I would fund this if it wasn't bitcoins #6

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dominictarr opened this Issue Jan 4, 2014 · 57 comments

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dominictarr commented Jan 4, 2014

There are a few reasons why I'm want to use bitcoins here.
Bitcoin is open source money. Regular money is the antithesis!

banks do have an api. but it's hidden to all but a few trusted merchants.

I want to interact with systems that I have the opportunity to improve.
This is why I care about open source, even just telling people you have encountered a problem can help fix open source.

on the otherhand, bitcoin has a lot of room for improvement.
There is a lot of hype, and the price is going up (speculation)
but I don't see much of a real economy. There are a few cases,
and I know a bunch of people who are really into bitcoins, but
I don't know anyone who is making their living from selling things in bitcoins.

What I don't see much of, is an actual bitcoin economy.

But what do the bitcoin community actually need to buy?
there is an electronics store with bitcoin, and apparently a street of resturants
in berlin that all accept bitcoin.

But this is normal stuff. You can buy this stuff with a credit card easily enough.
If bitcoin is really to be successful, there needs to be a new kind of thing you can buy with it, something that it's more suited for than regular money.

So, in a way, I am trying to test bitcoin here. Do the bitcoin community actually
want to have an economy and buy something? something that will make bitcoins actually more useful (and thus, valuable), or do they want to just sit on them and hope the price increases?

So, if you would use this if it wasn't with bitcoins, please explain your reasons.

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 4, 2014

People in the bitcoin community come from different backgrounds (and it will be even more diverse in time) so it's hard to generalize on their agendas. I think many do hold them in hope for it to increase in value, some buy stuff that you already can buy with a credit card and some donate to organizations or projects they would like to see happen.

As you pointed out, there's really no use trying to get some bitcoin just so you can buy stuff you already could with your credit card, unless you're really into it for ideological reasons or want to increase your privacy and keep information from banks.

Right now the majority of people are focusing on bitcoin as a currency and not on the protocol, which I predict is where we will see the major breakthrough, once that starts to sink into peoples minds, i.e. using the distributed ledger with more complicated transaction types. Today the main application is creating 'normal' transactions where a single entity is sending x amount of btc from account A to account B.

We will see innovation (or create it ourselves) when it comes to the transaction language and also creating other applications using the bitcoin protocol, e.g. projects like mastercoin

I guess my point is that we shouldn't focus too much on what things people want to buy with bitcoin, but more what we can't do today with credit cards that we easily can create by using the bitcoin protocol.

Raynos commented Jan 9, 2014

I don't mind paying with bitcoin but I don't have any.

I recommend you link to a "Don't have any bitcoin, get them here and read these 1 2 3 steps on how to pay me". Figuring out how to get bitcoin myself is a bit high friction

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 9, 2014

The easiest way if you live in the states is probably to register with Coinbase.

+1 cash

Contributor

substack commented Jan 9, 2014

@Raynos @ralphtheninja just merged my patch that adds a link to a website that shows you how to buy bitcoin

mgol commented Jan 9, 2014

The reasons many people don't want to have anything to do with Bitcoins are perfectly outlined here: http://brokenlibrarian.org/bitcoin/

Collaborator

kyledrake commented Jan 9, 2014

"Unless you have an ideological stake in the concept of Bitcoin (or want to buy drugs and/or child porn), there is literally no reason to get involved in it."

As someone that is really into drugs and child porn, I don't understand the problem here.

Raynos commented Jan 9, 2014

@substack nice, that helps a bunch.

jb55 commented Jan 10, 2014

Why restrict to just Bitcoin? Some other cryptocurrencies are easier to get in to. Would increase complexity a bit though.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 10, 2014

There is no reason to restrict to bitcoin. The only reason I chose bitcoin has the combination of big ecosystem and popular. I know I could implement this given enough time, you could do it with credit cards too. But what I really want to test first, is whether people believe the idea enough to fund it.
You can't test that by writing code, you have to test the people.

So far, no body has said they would like to fund this, but with credit cards.

