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ChangeTip would like to drive mass implementation of micro-payments on the internet, by making use of Bitcoin and some other existing social networks as a way to send "feeless micro-donations to content creators.”
Part of ChangeTip's mission is to "spell the end of Clickbait.” Those looking for an improved business representation for online content (something that's not based on increasingly insidious advertising and invasive surveillance) have long hindered the hope that micro-payments could back up a different rewards-based system, where the act of a user donating small amounts to the service they implement adds up to something sizable. In principle, the idea is great; but in practice, there are many barriers to crafting a web led by micro-payments.
ChangeTip’s tipping system is rather easy to understand. You just have to mention in a tweet or on other supporting public social missives (StockTwits, YouTube, Reddit, GitHub, Tumblr, and Google Plus) the person you want to tip to and the amount. The transaction and the creation of the Bitcoin wallet will then be handled by ChangeTip. The collector will have to log in to pick up the tip, and unclaimed tips will be sent back to the sender in a matter of days. ChangeTip founder Nick Sullivan says
“We’re building a micropayment infrastructure for the web. Micropayments have been talked about for a long time, clear back to [this] in 1999. Digital currencies like Bitcoin make now the right time because they have low transaction fees, they allow for pseudonymity, and they act as currency neutralizers,[...] ChangeTip aims to help drive the mass consumer adoption of Bitcoin by creating a micro transaction platform for the web. Circle, Coinbase, Bitpay and others are working on the on-ramps and off-ramps, we are building out the tools to move money around online on the main highway of the Internet: social media.”
ChangeTip transacts tips off-blockchain, right up to the point the money is either deposited or withdrawn. The platform has created an off-blockchain ledger to make sending/receiving tips instant and free. They've additionally built an extensive set of social network integrations in order to trace mentions like "@changetipand" to notify the beneficiary and complete the transaction.
As far as competition is concerned, Sullivan mentions DogeTip. However, the service only works with DogeCoin. He also mentioned that ChangeTip is centered on facilitating a brand new set of behaviors meant to set it apart from the rest. Sullivan adds:
“Bitcoin tips are sent instantly and without a fee, allowing for micro-payments of less than a penny. This effectively changes the concept of a ‘share’ or ‘like’ into financial appreciation, which can quickly add up to substantial amounts of money,” [...] “Once you’ve become the easiest way to move money around online, there are a lot of interesting use cases.”
Sullivan has envisaged several potential uses for ChangeTip. He mentioned that tipping on Quora and awarding thoughtful answers could be the answer. Micro-payments may also deal with bad comments, thus donating BTC to content creators on Instagram, YouTube or SoundCloud to reward quality is yet another great way to put ChangeTip to good use.
ChangeTip launched in February, and at first it supported Reddit, Twitter, StockTwits, and GitHub. Earlier this month, it added Google Plus, YouTube, and Tumblr. As far as usage is concerned, several thousand users have already connected their social media accounts to ChangeTip. Thus far, the company has raised $750,000 in funding from "strategic angels" like Howard Lindzon, Gil Penchina, Adam Nash, and Brock Pierce. Nick Sullivan further explains:
“In the former category, PayPal, Western Union, and Visa/MC for person-to-person payments. In the latter, disrupting the online advertising ecosystem sounds fun. We would love to spell the end of clickbait,” […] We call ourselves a Love Button for the Internet. We aim to revolutionize appreciation and giving. Our hope is that these small tokens will add up to a fundamental change in the quality of content that is available and prevalent on the web.”
Considering that ChangeTip doesn't take a cut of the tips, Sullivan stresses out the uniqueness of his business model. He thinks of the big picture and strongly believes in ChangeTip's micro-payment structure. One of the company's main goals is to disrupt existing large players on the internet, and thus create new revenue streamed derived from heartening new behaviors.
About ChangeCoin Inc.
San Francisco-based Bitcoin startup ChangeCoin created ChangeTip as a low-friction micropayment infrastructure for the Web. It allows anyone to send Bitcoin (or fiat currency for a nominal transfer fee) via Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus, Tumblr, StockTwit, Reddit or GitHub without supplying contact addresses, account numbers or other personal information. For more information, please go to www.changetip.com.
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