemind of sage engineers swarming around scalability, with the end-goal being tiny machine-to machine-payments, and the precision of value that you can achieve make it perfect.


Why is 3% egregious? Bitcoin probably has bigger costs for all of us when you consider all the electricity required to sustain it.


Not to mention, I'm sure the losses incurred by not supporting traditional payment are far, far more than 3%. You have kind-hearted users who are opening their wallets, ready to donate money, but then you're telling them that you can't accept their form of money. In most cases these (lazy) users will, at this point, give up and leave.


credit card fees are not 3%, they are 3% + 30 to 40 cents, which effectively make credit cards ineffective for transmission of anything < 50c.


Checkout what Slate.com is doing with their AdBlock mitigation messaging. They'll detect AdBlock usage and try to upsell you to their Slate+ membership (yearly credit card fee)


Yup, lots of sites do that - e.g. theguardian.com. The trouble is that paying for a yearly subscription is a whole other prospect than paying a cent as a one-off or even on a per-article basis. Micropayments offer a much nicer business model, IMO - I am almost never going to pay for a subscription to a website, but I am totally willing to make one-off donations, and have done so.


I would gladly give nytimes.com $0.10 to $1.00 to read individual articles and probably do it scores of times in a given month.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $455 per year to read all them on any of my devices: http://www.nytimes.com/subscriptions/Multiproduct/lp5558.htm...


Hey Colin,

Cameron Schorg here with SnipBit. We are currently creating a platform exactly like what you are describing. Users would have a browser extension that allows them to pay for articles with one click and browse the web a la carte style -essentially solving the subscription problem and the annoyance of the paywalls themselves. You should definitely check us out at www.snipbit.io . In addition, i would love to have a longer chat with you to better understand our user base. If you would be willing, please reach out to me at schorgie30@gmail.com!


I see nothing in my fairly basic up-armored browser. Who's the spammer/"mitigator"?


It's a fairly unobtrusive notice at the bottom of the screen. Screenshot: https://www.evernote.com/l/ABCw8ehFbgxMN6GYJ-RlacMysNSk3Iew0...


Bitcoin has transaction fees. From my reading of the link below, on a $0.05 transaction as suggested in your screenshot, you'd be paying at least a roughly $0.04 transaction fee (0.1mBTC). Admittedly, it's not as bad as the $0.20 base fee that credit cards would charge but a 44% fee still seems prohibitive to me.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Transaction_fees


Most wallets these days implement micropayment channels, which eliminate the need to pay transaction fees on microtransactions. But even without micropayment channels, bitcoin transactions are cheaper than you think, because most of the time a transaction fee is not required at all.


An option to show the QR code payment request by default would be really nice.


trustless. This word, so wrong for what bitcoin stands for. Please, I beg you, as a technologist, to refer to it as trustfree. The semantic meaning of trustless is completely wrong.

Edit: Before you mention that trustfree doesn't exist in the lexicon, i will point out to you that the concept of a trustfree anything also hasn't existed, but now does, through bitcoin. :)


That's nice, but doesn't change the fact that most people don't use Bitcoin.


There are plenty of services that transparently convert fiat into BTC.


Which would require me to set up an account with them, which I may or may not be willing to do, due to the general shadiness surrounding bitcoin businesses.


It seems like you've already made up your mind that you're not willing to do any business in bitcoin, but, okay, I'll bite.

Name something shady (and true) about coinbase.


They're associated with bitcoin, and bitcoin business is quite shady.

You may not like or agree with the reasoning, but I guarantee you that a lot of normal, non-tech people are going to be thinking like that.

This is also in addition to the fact that I just don't want to make another money account. Especially for something I'm probably not going to use outside of this.


> They're associated with bitcoin, and bitcoin business is quite shady.

Ergo decedo ad hominem

> You may not like or agree with the reasoning

I don't dislike or disagree your reasoning, objectively speaking, your reasoning is a common logical fallacy.


Doesn't matter. That's how most people are going to react. And as I said, the major reason is that I don't want to create yet another account with credit card info that I have to worry about, and that I'm not really going to use for anything.


