Perhaps a Gratipay, or Flattr link?
edit: thought Flattr was dead -_-
* 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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Also, there a plenty of governments that have placed Bitcoin squarely within the regulatory framework already.
Any solution which would require the visitor to pre-fund an account, no matter how small of an amount, is destined to fail.
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...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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. :)
Name something shady (and true) about coinbase.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
"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"
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)
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.
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.
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.
It's probably a nifty technology. Stop talking about it like it's the second coming of Jesus.
Wouldn't that mean Twitter and Facebook are non-commercial?
Perhaps Google contributor et al. could implement paying publishers based on '% of total time spent on the site' metric.
For example, this is what uMatrix displays on the demo:
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.
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.
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
And while it's a great goal to have all monetary transactions use Bitcoin, that is very very far from reality for now.
Seems like this premise is flawed. That said, I see your point. Will keep this in mind when testing different transaction sizes.
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.
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.
Interesting feedback. Changetip or coinbase could likely provide a one-click button to tip content providers.
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.
But I don't see what that has to do with VAT, which you brought up.
How you can help: https://github.com/owocki/adblock-to-bitcoin/blob/master/REA...
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.
> 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.
The disadvantage of this sort of microtransaction is that people may actually be willing to pay more through donation then through forced payment.
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?
> 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.
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.
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.
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 think this is a great idea and I've updated one of the ads in the demo with this copy suggestion.
The problem is that there is no way to easily give a small amount of money to a content creator on its creations.
Reminds me of that Black Mirror episode. Spoiler: things go very badly if it's forced upon you.
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.
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...
In particular, I'm thinking of:
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.
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.
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.