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pay in with bitcoin #14

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chadwhitacre opened this Issue Jun 6, 2012 · 116 comments

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chadwhitacre commented Jun 6, 2012

Status: We need someone to join Team Gittip and take ownership of our bitcoin integration. Is it you?!

The essence of Gittip is recurring gifts, and there is (I gather) no way to do recurring bitcoin payments. Gittip will likely add explicit support for one-off (#5) and pre-paid (#113) gifts once the core recurring feature has matured. At that point we'll be ready for funding with bitcoin.

I (@whit537) am going to let someone else contribute the bulk of this work. On the pattern of Balanced contributing integration with their system (#78), my ideal would be to see a bitcoin processor such as Bit-Pay step forward and contribute integration with their service. A lesser option would be for a non-Bit-Pay member of the Gittip community to contribute the integration.

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alex Jun 7, 2012

Please don't do this, I know that I, and many others, don't take bitcoin very seriously, and projects that use it are similarly often not taken seriously.

alex commented Jun 7, 2012

Please don't do this, I know that I, and many others, don't take bitcoin very seriously, and projects that use it are similarly often not taken seriously.

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chadwhitacre Jun 7, 2012

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Seems like ideally people would be free to deposit and withdraw in the currency of their choosing. So if someone wants to deposit bitcoin you could still withdraw USD transparently (you'd never know they paid in bitcoin).

That said, bitcoin isn't a top priority for me personally.

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chadwhitacre commented Jun 7, 2012

Seems like ideally people would be free to deposit and withdraw in the currency of their choosing. So if someone wants to deposit bitcoin you could still withdraw USD transparently (you'd never know they paid in bitcoin).

That said, bitcoin isn't a top priority for me personally.

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thiloplanz Jun 14, 2012

+1 for developing the code to support bitcoin (in a branch), but agree that it should not be integrated right now

+1 for developing the code to support bitcoin (in a branch), but agree that it should not be integrated right now

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thiloplanz Jun 14, 2012

Actually, just having the option to accept payments and withdraw money via Bitcoin (provided by a payment gateway) should be sufficient. No need to have deep Bitcoin integration throughout the system (i.e. account balances can still be exclusively in USD).

In addition to that, there could be an option to display your bitcoin receiving address on your profile page in gittip. That way, people can directly send bitcoin donations (peer-to-peer, outside of gittip).

Actually, just having the option to accept payments and withdraw money via Bitcoin (provided by a payment gateway) should be sufficient. No need to have deep Bitcoin integration throughout the system (i.e. account balances can still be exclusively in USD).

In addition to that, there could be an option to display your bitcoin receiving address on your profile page in gittip. That way, people can directly send bitcoin donations (peer-to-peer, outside of gittip).

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kiba Jul 4, 2012

Yes, please. I will only use this service if it support bitcoin.

kiba commented Jul 4, 2012

Yes, please. I will only use this service if it support bitcoin.

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chadwhitacre Jul 4, 2012

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Seems like there's strong opinion around this question. Here's a contra argument that goes into some detail:

http://www.quora.com/Bitcoin/Is-the-cryptocurrency-Bitcoin-a-good-idea/answer/Adam-Cohen-2

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chadwhitacre commented Jul 4, 2012

Seems like there's strong opinion around this question. Here's a contra argument that goes into some detail:

http://www.quora.com/Bitcoin/Is-the-cryptocurrency-Bitcoin-a-good-idea/answer/Adam-Cohen-2

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chadwhitacre Jul 4, 2012

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Somewhat vigorous discussion here:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4200574

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chadwhitacre commented Jul 4, 2012

Somewhat vigorous discussion here:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4200574

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olalonde Jul 5, 2012

Whether Bitcoin is "not serious"/"a scam"/"not a currency" is irrelevant. People who receive bitcoins are free to convert them to USD as soon as they receive them.

olalonde commented Jul 5, 2012

Whether Bitcoin is "not serious"/"a scam"/"not a currency" is irrelevant. People who receive bitcoins are free to convert them to USD as soon as they receive them.