Your CC provide will charge you more than $0.25 to send $0.25.


Global pyramid-like schemes are worthy of existence? Any threads on Bitcoin on Reddit highlight this - people thought about or bought Bitcoin in the past as an investment. Now most everyone who buys it or accepts it hope its value will increase as their main incentive to collecting them. Why is it beneficial for all of society to make these people millionaires and potentially billionaires if adoption was high enough? Furthermore, what happens to the last 30%, when the first 70% have adopted. It's completely unreasonable.


"Why is it beneficial for all of society to make these people millionaires and potentially billionaires if adoption was high enough?"

I like your approach of looking at a technology and asking "who's going to get rich off of this". That can reveal a lot about certain actors motivations and behaviors.

With bitcoin, if adoption is high that means there's a lot of value in the network and the technology. Increasing the wealth of a bunch of early adopters (who supported the network/technology when it was vital to do so), seems to me to be a feature, not a bug. You can further concentrate wealth among a select group of venture capitalists (who typically benefit from valuable innovations), or you can more randomly distribute it to early adopters.


"With bitcoin, if adoption is high that means there's a lot of value in the network and the technology."

There is some value in it, however as I stated, these people really didn't do anything to warrant the unreasonable amount of gain they have or will have. A better system can exist where this unreasonable distribution doesn't occur. Bitcoin in its current form isn't the only possible version, so why not compare it and break it down into "oh, well there is high adoption so there's enough value that we should look the other way and ignore better ways where value is even higher for even more people - or even everyone."


"these people really didn't do anything to warrant the unreasonable amount of gain they have or will have"

It sounds like you're dismissing the innovations around bitcoin over a broader grievance against speculation.

A few more points on this:

1) They risked their money. I agree that sometimes a very high return seems unfair/unwarranted (again, true of speculation in general).

2) Many people holding a lot of bitcoin (e.g. the Winklevii) are working very hard towards bitcoin's success. They believe in the technology. If that turns them into billionaires, I don't see that as any more unreasonable than Facebook billionaires. Aside from those who are working hard, with any technology/startup there are usually some "passive" investors that hit pay dirt. Would you cap Mark Zuckerberg's upside since there must have been some people invested in, or employed by, Facebook that really didn't do anything, yet made quite a bit of money? Who's going to decide what's reasonable?

3) Let the market decide. There are competing alternatives, let's see what happens. If enough people are outraged by the thought of a few bitcoin speculators making billions, then perhaps that could kill it. I'm guessing that kind of broad dislike for speculators would lead to less speculative ventures, which doesn't sound good for innovation.


>these people really didn't do anything to warrant the unreasonable amount of gain they have or will have.

Not true. Miners helped secure the network (and were rewarded with more bitcoins for doing so due to the mining difficulty) when bitcoin was brand new and vulnerable to attacks. It sounds like you haven't read much about how bitcoin works.


Or, you can run a currency for the people using it, which makes any choice of instrument where there is a small, entrenched group already holding that currency a pretty terrible idea.


"Increasing the wealth of a bunch of early adopters (who supported the network/technology when it was vital to do so), seems to me to be a feature, not a bug."

Why?


because:

"You can further concentrate wealth among a select group of venture capitalists (who typically benefit from valuable innovations), or you can more randomly distribute it to early adopters"


Why do these VCs deserve to get access to this money this way? And how does this justify and make it reasonable now?


> Why do these VCs deserve to get access to this money this way?

Circular comment thread is circular:

> Increasing the wealth of a bunch of early adopters (who supported the network/technology when it was vital to do so)


It's for personal gain, not for the benefit of everyone. Yes, a structure that has many of the qualities of Bitcoin would be beneficial for all of society, everyone. If it was beneficial to everyone, without these unreasonable problems, then everyone would adopt it - including myself. A different structure can exist that has the same qualities as Bitcoin - that is what I am arguing for.


I'm not seeing why either of those is desirable, or a reason I should care about Bitcoin.


