Fluence embraces the Internet of Money and now accepts payments in bitcoin

I’m happy to announce that we can now accept payments in bitcoin at https://fluence.io.

What is bitcoin?

Born out of the near collapse of the world economy in 2008, bitcoin allows you to pay for stuff without going through those pesky banks. This is world changing stuff as the current banking system is incredibly unfair. Banks borrow money from the government for virtually nothing (< 0.25%) and then rent it out to the rest of us for more than 50 times that much. Merchants who want to accept credit card payments are forced to handover almost 3% of the transaction + $0.30 on top. We’ve come to accept this as a necessary cost of doing business — there needs to be some centralized authority responsible for evaluating who can be trusted and settling the accounts right? Well — with the invention of bitcoin and its ever increasing adoption around the world, things no longer have to work this way.

Why is Fluence using it?

At Fluence, we’re excited about Bitcoin not just because of lower transaction fees, but because we see it as a kindred spirit to our own fledgling marketing technology. Fluence levels the playing field by allowing anyone to promote their work directly to the people who can help the most; those with an existing audience and demand for their attention, who would otherwise probably ignore email sent to their overflowing inbox. These “oversubscribed” people set a price for their time and attention to review media submissions and provide helpful feedback and advice, as well as sharing on Twitter or Facebook when they come across stuff they genuinely enjoy. Fluence provides complete transparency about what happens when each user engages with your media. This is radically different from a traditional PR or advertising agency which charges much higher fees and often provides little insight into exactly what you’re getting for your money.

How do I pay for promotions using bitcoin?

You’ll need a Coinbase account to use bitcoin on Fluence. When you submit a media URL to Fluence (we currently support YouTube, Soundcloud, Vimeo, Kickstarter and Bandcamp links and will roll out support for any URL in the near future), you can choose who you’d like to send it to. You’ll be prompted to connect your Coinbase account when you go to pay for your order. Your account will be charged the latest BTC to USD conversion rate and if any of your targeted reviewers do not actually review your media within two weeks, you will be refunded in USD which will be converted into BTC and deposited back into your Coinbase account.

What’s next?

Today we’re allowing you to use your bitcoin wallet at Coinbase to fund your Fluence account but we still actually operate in USD. This is not ideal for many reasons. We run a global attention marketplace and having to exchange currencies between buyers and sellers in different countries can incur excessive transaction costs. Everyone would save money if we operated entirely in bitcoin within Fluence and just let people add or remove funds in their home currency if they felt the need to. One concern is that users would be subject to currency risk due to the fluctuating value of bitcoin, but it’s not just BTC that’s depreciated significantly in the past year. The recent volatility in global currency markets only reminds us more of the benefits we could reap by transacting purely in the bitcoin realm, incurring virtually zero transaction costs along the way.

In my next blog post, I’ll outline a roadmap for how we get there and identify other steps we could take to refactor Fluence into a decentralized autonomous organization. If this sounds like fun to you — then please join us and let’s work on it together.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up now to receive a $5 credit (~0.02 BTC) and get started promoting your media today.