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I think that there is a real opportunity here. I just went over all the comments about this idea. It seems like most of the objections relate to issues with the payment medium itself, and not with the actual idea of paying instead of solving a puzzle.

Some examples:

> It seems more likely they are trying to steal cc details by asking for such a small payment.

This relates to being afraid using a credit card online against a non credible seller.

> Payment processing is nontrivial to set up

This one is about the technical difficulty (And possibly also regulation) for setting up payment processing

> regions where it is uncommon to have means to interface with payment processors.

This one is about inaccessibility to payment means, which also relates to a problem with the payment medium.

> You could use JavaScript cryptocurrency mining instead

I assume that bo1024 suggested this because he implicitly believes that setting up a payment processor will be more difficult, and give bad experience to the user.

The only objection I have seen which is more specific to actually recognizing humans is this one (by Freak_NL)

> What would prevent the bots from using the same system?

First, I think that it should make operating bots on a wide scale much more expensive. Second, if you make money out of bots coming into your website, would you really care that they are bots? I assume that the reason someone would block bots from the first place is that bots harm their money making business. If you had a system to collect this money back, shouldn't this considered as a problem solved?

I am working these days on a decentralized payment system that supports micro-payments. (I promise there are no blockchains inside). Solving the captcha thing can be a very useful use case. I will be happy if anyone wants to join forces on this one (My email is real (at) freedomlayer (dot) org).

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