Some early users have retained their Bitcoin, for sure. And it's great if they get rewarded for their part in getting it going. But I and many others have just used Bitcoin. I earn a little, now and then, and buy what I need. With adequate mixing, it's usable semi-anonymous ecash. I don't mind speculators, as long as the price remains more-or-less predictable. The first three quarters of 2015 were OK. Now I must gamble on when to buy stuff, and it's annoying.


Downvote parade after a few upvotes. How about instead some explanations as to why you disagree or as to why I am wrong? Would be appreciated to see what people are thinking.


Probably for the pyramid scheme trope. Bitcoin is technology and was released publicly with no scheme involved. It was worthless to begin with.


Quite possibly. And that doesn't mean Bitcoin wasn't leveraged a certain way.


I suppose they're being rewarded for their insight.

Additionally, if you're just thinking of bitcoin as a currency, and not a global social paradigm shift, I think you're missing the point.

You can issue your own currency on top of the Bitcoin blockchain— among the other myriad uses.

This is about emancipation even more than enrichment.


/eyeroll.

Bitcoin is not a global paradigm shift; it's an interesting technical novelty with some niche use cases. The never-ending hyperbolic glorification of bitcoin is a great way to foment the idea that bitcoin isn't worth taking seriously.

> This is about emancipation even more than enrichment.


Much like an investor who claims to offer 40% returns, so you give him money - and then he gives you someone elses' money to convince you of his great returns. Of course that money is from someone who also bought into the scam. This goes on until someone catches on - or the person runs with everyone's money without paying that final amount; sells off their ownership into real currency. There's a reason pyramid schemes are illegal.

Why can't a global social paradigm shift occur in a different way? It's the current structure of Bitcoin, not the other values that it does provide. If it didn't provide those other potentials then it would of had a much more difficult time taking off and getting adoption from anyone.


I'm sorry, but this kind of pretentious schlock ("global paradigm shift", "emancipation") just makes me want Bitcoin to fail even harder.

It's probably a nifty technology. Stop talking about it like it's the second coming of Jesus.


An interesting issue here is that Creative Commons Noncommercial licenses permit use on ad-funded sites, but not on micropayment-funded sites. I'm thinking specifically of this: https://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/17127


My reading of this* is that if the primary purpose of the use of an NC work is not to make money, you're fine. I don't see any references specifically to advertising or payments, but I don't see why a donation is any less valid than advertising.

* https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/NonCommercial_interpre...


I think the idea of micro-payments instead of ads is that it covers costs. In that respect, and in general, if the site isn't turning a profit isn't that still non-commercial?


> if the site isn't turning a profit isn't that still non-commercial?

Wouldn't that mean Twitter and Facebook are non-commercial?


If Facebook is commercial, does that make it legal for you to post a CC-NC-BY document you didn't write as a Facebook Note? If it's legal for you to post it, is it also legal for Facebook to display it, thus drawing people into their site to view advertising? What if I set up a paid-subscription-only Facebook clone called Flone and you post it on Flone, so that you have to pay Flone to see the Note? Does it matter if Flone charges per pageview instead of per month? Does it matter if Flone charges more for certain pageviews? When Verizon sells you a data connection, are they in some way different from our hypothetical Flone?


Good point


Whats to prevent one from forking the license and providing a new, micropayment-supported, license?


I'd like to see a browser plugin that does something similar. I fill it up with a small balance of bitcoins, and it automatically pays websites when I visit.



This needs to be more common. I'd put in a not unreasonable amount of money (~20$) monthly to automatically pay to the sites I regularly visit. Need this for firefox, stat!


One thing that prevents me from wanting to use this is that it just looks for bitcoin addresses on the page. If joe bloe posts on reddit begging for money with his bitcoin address, I don't want to automagically send him some.


I don't really care about the bitcoin TBH. There needs to be a technology to pay the publishers directly a cut for my '% time viewed', the technology matters less to me.

Perhaps Google contributor et al. could implement paying publishers based on '% of total time spent on the site' metric.


Close! I don't use Chrome.


Glad to see that blocking 3rd party javascript is still effective at blocking all of this

https://i.imgur.com/8LbGk2G.png


OP here.

