Late Wednesday/early Thursday, depending where you are in the world, the spirit of generosity hit scores of Bitcoin users seemingly all at once, and handfuls of bits were getting tipped out left and right via ChangeTip.
This started Tuesday, when /u/CeasefireX proposed a Tipping Tuesday on the /r/Bitcoin subreddit.
“I think it will change the world (seriously),” /u/Simcom said when a user asked why he/she began so eagerly doling out bits. “It is essentially a currency of fixed supply (only 21 million bitcoins will ever exist), and it has no borders. No government can control it, and you can send anyone anywhere any amount of money instantly. It is completely peer-2-peer and central authority can never shut it down. It is the most amazing invention in since the internet in my opinion. Essentially the power of money creation will no longer reside with governments or corrupt central banks if bitcoin succeeds.”
In fact, /u/ChangeTip reported Wednesday its bot couldn’t keep up with all the tips.
Since then, /u/President-of-Bitcoin (please note, new readers, that there is no actual President of Bitcoin) has pushed to make November 6 Bitcoin Tip Day, and /u/weatherman35 remarked that it was ChangeTip that brought him/her to the /r/Bitcoin subreddit earlier this week.
“I only have a little bit, but it's so exciting to read all about bitcoin and check in on the price from time to time,” that user wrote.
So, what’s going on? Let’s start with recent news from ChangeTip themselves.
In a release that went out earlier this week, ChangeTip introduced a new widget that would allow bloggers and owners of online media to embed a tip button on their sites.
The Tip.Me widget looks like this:
“The ability to send small amounts of money over the Internet is one of the most valuable features of Bitcoin technology, as traditional payment systems have never allowed this type of online behaviour,” ChangeTip’s team wrote. “Social tipping enables content providers to receive additional payment for creating valuable content and enables users to express their gratitude in a new way.”
ChangeTip already allowed tipping on social platforms such as Reddit, YouTube and Twitter. Now, content producers who own their own media channels (blogs, websites, etc.) have access to the same ability to receive tips for their work.
On the same day Tip.Me came out, one of ChanageTip’s developers tipped a redditor US$50 for spotting a bug.
ChangeTip is also sending a free US$10 worth of bitcoins to all Money20/20 attendees.
It’s unclear how much ChangeTip’s promotional efforts nudged this outpouring of tips, but the movement has since taken on a life of its own.
“We started off with some press about our new Tip.Me function, and love on our power tippers,” ChangeTip’s VP of Community Building Victoria van Eyk said. “Other people got really involved, and that helped spread the vitality of it.
“We see the real value of bitcoin in the community. Together, we make change, not alone ... and this is just an example of how exciting things can get when we start something and see it building.”
Founder & CEO Nick Sullivan said via email that this virality is the nature of the service, and everything the team does goes toward encouraging tipping.
“Some of our most active tippers are so passionate about the service that they tip over 100 people over the course of a month — it simply makes them feel great, happy,” he said.
Sullivan said ChangeTip was simply an “immediate and intuitive” way for anyone online to participate, interact and give.
Ultimately, though, this is not a story about ChangeTip. Rather, it’s about people having skin in the game: More people are holding some amount of bitcoins as of this week, and that means Bitcoin has scores of new stakeholders.
[Full disclosure: The Editor in Chief and CEO of CoinTelegraph, Toni Lane Casserly, is an advisor at ChangeTip. In the interest of avoiding any perceived conflicts of interest, the reporting and editing of this story was done independently.]
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