Web3 subscriptions and payment automation.
What tools does web2 offer that keep people and businesses within web2, until it can be provided by web3?
Web3 is a revolution in many ways. And the future is bright with all the new possibilities available, but what are some of the blockers for wider adoption? Here’s a perspective on one big blocker, and a solution…
What’s the situ?
We now live in a world where you can transact with another party without an intermediary to facilitate the transactions. Bitcoin. This peer to peer reality is a paradigm shift on a whole new qualitative level. Freedom from control from entities such as banks, bypassing the state function and jurisdiction through a network of nodes, a portal into a parallel world if you will, with parallel rules, laws and customs. A new surface area (to play) underpinned by different values. But this can be quite abstract for the many people who use the internet, namely most online business owners and their customers.
Where are we?
When we talk about what have we done thus far (in the blockchain world), such as the ability to transact p2p over a blockchain network, is already an amazing achievement; allowing people to trade in a decentralised way, this option is there for people now. Only in the past 3 years have we decentralised voting and funding mechanisms for communities to where there are some very potent tools. Because now you don’t need a bank account, official identity documents, or a registered company, to be part of a decentralised organisation or DAO — just a relatively decent internet connection. These “basic” tools can go a long way. It increases accessibility for people to join these online based communities and become a funded contributor, a real awesome place for those “pioneers” interested and intrigued enough to dive in.
The Web2 online economy
What does the Web2 world still have to offer that keeps people and businesses stuck there? There are of course many things. The obvious thing is that web2 is easy to use and their customers pay with fiat, if you seem legit enough, people will give you their card details on file so that payments can be taken regularly. And so here we have the key thing driving most of these businesses, the subscription based revenue model. Painless monthly payments that people will subscribe to, and forget about, in order to have access to a specific service. Around this business model, you have products and services designed to be seamless and intuitive to use, solving a person’s needs whatever it may be.
Boiling it down…
If we boil it down simply, the ability to take money from a person’s account regularly because they agreed to it, is what has fuelled this modern internet subscription economy.
The thing I am honing in on is the ability to take an automated payment from paying customers. Without it, there are countless services we use that won’t exist. Let’s just cover a few. Gym memberships, app store subscriptions, software-as-a-service’s, youtube without ads, streaming music, TV, movies and video games on demand, educational content, and now cars are offering subscriptions, and many more things, the list is endless.
But it’s empowering for people too, because you don’t have to get paid and work in an old style way, if you have some value to offer, you can package it in a certain way, grow your membership base, and provide value, in return for regular payments.
Subscriptions are a great way to empower people to leave their normal salaried jobs and create a small business, where they can go directly to their audience and get paid monthly users, which provides a regular predictable monthly income. Someone with an online membership with 100 members paying $30 a month, is making average household income, but without a boss. Ok, maybe you need to work closer to 24/7 instead of 9 to 5, but it’s worth if you have ambitions, there’s no upper limits.
In the US, the average American consumer is spending $237.33 a month on subscription based services . In the UK, nearly three-quarters (73%) of consumers are currently paying for a multitude of subscriptions and monthly memberships . If you didn’t already know, it’s a big thing.
Subscriptions empower and disrupt the status quo
Substack allow writers to provide paid monthly newsletters to their audience, circumnavigating the conventional, and generally quite restrictive path of journalism.
Subscriptions unlock value
Netflix charges roughly $10 per month to offer entertainment. $10 only used to afford you about 3 movies back when the video store/shop was around, if there are people who still remember Blockbuster.
Sounds great, how can I create subscription based service?
You will have to come up with the magic and the audience but here are the tools to build it:
What powers Web2 subscriptions for small businesses? Stripe
Stripe is an awesomely powerful tool for anyone without much need for technical knowledge to plug into their website and convert it into a place to take one-off, and importantly those magical recurring payments.
To make a user login site, a great tool to set up a site is webflow, combine that with Memberstack, and then you can take sign ups, without even touching a backend. Simple and easy. It scales to thousands of members. All for under $60 a month you have a platform that is capable of having a gated member site that has content which delivers to many thousands of users and millions of revenue. There’s really no excuses.
How can we do subscriptions for Web3?
Kabocha will enable the stripe functionality, but on a blockchain. We’re working on this with our “subscriptions pallet” you can find in our repo.
We want to make it easy for people to create a web3 membership as easy as it is in the web3 world as mentioned above. That means we will have the SDK for developers, but also there will be services like a Web3 Memberstack who do all the magic for you, but in a non-custodial way.
The great thing about Web3 subscriptions is that your “member graph” are yours even if you decide to change the platform or frontend you want your members to interface. No one can take them from you. But we’re early, so we’re solving problems for our nascent garden of an ecosystem.
Kabocha is working on creating a playground of possibilities, which will be a place we deconstruct reality and synthesise new potent reality with principled design, inspired from source. Kabocha’s influence is already (quietly) becoming manifest across various strata of society: media, paradigm shifting ideas, science, art, design, engineering, conscious practices.. and identity.
This article was written by Ramsey, the founder of Decentration, technical founding steward of Kabocha.
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