The web is awesome because we can create and discover new content every day. Digital content can be anything: starting with articles, questions and answers, images, videos, music and even games or software in general. It is content that makes us happy, makes us smile or cry, makes us think or helps us to do our daily job.
We all love the free and open web but it comes with a hidden cost
The web is this unprecedented huge free and open platform that for the first time in human history allows everyone to be a creator. But monetization of this content is a difficult, even though nobody would doubt that huge amounts of good stuff get created, curated and consumed every single minute.
Keep the web free and open using easy P2P micro-donations
Since the dawn of the web micro-payments and donations have been a hassle. Nobody likes to fill out long forms. Particularly when the credit card numbers you are punching in are essentially the password to your bank account. Just look at following form. It did not even fit on my 27" screen…
This is terrible, everyone will admit it. The good news is, that it does not have to be like this anymore. Digital media companies really do not need to, nor should they know all the details of their readers. These long forms only hurt their conversion rate and their core business: creating, curating and delivering good content.
Long forms are a big hassle
And technologically there is nothing which stops us to pay with one single click in a very secure way for every good article we read, instead of signing up on every new media site with our credit card number. The pay-as-you-go model was a huge success for apps and the cloud, so why should it not work for bloggers or publishers and media companies? People usually do not like to pay for bundles if there is a more selective way. With printed magazines, this model was not possible. With the web and digital content it easily is.
Fear of credit card fraud tops terrorism
Further, the fear of becoming a victim of credit card fraud and identity theft in general even tops the fear of becoming a victim of terror in the US. The problem with credit cards is systematic: they where never designed for the Internet.
Big companies with established reputation (like the Financial Times from above) can easily create enough trust on their websites to let users type in their credentials. But what about small bloggers or people who write helpful answers on Q&A sites? Can they easily accept micro-payments or donations for their work? For small publishers and content creators who are not inside a trusted platform (and give a huge cut to it), it is basically impossible to monetize their work in any way other than with ads. Moreover, the platform makes most of the profit and does not forward earnings to its content-generating users. To change how monetization on the web works we need simple secure direct P2P-micro-payments and donations.
“Surveillance is the business model of the Internet — Al Gore recently called it a “stalker economy.” All major websites run on advertising, and the more personal and targeted that advertising is, the more revenue the site gets for it. As long as we users remain the product, there is minimal incentive for these companies to provide any real privacy.” — Bruce Schneier
There is nothing more rewarding for a creator than to see that his last work went viral and generated him thousands of clicks…
What if it was as easy as clicking a ‘like’-button to transfer real value (money and attention) instead of worthless likes (only attention)? What if this system could be designed in a transparent, open and still super-secure way? Could this help content creators survive and deliver more awesome content consistently?
For about 6 years, starting with Bitcoin, we have had truly global currencies and secure direct push-payments on the Internet. Initially, these new systems were hard to use and they were indeed made for the Internet, but not for the web and not for the browser. But luckily, with sheer Internet inertia the tech matured enough — and that made me start the…
Awesome Internet Project
WeTipCoins is build upon the browser wallet, the community platform, the ‘awesome’-button and a decentralized trust which secures the tips. CoinAwesome is the sister project of WeTipCoins and takes the approach to the next level through inserting the URL into the transactions and its blockchain and archiving thus a even higher level of decentralization. This post will write examplary about WeTipCoins but same is true for CoinAwesome.
the wallet inside your browser
The WeTipCoins Wallet is made for the web. It is made for the largest content platform and it sits inside your browser. It keeps your bitcoins safe through securing the key to your new decentralized identity. It enables you to accept and send bitcoins instantly on any webpage.
The WeTipCoins Wallet also enables you to log-in with your new identity on third party websites (via BitID | demo) and thus prove that you have paid or donated an amount. It does that without ever sending a password over the Internet — instead, only through signing a challenge using cryptography. Thus, in case a third-party server getting hacked, you won’t need to worry about your identity. It will still be save inside your wallet.
the community platform
All tips which get sent through the wallet get aggregated automatically on WeTipCoins.com. Users on this site can engage with the content: discuss, comment and chat with other users. It is similar to reddit but all votes (here also valuable coins) and entities are provably on-chain and impossible to forge. Through using this system you will build up reputation over time. Third party content aggregators, as well as ranking algorithms, can start competing using this data, e.g. to eliminate spam and deliver even more valuable recommendations similarly to Google’s Page-Rank.
the new ‘awesome’ button
An ‘awesome’ is more than just a ‘like’. The ‘awesome’ button is similar to Facebook’s like button, but contains your new address/identity so that users of the wallet can instantly send you one-click tips on your site. Directly P2P and without intermediaries. And basically no fees, too.
“In an epic Quora thread, Facebook Engineer Andrew Bosworth delineates the history of the “Awesome”/”Like” button, what eventually turned out to be a way to connect Facebook users with the entire Internet — with the added bonus of rerouting all activity through the Facebook platform.” — TechCrunch
With the decentralized awesome-button, rerouting traffic is no longer needed. Did you know that every time you visit a website which contains a like button you get tracked by Facebook? This is done to create a model of your personality in order to sell your attention to companies through ads. But you do not need to be a product anymore.
The WeTipCoins DeTrust (Decentralized Trust) creates a new intermediate bitcoin address for every website (actually, every URL) on the web, so that they can instantly accept coins, without the need to know anything about Bitcoin (in the first step). Through using multi-signature addresses for the websites no single entity of the DeTrust can access the funds on its own.
To be precise: the DeTrust is right now more like a simple Trust. I am chatting with several entities in the Bitcoin space to let them also have a key for the intermediate addresses, but before we put this live, we need some traction and we would also like to let the community vote on who gets a key. Maybe you want to recommend somebody trustworthy?
Watch how it works
Solving America’s Top Fears
All this put together means: no more filling out forms for supporting or accessing digital content. No personal information will be leaked when we pay for digital content online. Our identity can no longer be stolen when some company’s servers get compromised. We can have as many pseudonymous identities as we want. And finally… We are able to monetize content in a new way, which is more direct and secure, more transparent and rewarding for our users. This leads directly to better content and less ads, too. It works on every website, in every country, worldwide — like the web.
If there is less incentive to break into third-party servers (simply because there is no more personal information to steal), less money will be spend on such hacks and the general security level of the web will increase.
Now, when you know that terrorists use credit card fraud to fund their operations, one could even say that the Awesome Internet Project helps America overcome its top four fears.
Join us and help spread the word. A wide adoption of a technology like this would help a lot in many ways. Tipping and micro-payments for digital content is the easiest way to start…
Tip me bitcoins, help me pay my rent and continue my work: 12vTQhHcgj8Eqoe2mwyAb7QYSoosxpEYYs