Whats your motivation for disabling javascript? I could create a javascriptless-version of this, but would you ever consider supporting/tipping a publisher via it?


I don't disable javascript. Just Javascript (and most resources) from 3rd party domains. I didn't come up with the idea, there's a browser plugin (uMatrix) that does it for me. And I selectively re-enable by domain or resource type. I like it because (1) it blocks just about every annoyance on the web and (2) it means that when I visit a webpage, the number of 3rd parties that the information about my visit is automatically leaked to goes down. It's like automatic blocking of ads, social buttons and just whatever new unpleasantry thing comes up next.

For example, this is what uMatrix displays on the demo:

https://i.imgur.com/0mtkpXY.png


Interesting tool; I'm going to have to play with have that turned on my Chromium install.


Nice little project!

The issue is, at this moment Bitcoin does not really support micro-transactions. There is a proposal in progress which will fix this though. Its called "Lightning Network" and it will act as aggregator of transactions which will prevent dust from hitting blockchain while correctly and safely counting every penny. This is not yet ready - they are working on safe and private payment routing in network consisting of open set of nodes, which is (IMHO) crazy hard.


> The issue is, at this moment Bitcoin does not really support micro-transactions.

Whats your source on this? I'd thought that the block size was large enough that even transactions around the size of $0.05 would go through regularly.


I personally use it for amounts starting from 30c.

But two questions should be answered. How micro is micro-payment? Popular fee right now is at 0.0001 BTC which corresponds to ~0.04USD, which could be considered not very "micro-fee". And other question. Single transaction real cost right now is around 10USD. Payment fees are low, only because they are hugely subsidised by block reward (25BTC every 10 minutes). What will happen when block reward will go down 2, 4, 8 times?

And finally, quote from LN whitepaper:

> If all transactions using Bitcoin were on the blockchain, to enable 7 billion people to make two transactions per day, it would require 24GB blocks every ten minutes at best


If the block size is increased, a lot more transactions will fit in a block, so transactions would get much cheaper.

And while it's a great goal to have all monetary transactions use Bitcoin, that is very very far from reality for now.


I agree. Increasing block size to 4-8 Mb is probably safe. And it would encourage more adoption. At this moment, unfortunately, confirmation times are close to unreliable.


> If all transactions using Bitcoin were on the blockchain

Seems like this premise is flawed. That said, I see your point. Will keep this in mind when testing different transaction sizes.


I like what your concept is a lot. I do not think a huge number of payments are going to be made using it, HOWEVER, I think this is just the beginning of a much larger movement behind micropayments for ad-free content. I've been wanting this for a very long time to read good quality articles online that are behind paywalls. I would totally pay with bitcoin, but refuse to sign up using any form of credit card.


Sealy, Cameron with SnipBit here. We are working on developing a system exactly like what you are describing. I would love to have a chat with you to discuss what you would like out of a platform like ours in a more in depth conversation (schorgie30@gmail.com). In the meantime, feel free to find us at www.snipbit.io


> I do not think a huge number of payments are going to be made using it

First, this is an experiment and I'll be testing different permutations of cost, copy, and invasiveness.

Curious as to why you think there won't be much volume. Could you elaborate?

> I would totally pay with bitcoin, but refuse to sign up using any form of credit card.

This is an interesting data point. Was talking to a blogger about this project this morning and he asked why not use traditional payment methods. I presume (and hope) there might be more people out there like you than we all think.


> Curious as to why you think there won't be much volume. Could you elaborate?

My reason for this is entirely practical. By displaying a bitcoin payment address, there are at minimum an additional three or four clicks, with perhaps a copy and paste of the bitcoin address to complete a payment (this is even more difficult if the user's bitcoin wallet is on his mobile - unless a QR code is displayed). For me, it is more of a practical usability reason as opposed to the reader not wanting to donate their $0.01.

A solution I would love to use, would be to have a browser plugin with a pre loaded bitcoin balance of a few dollars and a single one click to accept a 1 cent payment to the content owner to proceed to the article.

