Bitcoin startup Satoshipay has been enabling content publishers to facilitate tiny bitcoin payments with no fees for almost a year now. The company has just raised €1 million to take their ‘nanopayments’ to the mainstream.
Big Money for Tiny Payments
Headquartered in London with an office in Berlin, Satoshipay started developing its nanopayment product in April 2015. Its beta version was released the following February. While micropayments are usually €10 or less, nanopayments “are a thousand times smaller” such as a few cents or less, according to the company.
Last year, through organic growth alone, almost 30,000 user wallets were created and over 300 publishers signed up for its service worldwide, according to founder Meinhard Benn.
This week the company finished their seed round funding of €1 million with the aim “to bring nanopayments to the mainstream”, Benn announced. Investors include Blue Star Capital, Jim Mellon, Huiyin Blockchain Venture, and Kryptonite. The company will now focus on bringing its services to the masses by adding more payment methods such as credit cards and other instant payments for topping up credit. Benn noted:
I’m especially looking forward to our upcoming website-to-user payments, enabling website owners to push small amounts of value to their readers, for example for filling out a survey, sharing some private data or fulfilling a small task.
The Paywall Plugin
Satoshipay is a Bitcoin layer-two service allowing bitcoiners to send sub-penny payments, without any fees, to website owners.
Visitors on a Satoshipay-enabled site will see a small circle called the ‘Sun of Satoshi’ pop up in their browser window. The number displayed inside the circle represents the amount available inside their Satoshipay wallet. In this example, 402,000 satoshis are left. Payments are only available for sites that run the plugin.
To add money to the wallet, click on it and various top-up options will appear such as direct bitcoin transfer and a Coinbase payment transfer, which is quicker since no confirmation is needed.
For website publishers, a WordPress plugin can be installed for free for webmasters to charge money for any content on their websites. They can charge per post, per small snippet of text, or even enable ad blocker detection which will then ask users for a small payment. Publishers need to create a Satoshipay account after installing the plugin which gives access to statistics on traffic and earnings on their dashboard. There is no waiting for approval and content can be added immediately.
Besides the typical Bitcoin network fee, there are no fees for either the publishers nor the readers for now. As Satoshipay’s popularity grows, the team plans to charge 10% for all
Growing API Tools
Satoshipay’s API, launched last May, extends the service’s toolset beyond paywalls. It provides tools for developers to use Satoshipay for a wide array of online nanopayments such as for selling eBooks, music, movies, and most formats of digital content.
In order to use the API, webmasters need to:
- Register their digital products with Satoshipay
- Display the digital products and the Satoshipay widget on their website
- Let Satoshipay handle the payments
- Deliver their digital products over standard HTTP
In his recent announcement, Benn detailed additional features, stating that:
Now that we have built our nanopayment platform, we will also begin to use it for other things than web content, for example, machine-to-machine payments in the Internet of Things and in closed-loop systems like apps and games.
What do you think of Satoshipay? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Satoshipay, Visa Europe Collab, and WordPress
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