Raynos commented Jan 10, 2014

Currently my process to acquire bitcoins is:

  • See cool project, want to pay.
  • Click link to get bitcoins
  • Sign up to coinbase
  • Don't have american bank details, wait until evening
  • Sign up for american bank details, enter bank username / password into coinbase (scary / naive).
  • Buy bitcoin, get told it will arrive in 4 days
  • Waiting, (project probably funded before then)

This is quite an involved process. It's a large "funnel" and I could have dropped off the funnel / ragequited if I didn't believe in the idea.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 10, 2014

@Raynos this is only the first iteration, so there will another, and another after that.

bigeasy commented Jan 10, 2014

Note that I'm not expressing those criticisms, just sharing what appears to be a popular rundown of Bitcoin's potential downside.

Raynos commented Jan 10, 2014

@dominictarr I'm not worried about that, just documenting the process as someone unfamiliar with bitcoin.

it's rather involved compared to conventional debit card payments.

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 10, 2014

@Raynos Hehe sorry this has nothing to do with this thread. I just love the word ragequit, it says it all :)

Anyway, there's also https://localbitcoins.com if you want to buy bitcoins with cash and/or through bank. Localbitcoins is an escrow and works really well. The cash alternative obviously only works well if there are people in your vicinity that are willing to trade. Should we add this to the README as well?

jaredly commented Jan 10, 2014

I'm not ready to embrace bitcoin for a number of reasons, but I'd love to fund this project...

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 10, 2014

@jaredly just briefly, what are your reasons? how much would you fund?

jaredly commented Jan 10, 2014

  • market volatility akin to day trading, feels like gambling
  • political implications that I haven't thought through enough to embrace

I'd chip in $50

Im on the "I would fund this if it wasn't bit coins" side entirely. You want this to be scalable, but limiting payment to bit coins will restrict the project to a small community. Like me, other people might find the goals of this project interesting, but do not use BC nor plan to do so any time soon. So please, add some alternative. Thank you!

refset commented Jan 10, 2014

Bitcoin in particular is ripe because the userbase is filled with so many anonymous and extremely wealthy programmer types who will see value in supporting programmers that do things to support their wealth (by working on bitcoin related things) in exchange for tossing over a couple of nickels.

bigeasy commented Jan 10, 2014

Bitcoin follows a power law, just like everything else. There are a precious few who control most of the coins. Most people who hold coins hold barely any at all.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=51011.0

Think of it as begging for patronage from a minuscule pool of people who have the means.

Let's see, which is a larger user base; those with Bitcoin or those with Master Card, Visa or American Express?

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 10, 2014

Cool, thanks for your comments guys. This is about open source more than it is about bitcoin. I used bitcoin for the prototype because it is way easier from the merchant side. I'll investigate credit card payments.

Hmm, it seems odd that I've already 0.5 bitcoins, but only two people have posted on this issue they would fund with credit card. Maybe it's just because people saw bitcoins and where turned off.

Can anyone recommend a processor? please don't say paypal.
I do forsee some complexity, however....

Raynos commented Jan 10, 2014

@dominictarr I've used require("braintree") before. API was kind of nice, however braintree has been bought by paypal :(

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 10, 2014

Okay, I can't use stripe, because I don't have a bank account in the right country...
This may be an issue :(

bigeasy commented Jan 11, 2014

Someone could collect the money as a fundraiser for you and pay it out to you as a contractor. Let's say I'm going to build this project, but I'm going to pay you to do it.

I'm not in a position to pay you in bitcoin (yet), and echo pretty much @Raynos has said already. In addition, I worry about the volatility of the currency and its current inflated price.

If the driving force behind this effort is to put food on the tables of open source developers, and I buy $25 of bitcoin to give you for this project, there's a possibility that by the time you come to use the actual cash, it's only worth $5. My investment is suddenly much less; I've lost out; you've lost out. That sort of thing just doesn't happen with USD/AUD/NZD.

Of course, I'm just worrying about the extreme case, and it's all a bit silly. But I wanted to voice my opinion, nonetheless.

In the meantime, do you accept DOGE? Ive got some of that :)

bigeasy commented Jan 11, 2014

Are you willing to accept BigEasyCoin? Because I've got plenty of that. It's a personal digital currency, radically simplified; BigEasyCoin is the number zero in UTF-8.