On Bitcointalk.org, a forum dedicated to bitcoin geeks, people always leave a tip address in their signatures, look up the usage and you'll find it surprisingly low.


> A solution I would love to use, would be to have a browser plugin with a pre loaded bitcoin balance of a few dollars and a single one click to accept a 1 cent payment to the content owner to proceed to the article.

Interesting feedback. Changetip or coinbase could likely provide a one-click button to tip content providers.


This library looks good. But I wouldn't hold my breath that you will get any donations. I recently created a similar solution and the result after about a million few was nada, nilch, zero. If you now consider that by accepting donations you have to solve the EU VATmess it is not worth the effort.


Bitcoin transactions were just ruled exempt from Europe's VAT: http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-is-exempt-from-vat-says-euro...

That doesn't mean you don't have to pay the VAT just because you buy something with Bitcoin, it just means that bitcoin/dollar exchanges don't owe tax. I don't know whether VAT applies to donations.


The question is not if donations are excempt from vat, but if your tax collector will believe you that you are a non profit organisation.


So pay taxes on the income, it's still better than not having the income. If you are attempting nonprofit status, donations are less of a red flag than advertising.

But I don't see what that has to do with VAT, which you brought up.


The Killer App for Bitcoin :)


If you're a bitcoin enthusiast, you can help grow the universe of real-world use cases for BTC. If you see this tool on a website, please donate!

How you can help: https://github.com/owocki/adblock-to-bitcoin/blob/master/REA...


There are a few of these. :)


OP here. Big fan of changetip, which is IMHO the first implementation of cryptocurrency/micropayments that has truly taken off.


I really dig this idea, but would love to see two more features:

1. Integrate with something like coinbase so that users can fund a wallet with fiat currency.

2. Provide a feedback mechanism that shows the payments had a positive effect. For example, if a GPU review on Anandtech gets lots of tips, Anandtech could do another GPU review and publish that effect somehow.

I personally have a hard time spending money when the effect of that money disappears into a black hole. If paying a tip had some sort of feedback, I would probably do it more often.


OP here.

> 1. Integrate with something like coinbase so that users can fund a wallet with fiat currency.

Thats a good idea. The QR code gets us close to this implementation, but not quite all the way there.

> 2. Provide a feedback mechanism that shows the payments had a positive effect.

Yes, THIS. I'd very much like to include feedback into the system (author name, topic, title, etc) such that publishers know what their audience cares deeply about (paid for) vs just casually reads (pageview).

> I personally have a hard time spending money when the effect of that money disappears into a black hole. If paying a tip had some sort of feedback, I would probably do it more often.

Your comment reminds me a lot of tip jars I sometimes see in coffee shops in NYC. Tip in bucket A for "Star Wars', tip in bucket B for 'Star Trek'. Sort of a ruse in a way, but the staff gets more tips because they made a game of it.


You might also be interested in https://github.com/kallerosenbaum/poppoc/wiki/Proof-of-Payme..., which will let you "login" by prooving that you made a small bitcoin transaction.

The disadvantage of this sort of microtransaction is that people may actually be willing to pay more through donation then through forced payment.


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This is pretty neat, and gives me an idea that I assume someone has already made.

Do any ad blocking tools aggregate the total estimated amount of ad revenue that I've prevented across all sites that I block ads on in, say, the past month, or year?


Op here.

> Do any ad blocking tools aggregate the total estimated amount of ad revenue that I've prevented across all sites that I block ads on in, say, the past month, or year?

I'm sure there's a programmatic way of finding that information, but one could plausibly create a tool that guesses an ad spots CPM and then displays that information.


Looks similar to what you can do with https://satoshipay.io, but they allow even tiniest Bitcoin payments (down to a single Satoshi) using sidechains.


I think the basic problem is that people are not going to give you any money at all! Let it be bitcoin or their dollars. Or if this project works out, would be pretty interesting!


Next step in the project is to gather some data to validate the project thesis. Here's how you can help if you care to be part of the experiment (not much downside as space is only used when Adblockers are on). https://github.com/owocki/adblock-to-bitcoin#how-you-can-hel...