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colindean Jul 5, 2012

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I support this and I'd happily devote a portion of my monthly mining to it developers via it.

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colindean commented Jul 5, 2012

I support this and I'd happily devote a portion of my monthly mining to it developers via it.

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thiloplanz Jul 6, 2012

I think the only practical way to support Bitcoin is in the same way we support all other payments: Team up with a payment gateway that supports Bitcoin. The money would be transferred to Gittip as USD, and would show up as USD with the recipient of the donation. But thanks to the payment processor, deposits and withdrawals could be made as Bitcoins, or Pound Sterling or whatever. No need to bring in multi-currency support into the system itself.

So this comes down to finding a payment processor that likes bitcoin. This would probably need to be an additional payment processor, as it is unlikely to be one that can also handle "mainstream" credit-card transactions.

Also note that Bitcoin payments will have to be pre-paid payments (see #113), I don't think it is possible to set up a recurring charge.

I think the only practical way to support Bitcoin is in the same way we support all other payments: Team up with a payment gateway that supports Bitcoin. The money would be transferred to Gittip as USD, and would show up as USD with the recipient of the donation. But thanks to the payment processor, deposits and withdrawals could be made as Bitcoins, or Pound Sterling or whatever. No need to bring in multi-currency support into the system itself.

So this comes down to finding a payment processor that likes bitcoin. This would probably need to be an additional payment processor, as it is unlikely to be one that can also handle "mainstream" credit-card transactions.

Also note that Bitcoin payments will have to be pre-paid payments (see #113), I don't think it is possible to set up a recurring charge.

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colindean Jul 6, 2012

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bitpay is probably the most trusted bitcoin payment processor I know of. I've used it for several transactions. While it's not the most beautiful experience, it sure is quicker than some other checkout processes!

mtgox was working on one, but I've not heard any progress on it and it's definitely not up on their site yet.

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colindean commented Jul 6, 2012

bitpay is probably the most trusted bitcoin payment processor I know of. I've used it for several transactions. While it's not the most beautiful experience, it sure is quicker than some other checkout processes!

mtgox was working on one, but I've not heard any progress on it and it's definitely not up on their site yet.

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singpolyma Jul 23, 2012

+1 for BTC through a reliable payment processor. No reason gittip should have to handle any currency directly :)

+1 for BTC through a reliable payment processor. No reason gittip should have to handle any currency directly :)

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thiloplanz Jul 24, 2012

+10 USD for BTC through a reliable payment processor.

Just started a bounty for this on FreedomSponsors: http://www.freedomsponsors.org/core/issue/16/pre-pay-gittip-with-bitcoin

Anyone who also wants this, feel free to chip in.

+10 USD for BTC through a reliable payment processor.

Just started a bounty for this on FreedomSponsors: http://www.freedomsponsors.org/core/issue/16/pre-pay-gittip-with-bitcoin

Anyone who also wants this, feel free to chip in.

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chadwhitacre Jul 28, 2012

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+1 for www.bit-pay.com from @lyndsysimon at PyOhio.

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chadwhitacre commented Jul 28, 2012

+1 for www.bit-pay.com from @lyndsysimon at PyOhio.

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ghost Jul 29, 2012

+1 mt gox payment system plus they are an exchange so they would make it easy to convert, for bitcoin in general, the bitcoin community is worth ~$9 million, it is being seen more and more people everyday. Even highly respected VC's in silicon valley have invested in a company that is targeting paypal in the mobile/online currency area. I think bitcoin would be a great fit for gittip.

ghost commented Jul 29, 2012

+1 mt gox payment system plus they are an exchange so they would make it easy to convert, for bitcoin in general, the bitcoin community is worth ~$9 million, it is being seen more and more people everyday. Even highly respected VC's in silicon valley have invested in a company that is targeting paypal in the mobile/online currency area. I think bitcoin would be a great fit for gittip.

