SatoshiPay For Readers
Some time ago I wrote in Education 10 – Earning Bitcoin about various ways one could earn bitcoin instead of buying it. To earn it directly, in my opinion, is yet another way one can close the circle and live on Bitcoin. One of the ways I was excited to see explored was to write posts and, instead of relying on tips or ad revenue, charge small amounts to the audience to read content. So, readers, I’m going to try an experiment.
This post is about SatoshiPay, a service that allows me to charge a small amount for my content instead of relying on ad revenue. I decided that, for the second half of this post, I will remove all advertisements and allow my readers to decide: Ad Revenue or SatoshiPay.
SatoshiPay is a Content Payment Solution. They compress micropayment transaction fees to process nanopayments of $0.01 US or less. It works without software download or sign-up from the user. Payments are instant and the user’s wallet balance is available on whichever site integrates their widget. Let’s see how it works.
I clicked on the “lets [sic] get you filled up” link and a slide-out appeared to top up my SatoshiPay wallet. The smallest amount I could put in it appears to be 50,000 satoshi, or roughly $0.21 US. There are options to pay directly using a QR code or address or to pay with Coinbase.
I sent 0.0005 BTC to SatoshiPay as a test because I haven’t signed up for anything and I’m not sure how they’ll know that this 50,000 satoshi are mine. That, and because mine is the only site I know of that uses it so far.
Very quickly, before I could even get a screenshot, it faded the QR code and replaced it with a green check mark. It said something about success and the slide-in went away. That’s when I noticed this little orange circle around my Google Hangouts icon in the lower right portion of my screen.
I clicked on it and it give me a more detailed view, showing that I have an even 50,000 satoshi. There’s also an information icon to explain, “What is this?”, a settings button, and an icon to top up if my wallet is getting low.
I opened up the “What is this?” link and it explains, again, what SatoshiPay does. It also explains that SatoshiPay lives in your browser, so there’s no sign up.
I’m assuming this is cookie based, which isn’t really secure. It also means it can’t be used in incognito mode . I have been informed by SatoshiPay that it uses local storage, not cookies. You can use it in incognito mode, but you need to back up your wallet before you shut the window if you don’t use your whole balance. It tells you to backup your wallet, even though it’s pocket change, before you uninstall or clear your browser so you don’t loose [sic] your funds. This is good advice, so I set out to find out how.
Well, that wasn’t hard. I opened up the settings button and there are two options. One to auto-pay. Not a fan here, but I may change my mind if SatoshiPay becomes more widespread. The information button says “Pay as soon as item is visible”. I don’t think I really want to do that. I can just see sites putting up random crap behind SatoshiPay in order to leech payments from people. This seems like a bad idea, removing choice. I’ll leave that off for now. In speaking with SatoshiPay I was told that they plan to introduce more granular control for this feature, like per site, maximum amount per time frame, and maximum amount per site.
The setting I came to find was the wallet backup. I clicked on Back Up Wallet and it popped up a private key in wallet import format. It says that you can use this key to import your SatoshiPay Bitcoin wallet in the future. I’m not certain if they mean use it to make a new instance of SatoshiPay use this same Bitcoin wallet, or if they mean get my funds out of this old one into a new instance of SatoshiPay. Maybe it’s a feature that’s not installed yet.
Just for reference, the Top Up button pulls up the same slide-out and wallet that I initially used to send bitcoin into my SatoshiPay wallet. As I hate the idea of using the same addresses all the time, I can see myself clearing this cookie and reloading from time to time.
That’s it for how SatoshiPay works for readers. I have to say I think this service is awesome. If you’re interested in the rest of the review, how it works as a publisher, set up SatoshiPay and go to Review 32 – Satoshi Pay For Publishers.