This is cool, and it won't pester you about donating if you are using something like Google Contributor which is nice.


OP here. Would really like to gather some data about what kind of conversions this would get on a site with some scale. Thesis is that for brands that have a loyal following, we might be able to get close to PPC unit economics.


i havent used bitcoin for years, so excuse me if i'm asking stupid questions, but how many steps is it to donate from the time i see it to when the money flows?

Realistically i could only see myself doing this if it was less than 3 clicks and a grand total of about 30 seconds of time. Any more than that and i'm just not going to bother if i'm honest.

Also, this might go against what you are trying to do, but would it be possible to maybe keep a counter of how many of these "ads" were blocked (only on the client) and maybe update the suggested donation based on that?

I personally might be more willing to donate if i saw "You've blocked 384 ads on this site" or something like "you've visited this page 26 times over the last month" and an updated suggested donation to match the usage.

Ninja-edit:

And finally, is there a service that you could work with to allow easy donations via other currencies and have them auto converted to bitcoin? I don't have a bitcoin wallet any more, but if there was a button next to the donate button that took you to a 3rd party website that allowed me to pay in USD and have it converted to bitcoin and sent to the website I might contribute.


> i havent used bitcoin for years, so excuse me if i'm asking stupid questions, but how many steps is it to donate from the time i see it to when the money flows?

There are no stupid questions, cryptocurrency is not intuitive in many ways :)

Steps on mobile: 1. Open iPhone / Coinbase app 2. Scan QR Code 3. Input amount 4. Press send

Similar process on desktop, but probably with a copy/paste code instead of QR code.

Realistically i could only see myself doing this if it was less than 3 clicks and a grand total of about 30 seconds of time.

It's definitely less than 30 seconds as long as your iPhone is across the room and/or you have coinbase.

> Also, this might go against what you are trying to do, but would it be possible to maybe keep a counter of how many of these "ads" were blocked (only on the client) and maybe update the suggested donation based on that?

Yes, data and testing of conversion percentages and unit economics is going to be important if this ever takes off.

> I personally might be more willing to donate if i saw "You've blocked 384 ads on this site" or something like "you've visited this page 26 times over the last month" and an updated suggested donation to match the usage.

That's a great idea! I'll have to add this copy to the 'to test' list!


I'd focus on how much value I've got out of the site (26 visits worth - holy cow!!11!!!1!) rather than how many god awful adverts I've avoided - which is more likely to make me woot softly for adblock and move on.


> I personally might be more willing to donate if i saw "You've blocked 384 ads on this site" or something like "you've visited this page 26 times over the last month" and an updated suggested donation to match the usage.

I think this is a great idea and I've updated one of the ads in the demo with this copy suggestion.


I totally love this! At least, as long as payments reliably go to publishers. And as long as the Bitcoin payment processor doesn't request contact information. I was recently going to donate 200 mBTC to Wikipedia, for example, and bailed when asked for postal address.


This does not work for me. I'm using 'ghostery' to block ads though, not 'ad-block'.


Well I'm using Privacy Badger. It is not about the used technology. It's about the idea, the concept. If you don't want to see ads, you pay a small amount using bitcoins. I don't see it working unless it's forced upon you.


When I go have a beer in a bar, I often give between 0.2 and 1$ tips. Why? Because it really easy and require no effort. I would with no hesitation give 0.1$ to a interesting article if it were only one click away. I would easily give 0.5-1$ after a good episode of a TV show if I only had to do one click. Yes, that include pirated TV shows.

The problem is that there is no way to easily give a small amount of money to a content creator on its creations.


Hey teps, Cameron Schorg with a new startup called SnipBit. We are working on making a platform very similar to what you talked about. The main difference is that we would charge for the content on the front end and then offer a refund option if you didn't like the content. You should check us out at www.snipbit.io and if you would be willing, I'd would love to have a chat as we are ALWAYS doing customer discovery (schorgie30@gmail.com).