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lyndsysimon Jul 29, 2012

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The primary issue that we identified at PyOhio is that there is no way that we could think of to allow for recurring payments with Bitcoin, through Bit-Pay or another mechanism. I'm going to keep thinking this through, but I thought I would document the concern here in case someone else knows of a solution.

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lyndsysimon commented Jul 29, 2012

The primary issue that we identified at PyOhio is that there is no way that we could think of to allow for recurring payments with Bitcoin, through Bit-Pay or another mechanism. I'm going to keep thinking this through, but I thought I would document the concern here in case someone else knows of a solution.

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colindean Jul 29, 2012

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there is no way that we could think of to allow for recurring payments with Bitcoin

The Bitcoin proponent in me says "That's a feature!" but the developer side of me agrees with the problem.

An implementation I see would require a user to fund the account held by gittip, from which weekly amounts are pulled. Gittip sends warnings when the next weekly amount exceeds the balance of the account, requesting that the user fund the account more.

It's just a one-time payment thing through and through. Tip yourself? And then tip others from your own tip jar, I guess.

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colindean commented Jul 29, 2012

there is no way that we could think of to allow for recurring payments with Bitcoin

The Bitcoin proponent in me says "That's a feature!" but the developer side of me agrees with the problem.

An implementation I see would require a user to fund the account held by gittip, from which weekly amounts are pulled. Gittip sends warnings when the next weekly amount exceeds the balance of the account, requesting that the user fund the account more.

It's just a one-time payment thing through and through. Tip yourself? And then tip others from your own tip jar, I guess.

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ghost Jul 29, 2012

I agree with @colindean you could send a good amount of bitcoins and just pull from that, the only other way I thinking of doing it is maybe implementing BIP 16? https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/BIP_16

ghost commented Jul 29, 2012

I agree with @colindean you could send a good amount of bitcoins and just pull from that, the only other way I thinking of doing it is maybe implementing BIP 16? https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/BIP_16

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colindean Jul 29, 2012

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Possibly, but I say that for now it's best to keep it simple.

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colindean commented Jul 29, 2012

Possibly, but I say that for now it's best to keep it simple.

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osmosis79 Jul 30, 2012

My vote for bitcoins as well.

My vote for bitcoins as well.

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kiba Jul 30, 2012

Remember, bitcoin is just software. Theoretically, a bitcoin user can setup recurring payment on his end.

kiba commented Jul 30, 2012

Remember, bitcoin is just software. Theoretically, a bitcoin user can setup recurring payment on his end.

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chadwhitacre Aug 1, 2012

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I expect to support one-off payments (#5) and/or pre-payments (#113) once the basic recurring system is humming. Once those are in place presumably bitcoin makes more sense.

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chadwhitacre commented Aug 1, 2012

I expect to support one-off payments (#5) and/or pre-payments (#113) once the basic recurring system is humming. Once those are in place presumably bitcoin makes more sense.

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gasteve Aug 3, 2012

Hi, I'm the CTO of BitPay.com …we are heavy users of Git and I would certainly support this project. It should be easy to integrate and you can accept Bitcoin payment and get a direct deposit of USD the next business day (or a handful of other currencies). We don't yet support recurring billing as we'll have to add some support for it on the wallet side first (and even then, it will be more of the nature of a reminder to send a payment as bitcoin functions more like cash than like an account that merchants can pull money out of). The main advantage I see for gittip is that you can receive payments securely (no risk of fraud or chargebacks) from anywhere in the world. With traditional payment systems, the risk of fraud can be so high from certain regions that you end up paying huge fees, or you simply can't accept payment. And yes, bitpay.com is somewhat ugly right now, but we'll be launching bitpay.com soon. If anyone from gittip has any questions about us or Bitcoin in general, I'd be happy to speak with you. Contrary to much of the internet chatter about Bitcoin, it's a real innovation and I can elaborate on all aspects of that.

