Events 24 May 2018Cecille de Jesus
Ryan X. Charles unveils the Money Button at the CoinGeek Conference
The Yours.org CEO talks about shifting from Bitcoin Core to Bitcoin Cash, as well as nifty new developments from the cryptocurrency-focused social network.
Brief History of Yours.org
Ryan X Charles, the co-founder and CEO of Yours.org, spoke at last week’s—and the first ever, CoinGeek Conference in Hong Kong. Yours.org has been a popular content and social network platform for blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Charles started out by giving a brief history of the platform, and where they were during the block size debate.
“Back then, you know you would see these popular social media apps like Reddit, Facebook, and so on and there was no way for users to earn money for what they’re doing on these platforms. And it seemed like Bitcoin would be a good way to solve this problem. What we could do is we just put a Bitcoin wallet and inside a social media app, and then we could do cool things like integrated tipping, we could do paywalls, we could do a lot of other more innovative things.”
However, things didn’t exactly go as originally planned, and it had everything to do with the Great Scaling Debate.
“Also, the fees were really low—originally, anyway. The fees were basically zero. But by early 2016, when we started this project, fees on Bitcoin had increased actually significantly up to about five cents per transaction. And because they were still increasing, we realized that it might not continue to work as a micropayments system by itself.”
Yours.org then spent a year developing a complex solution on top of Bitcoin that would help lower the fees—something much like the Lightning Network. But then as Bitcoin (BTC) fees continued to skyrocket, even their solution was not enough and the overall transaction fees remained unreasonably steep. By early 2017, fees were at a $5 average per transaction, and it takes around three transactions to open a payment channel.
“Fifteen dollars just to join a social media network is quite expensive when everybody’s used to stuff being free, not to mention that money doesn’t even go to our business—it goes to the miners. So it’s a very weird proposition to tell our users you have to pay a bunch of money first to some other people to be able to join our social media network.
“We got very involved in the block size debate because our business and all the stuff we wanted to do started to seem threatened with this outrageous situation with fees on Bitcoin. We ended up switching to Litecoin (LTC) for a while. And then, of course, we were very fortunate that Bitcoin Cash launched last August because fees on Bitcoin Cash are so low that we don’t need the payment channel technology anymore. We can just do simple on-chain Bitcoin Cash transactions just like we used to be able to do with Bitcoin before fees got out of hand.
The Money Button, and anti-trolling fees mechanism
Charles says Yours.org has a few nifty little functionalities such as tipping, paywalls, an incentivized vote button, and an interestingly clever anti-trolling mechanism.
“We have a really cool thing where we allow the authors to set a price for comments on an article so that—if you’ve ever been trolled on social media, which many of us have—anybody involved in the block size debate has experienced that. It’d be really cool if you could just charge money for people to write comments on your articles,” Charles said.
The biggest new thing from Yours.org, however, is the Money Button.
“What happened along the way was we had a bunch of people that would come to us and say, ‘we love what you’re doing with Yours.org. This is really cool, your micropayments system is really interesting. But we’re a professional publication—we can’t put our content on your website. Can you please make an API for us where we can plug your micropayments system, which is basically a UI layer on top of Bitcoin Cash, into our existing publication or app?’”
“So we realized that’s actually a pretty good idea.”
And so, the Money Button was born—which would enable any website to integrate the same Yours.org micropayment button but would enable a reader to pay to read or “buy” a single article really quick and at amounts as small as $1 without having to commit to a full subscription.
Watch his presentation in the video below.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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