While community-driven knowledge markets have been around since Yahoo!, Bitfortip, is a new service that allows users to post questions and pay Bitcoin to people who submit the best answers.
The site was created by Greek tech geek Panagiotis Pollis when he was searching online to find a T-shirt identical to one he misplaced. He told Cointelegraph:
“Bitfortip makes it possible, as it’s very easy to use and can motivate people to search [for an item] for you, in exchange for some Bitcoins. So both parties can benefit.”
Each question is automatically shared on the website’s Twitter and Facebook pages. The website’s simple motto reads, “Get paid for answering questions,”and it provides an alternative to the usual online surveys that offer to pay people for answering questions. On Bitfortip, the questions can be personal, and users may even help each other.
Bitcoin for Answers
Bitfortip was in beta until very recently, and it currently has 160 active users. Due to its newness and its niche market, Pollis understands that he’s “targeting a very specific audience who have to know about Bitcoin, and obviously already own or would like to earn some.”
To Pollis, Bitcoin is ideal for such a site “because it enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Plus since the funds are held in escrow, it proves that you are willing to pay someone in exchange for specific information.”
Bitcoin also goes hand in hand with microtransactions, and users may spend little on finding the answer to their questions. Since its launch, the website has awarded a total of 0.03 BTC. A small sum, but Pollis says, “It’s important to keep in mind that the minimum reward is 0.0001 BTC, which is the number most new users are using to test the waters.”
He hopes the ease of use of Bitfortip will help pave the road for Bitcoin to “become mainstream, especially for beginners and people who don’t know anything about digital currency or the blockchain.”
Eventually, he aims to attract a community of intelligent problem solvers, because “people won’t reward people for not giving the exact information that they are looking for,” he says.
Similar sites include The Hunt, which targets people looking for specific fashion items; Quora and WikiAnswers focus on more detail-oriented knowledge questions. Zapchain hosts AMAs (ask me anything) with big names from the digital currency community who promote the events by paying Bitcoin to those who ask the most interesting questions.
Planning a trip to Pattaya, and want to find a hotel for under US$80? Offer a 0.0041 BTC reward and a stream of personal assistants may rush to help you.
You can ask for a film recommendation, as I did, and I received a few interesting — albeit irrelevant — responses.
The website’s UI allows even the most technologically illiterate to find answers. After using the service, however, we noticed that it could use the following features:
- The ability to pick multiple best answers
- The ability for other users to vote answers up or down
- High scores for the most-tipped users
- Categories for questions
- A search feature
Otherwise, the website is built on a convenient model that combines two activities that are popular on the Internet — microtransactions and problem solving. Pollis has not yet found his T-shirt, and the reward is still up for grabs.