Take a look at Blendle.

https://blendle.com/


>If you don't want to see ads, you pay a small amount using bitcoins. I don't see it working unless it's forced upon you.

Reminds me of that Black Mirror episode. Spoiler: things go very badly if it's forced upon you.


Very different concept. In Black Mirror, you're forced to watch media and ads every moment you're awake unless you pay not to. Here, if you choose to willingly visit a website to consume some sort of content but refuse to look at the ads that fund that content, you're asked to make a payment to fund said content.

This is, afterall, what the majority of adblock and anti-tracking proponents have been lobbying for. 'We don't want to have to deal with ads. We don't want to be tracked. We want to pay for content.' This simply gives them the opportunity. Note that it is also voluntary and doesn't prevent the content from being displayed. Heck, it says "would you consider" and has a suggested bitcoin donation equivalent to 1 penny.


Black Mirror simply falls down the slippery slope and tells the story of people living at the bottom of it. Voluntary transaction is truly voluntary only if neither side needs it to live a productive life.


This is exactly what I've been thinking about re:the recent slew of adblock news on HN. Content creation and distribution have real costs, and I see other, far more intrusive models developing to combat loss of ad revenue if ad blockers become the norm.

Not to mention the contribution to rising income inequality/decreasing social mobility. If all useful information is behind a paywall, only those that can afford it will have access - further increasing the return to capital.

All this to say, be careful what you wish for...


Yes, except the most useful content out there is available largely for free (or would cost a crazy small amount to keep funded, if the userbase contributed as little as $1 or $3).

In particular, I'm thinking of:

Wikipedia

Google

Also, maybe it will lead people to start putting trust in offline archives of information, which wouldn't be terrible either.

Honestly, a lot of the "content" on the internet is garbage/not productive. I can at the very least argue that lots of bandwidth that's being used on the internet is just watching shit that's usually not educational.


Google runs the largest ad network on the planet. It's absolutely critical to their business model. Wikipedia is great, but they produce no content of their own and lack any sort of curation. Of course there's a lot of crap on the Internet, but I personally find many types of well-curated, professional content extremely valuable. I personally would be willing to pay for much of it, but I'm in a better position to do so than many - which is exactly my point.


My point was that if Google decided to change it's business model, and charged something like a $1 for a monthly subscription to using it's search services, it would be more than safe.

I don't think the fact that wikipedia produces it's own content is relevant, and whether it lacks curation being relevant either. Regardless of those two facts, it is immensely useful. The majority of articles, especially on highly technical/useful topics (like farming techniques) are mostly accurate.

Just because some may not be in a position to buy/afford something doesn't mean that everyone should endure inefficiency. Also, depending on the price, the truly important information would still be worth it. I don't think what's going to keep the less fortunate from using web services is a reasonably priced web service.

Currently, you can get a VPS for roughly $10/month, and a domain name for something like $70 (a .com usually costs this much I think). If you had monthly subscribers who were asked to pay $1 a month, the amount of subscribers to keep you in business (nevermind that today's tech can easily scale up to thousands of users on one box), is not high at all.


Just because you create something doesn't mean you deserve to get paid for it. You have to create something people actually want to pay you for. And if they do that, then getting paid shouldn't be a problem, should it?

More importantly: just because I look at something doesn't mean I should have to pay for it. You can't know if an article is crap until after you read it. That's the nature of dealing in information -- you can't sell information without first giving people something valuable for free and building trust. If you violate your customer's trust, you can no longer sell information.

That's the state of internet advertising today.


I think 4ela was talking about a technical problem, not a philosophical objection.


This project is in 'proof of concept' stage right now. Will be solving the technical problem of cross-device/browser/adblocker testing next.


It all depends on the customer's relationship with the brand. The thesis here is that consumers will support brands they are loyal to and/or have an affection for. Even with it being forced upon them.


OP here. Thanks for the feedback, I've tested with uBlock and AdBlock Plus, will give ghostery a go as well.


Really nice idea, might try this out for a project of mine :)


Please get in touch if you do. I'm @owocki on twitter and need some data to support what kind of results this gets.




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