Summary:

SnipBit is a bitcoin micropayment platform that brings payments to the browser and eliminates the subscription and paywall problems of the web. By utilizing bitcoin and micropayment channels, content producers will be able to easily monetize their content and consumers will be able to access the premium content they desire with one click. This, overall, makes for a better web experience for everyone as content producers are incentivized to produce quality content and consumers are able to finally browse the web a la carte style.

Feasibility:

The SnipBit platform is extremely scalable. By providing the content producers with an api as well as common plug-ins for the most popular CMS’s like Wordpress and Drupal, they can set up their content in a matter of minutes. Any content producer, regardless of size or geographic location will have the same level of access to these tools. The consumer only has to have a bitcoin wallet so it is mostly limited by the amount of users with bitcoin.

Uniqueness:

The idea of micropayments and in browser payments has been around since the creation of the internet, but has been unable to come to fruition because of the traditional financial infrastructure. With bitcoin, we can now tap in to the true potential of micropayments. Our system is completely open and allows the consumer to use whatever wallet they would like in order to pay for the content. We aimed at sticking to the core benefits and avoided a platform like changetip that locks user into a closed system and holds the control of the bitcoin.

Functionality:

Over the course of the month, we were able to accomplish many of the key features of our platform. We currently having a working MVP that allows a user to signup for a new wallet and send and receive out of that wallet. The extension currently shows the transaction history after a payment has been made and is programed to respond to the BIP 70 payment protocols. Because of this, when the user clicks on a bitcoin payment button on the content producer’s site, the extension is alerted and the consumer can confirm the payment with only one more click. The extension is never opened and the smooth web experience is maintained. BIP 70 allows the client to verify where the Payment Request is coming from therefore eliminating man-in-the-middle attacks. The user can trust the payment information just as he could trust an SSL protected site.

Need:

A platform like SnipBit was envisioned since the creation of the internet and the experience for consumers and content producers has been drastically hindered because of the lack of this platform. Sites like the New York times currently only monetize 3% of their viewers meaning all the rest turn away as soon as the first paywall pops up. By allowing micropayments and the user to sample the content before they commit to a longer term commitment, content producers will be able to increase revenue through these one off payments as well as those consumers who go on to purchase a longer subscription after enjoying the sample content a la carte style. With this extra revenue, many content producers will finally be able to switch to an alternative revenue model. In turn the average web user will finally be able to browse the web how it was intended. Without the constant interruptions of paywalls and advertisements and the internet will return to a true environment where information has freedom.

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Updates

Devin de Hueck posted an update

If you would like to try this out please download the chrome extension from the github repo above. You will notice once you click on the "Click here to pay for article" button that chrome wants to launch an external application (you desktop wallet). Please ignore that. The extension handles everything in the browser. Also please do no keep more than a few bits in the extension. It is not secured...like at all.

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