Here's a Node.js program I'm using to mine BigEasyCoin.

while (true) print('0')

You'll notice that it costs one BigEasyCoin to implement the program, but it more than pays for itself.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 11, 2014

@bigeasy wow, great! when I convert funding target into BEC I get:NaN
can you send me that many?

bigeasy commented Jan 11, 2014

@dominictarr I was going to say that I could cover half of that, but that is also NaN. Hmm...

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 11, 2014

sure, half a NaN would be fine, just as long as value === NaN it's cool.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 11, 2014

I do not accept null or undefined however.

jb55 commented Jan 11, 2014

One thing to keep in mind that its only to get easier to buy bitcoin thanks
to Robocoin ATMs that are going to be popping up around the US soon.

I'm fortunate to live in a city with one of these ATMs and they are by far
the easier way to get bitcoins at the moment. Just put in cash and out pops
a printed private key.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies also embody a lot of open source
philosophies. So overall I think its smart going with it initially and
ignoring all the naysayers.
On Jan 10, 2014 4:46 AM, "Alan Gutierrez" notifications@github.com wrote:

Bitcoin follows a power law, just like everything else. There are a
precious few who control most of the coins. Most people who hold coins hold
barely any at all.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=51011.0

Think of it as begging for patronage from a minuscule pool of people who
have the means.

Let's see, which is a larger user base; those with Bitcoin or those with
Master Card, Visa or American Express?


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/dominictarr/feedopensource/issues/6#issuecomment-32024490
.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 11, 2014

@jb55 It's definitely waaay easier to experiment on top of bitcoin.
But the immediate question here is how to get this idea in front of more bitcoin people?
How can I find more bitcoiners?

Okay, so I think you should be able to send me money easily by paypal.
But I don't know what paypal will think if have to refund money, or if lots of people send me small amounts. I have heard to many horror stories about paypal blocking people running charity drives, etc. If a project suddenly gets popular that could be a disaster.

So on the other hand, could just make this a layer on top of indygogo and/or
kickstarter. If you used a shorter payment cycle that would work. hmm.

Maybe the actual payment method could be decouped from feedopensource, which would mainly be a way to integrate with github and encourage better user/developer feedback.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 11, 2014

I will think about this.

@ghost

ghost commented Jan 12, 2014

I believe that PayPal has a no preorder policy, or at least it's in a gray area where they may very well seize your funds, especially in such a strange case as preordering software development. I would say stay the hell away from PayPal. I'm personally a little nervous about bitcoin because it seems very easy to lose access to your coins. Maybe that's an irrational fear? Still, I wouldn't feel comfortable putting very much money into them. I might be willing to put some money in if I was going to immediately use it, like for a feedmystartup campaign. I would really like something that didn't require the effort of moving my money around between currencies just to donate though.

japj commented Jan 12, 2014

Did you have a look at https://gumroad.com ?
One thing to consider is the fee any such payment processing will incur.
People might think you get the amount they pay, but you will actually get less due to the fee.
Not sure how that works with bit coin though.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 12, 2014

It seems like paypal is the only thing with worldwide coverage.
All the lesser (despised) payment gateways don't have coverage.

Okay, one thing on my todo list now is to research exactly why payments are so hard.
It'll probably take a afternoon or two on wikipedia.

Incidentially, I think I mentioned this, but maybe didn't go into depth -
I don't want to build a platform for feedopensource, I want to build an app you can deploy.
This means that you'd plug in your own payment processor (whatever it is)
and go, nothing to do with me. On the one hand, this would mean low scale - none of them would look like a whole platform, it kinda spreads the risk, but doesn't remove it.

Another option, could be to sell subscriptions, but it must be easy to cancel.
That is a key part of the feedopensource proposition. The funders must always have the power to stop paying.

I like the idea of subscriptions, which paypal makes easy to create and the user can cancel themselves at any time.

It might be worth taking a look at balanced payments. They are the people that do the ecommerce for gittip. They may even be able to hold funds in escrow until the work is finished. Never used them myself though.

@ghost

ghost commented Jan 12, 2014

PayPal may have worldwide coverage, but they are also very picky about how their service can be used. At least spend some time doing research about whether or not it will be an issue before you release a product with PayPal integration! The idea of a pluggable payment system is nice though. You could release a version with nothing but bitcoin, but make it easy for developers to integrate their own solution.

