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Bitcoin Tipping Bot for HN
51 points by BitCoinWarrior on Apr 21, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 41 comments
We're in the midst of putting together a simple Bitcoin tipping bot for HN.

It would allow you to tip posters and commenters in the HN community with a simple text command.

Is it something you would use?

Please do not deploy this unless you do it in a way that does not leave a trace.

In other words, if you do this in such a way that people who don't care about this can't even tell that it's going on, that's fine. If you have to interact with the HN interface, e.g., by leaving comments, that will become incredibly annoying.

How could you do it without leaving comments? Easy. People who care enough could leave their public BTC address in their profile and install a browser extension that allows for your tip trigger mechanism to be something other than comments. The browser extension could indicate which users can or cannot receive a tip based on a cached scrape of their profile indicating whether or not they have a public BTC address.

Congratulations! You've been tipped .001 BTC! For more information and to sign up for our newsletter, see btc.example.net!

Maybe like a $1 equivalent worth of btc minimum? Not sure I'd mind some spam if I was getting some value for each piece.

The rest of us don't need your spam being visible here, though.

it might be worthwhile to have a ZeroCoin implementation: http://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2013/04/zerocoin-mak...

I love Bitcoin. It is great for the free market, the voluntary market. However, I am against this idea because HN is our fun, not our job. Some things does not pay with money. Have a look at this: http://www.voxeu.org/article/blood-money-doesn-t-pay-new-evi...

And have a look at this nice thread: http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/25615/offering-actua...

At that point (Dec 2012) I thought Stack Overflow should accept bitcoins as bounty, but I was convinced that it isn't a good idea.

I'm not sure if I would use it to be honest, I barely have money for myself, it seems it would be foolish to give it away to other people, even for an outstanding post.

The only occasion I could think of where I would consider it would be if a respected HN user was in some kind of trouble and only short term money could help - living in the UK a transfer to the US is slow and expensive - but the circumstances would need to be exceptional.


Don't take my comment to be against the idea, it's great to be honest, I'm simply not the target market - however there are quite a few more wealthy, entrepreneur and silicon valley types on here who wouldn't miss a few hundred dollars in tipping.

The idea is definitely a good niche and if I simply had more disposable income I would use it - don't let me refusal discredit it in any way.

  > ... who wouldn't miss a few hundred dollars in tipping.
There's nothing preventing you from buying $1 worth of bitcoins (say, 0.01 BTC) and tipping 0.00001 BTC each time.

I did not know you could do that, I always assumed it was full bitcoins, in that case I rescind my original answer due to ignorance.

Thanks. :)

Bitcoin would be pretty useless if you couldn't break it up into smaller pieces, especially at the current prices. =) It is divisible up to 0.00000001 (8 decimal places) and the total number that can exist is 21 million (which hasn't been reached yet).

Please don't spam comments from a bot.

It's an interesting idea. People do get paid in this economy for saying purportedly clever and insightful things (newspaper columnists) and this is an effort at upgrading that particular economic niche. Bitcoins are well suited for micropayments, but it's not entirely clear that this idea is viable.

I also share mmastrac's concerns about comment spam. At most, this should communicate out-of-band somehow, using the HNSearch API: https://www.hnsearch.com/api

I actually began writing something similar, but realised how spammy it would become, and canned the idea. The one on Reddit relies a lot on private messaging — which HN doesn't have.

I'm a big reader, not a big commenter here at HN. I imagine those who do comment or make posts do so for the intrinsic value. They are recognized for their efforts by their karma. People here help others because it's the right thing to do, and mutually beneficial to all.

When you add money to the equation, then people's reasons and actions tend to change. I don't want to see people competing for extrinsic things here. I would like the sanctity of HN to remain as it is.

"the sanctity of HN"

sanctity: Ultimate importance and inviolability.

I love the idea of sharing knowledge and insights for the benefit of the community. I think it's sad to put money in the equation. Upvotes are a nice and simple way to say "thanks, you've been valuable to me", more so than a tip that will be way below the value most of the times anyway.

Hi, I've been thinking recently about something similar, as a way to "tip" people for good posts but more not just limited to HN, like a widget people could embed into their site that people could click to tip.

Give me a tweet if you'd like to bounce some ideas - @jklp :)

Doh, ok next idea then

Hacker News doesn't need to be like Reddit. =)

Would reddit be more receptive to this?

reddit already has one.

spend my bitcoins? no.

nevertheless, i'm curious how this would work. a command line utility you connect to your wallet, which looks for addresses in user profile "about" sections?

i'm not sure what "bot" signifies then.

you'd prefer to sit in your armchair and stroke them gently?

yes :)

at least until i need a house or something expensive.

No I'd prefer to stroke it hard and fast!

Wait we're not talking about porn? Awkward...

see how it works on http://www.reddit.com/r/bitcointip

basically, a bot is a user on forum, you send it some coins. it then monitors your comments, and if you say "tip user XX with YY amount", it sends the coins to that user for redeeming.

exactly. so you reckon it's a good idea. would you use it?

I'd definitely give it a try. I don't know whether it would fit HN as nicely as it does Reddit, but there is just one way to find out, isn't it? :)

edit - I also wonder how it would evolve on HN. I could imagine using it here not for tipping, but for crowdfunding of sorts. With so many vcs reading this group, I'd expect people throwing 1-2BTC at a time at good ideas/ShowHNs to support some of the entrepreneurs.

once set up with the system you could type Tip [HN USERNAME] [AMOUNT] and so it would be

i see, but i imagine that would get you banned for spamming around here :\

If the minimum tip size is big enough, it would be a Very interesting contribution to any thread... let's say $10-20 USD. That's enough to make it socially relevant.

I don't think it's a contribution to any thread, no matter the size.

yes, please. :)



Yes, as long as the bot replied ONLY if the tip didn't go through.

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