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 12, 2014

If PayPal finds out they are integrated with a system using bitcoin, they will start freezing money and banning accounts. Make no mistake.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 13, 2014

paypal and bitcoin wouldn't be integrated at the same time.

The problem is that there is no simple answer - paypal makes it's own judgements, so it all becomes rumors and speculation. It's not like they hear the blocking orders in some sort of paypal court and you can hire a paypal lawyer to defend your case. that would be crazy, but would still be an improvement.

@eugeneware if it works for gittip, that is a good sign, although you then have this problem:
gittip/www.gittip.com#126 (trigger warning - very long issue)

SO, ANYWAY!

WE JUST HIT 100%! THANKS EVERYONE!

so I'm gonna continue prototyping with bitcoins!

Collaborator

NHQ commented Jan 14, 2014

pls no paypal

bitcoin only needs more liquidity. these projects will help that, as bitcoin and feedopensource projects will share a similar crowd of early adopters: developers. It would also help for more developer facing companies to accept bitcoin, and fund some open source projects that use their API.

@dominictarr it is not exactly that feedopensource needs to be more visible to bitcoin users, but more more devs need to become bitcoin users. Buy some open source tokens! The visibility of feedopensource is baked into the social aspect.

@ghost

ghost commented Jan 14, 2014

I originally said I wasn't very interested in bitcoin, but I set up a wallet and have spent some time learning about it just so I can use feedopensource. I also put a bitcoin donation address on my project's website. It seems that the other options just all kind of suck.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 14, 2014

@isaacbw exactly!
If banks made international payments as easy as email - like if paypal lived up to it's claims - no one would have even heard of bitcoins.

sartaj commented Jan 18, 2014

Thanks to @NHQ for showing me this project. It's a brilliant project based on brilliant economic observations by @dominictarr.

I second the reasons @jaredly stated for not using bitcoin.

I'd chip $50 USD.

If you don't like banks, perhaps looking into making a credit union for open source developers is in order.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 18, 2014

@sartaj haha, yes. that is actually quite an interesting idea. it looks like starting a credit union is actually relatively feasible, although still a massive undertaking.

would this work internationally? or would you need to start an allied credit union in each country?

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 18, 2014

It should be possible to create a credit union (or parts of that functionality at least) by only using bitcoin and multisignature transactions. People that want to take part in the union chip in bitcoin to a common pool (anyone can fund that address). If someone wants to borrow from the union, a majority of the members need to approve to move funds out of that address.

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 18, 2014

@isaacbw Link to your project? I'd like to chip in :)

@ghost

ghost commented Jan 18, 2014

@ralphtheninja It's http://fez.github.io/! If you have any questions or feedback, we're hanging out in #fez on freenode and I would love to know what you think! Thank you!

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 18, 2014

@isaacbw Cool! You could add a qr code to simplify donations. Steal it from blockchain.info https://blockchain.info/address/14LaXZaTHwGz6dy56qQoSnqTYBuS6BEgqA (double check that it's the correct address :))

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 19, 2014

there are also some node modules that can generate the qr code, since we already have stuff to generate pngs, it's a small step to add QR codes.
Although, since people are probably already at their computers,
is a qr code actually that helpful?

Collaborator

ralphtheninja commented Jan 19, 2014

I can only speak for myself. It's helpful to me because I have the smart phone right next to me with the blockchain.info app. I prefer to keep a small amount on blockchain and don't store any bitcoin on my computer.

Owner

dominictarr commented Jan 19, 2014

@ralphtheninja ah, okay: can you post QR codes as another issue, and we can add it to the next iteration.

jhs commented Jan 28, 2014

Another note just to think about:

Bitcoin is actually the easiest e-commerce framework to implement. I've used Braintree, Chargify, and Stripe. Bitcoin is easily simpler than all of those.

  • Technical reason: The data model is simple and flexible. Just pick an account, publish it, and wait for funds to arrive.
  • Business reason: Anybody can receive bitcoin payments from their site or application without signing up or applying of requesting approval from anybody.

So if your customers or patrons do or could use bitcoin, it can actually the best bang-for-buck to generate revenue.

aoberoi commented Feb 4, 2014

i hope you can start a conversation with the guys at Balanced Payments. they are huge on open source and obv vey knowledgable about payments.

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