gasteve commented Aug 3, 2012

Hi, I'm the CTO of BitPay.com …we are heavy users of Git and I would certainly support this project. It should be easy to integrate and you can accept Bitcoin payment and get a direct deposit of USD the next business day (or a handful of other currencies). We don't yet support recurring billing as we'll have to add some support for it on the wallet side first (and even then, it will be more of the nature of a reminder to send a payment as bitcoin functions more like cash than like an account that merchants can pull money out of). The main advantage I see for gittip is that you can receive payments securely (no risk of fraud or chargebacks) from anywhere in the world. With traditional payment systems, the risk of fraud can be so high from certain regions that you end up paying huge fees, or you simply can't accept payment. And yes, bitpay.com is somewhat ugly right now, but we'll be launching bitpay.com soon. If anyone from gittip has any questions about us or Bitcoin in general, I'd be happy to speak with you. Contrary to much of the internet chatter about Bitcoin, it's a real innovation and I can elaborate on all aspects of that.

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gasteve Aug 3, 2012

Oh, I should add one more thing…I'm a big fan of crowd funding and think it has a lot of promise when it comes to funding projects in the common interest without resorting to coercive means. You should be particularly interested to know that Bitcoin has technology in it that can directly support Assurance Contracts (and Dominant Assurance Contracts). They can be enforced mathematically. The software to use it isn't there yet and the features needed to support it haven't been activated yet, but the protocol and core Bitcoin client does have the necessary support for it.

gasteve commented Aug 3, 2012

Oh, I should add one more thing…I'm a big fan of crowd funding and think it has a lot of promise when it comes to funding projects in the common interest without resorting to coercive means. You should be particularly interested to know that Bitcoin has technology in it that can directly support Assurance Contracts (and Dominant Assurance Contracts). They can be enforced mathematically. The software to use it isn't there yet and the features needed to support it haven't been activated yet, but the protocol and core Bitcoin client does have the necessary support for it.

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thiloplanz Aug 22, 2012

There are apparently plans to offer "regular" debit cards powered by Bitcoin:

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/08/bitcoin-company-says-debit-cards-coming-in-two-months/

I don't know how debit cards work (can they be linked to gittip?) and if they will be available to non-US citizens, but this could be a way, too.

There are apparently plans to offer "regular" debit cards powered by Bitcoin:

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/08/bitcoin-company-says-debit-cards-coming-in-two-months/

I don't know how debit cards work (can they be linked to gittip?) and if they will be available to non-US citizens, but this could be a way, too.

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lyndsysimon Aug 22, 2012

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The debit cards are supposed to work as regular reloadables, which get USD (or other local currency) added to them when BTC hits an address. They spend as USD, and are not subject to price fluctuations.

They also have low limits ($1000 USD?), and require the same identification flow as a traditional bank account.

I really think the best thing to do here is wait for support for gifts/one-offs and prepayment, then integrate Bit-Pay as just another payment processor, but one that does not support recurrence.

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lyndsysimon commented Aug 22, 2012

The debit cards are supposed to work as regular reloadables, which get USD (or other local currency) added to them when BTC hits an address. They spend as USD, and are not subject to price fluctuations.

They also have low limits ($1000 USD?), and require the same identification flow as a traditional bank account.

I really think the best thing to do here is wait for support for gifts/one-offs and prepayment, then integrate Bit-Pay as just another payment processor, but one that does not support recurrence.

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chadwhitacre Aug 31, 2012

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@thiloplanz I use a debit card with Gittip, so this would probably work for some people at least. As @lyndsysimon says you lose the privacy benefits of bitcoin, so a first-class option should still be on the table.

@gasteve Would you be interested in contributing BitPay integration to Gittip? That's the pattern we've established with Balanced Payments (our credit card and ACH processor). After discussion, they forked www.gittip.com, implemented the integration with their service, and then submitted a pull request. Now we have a close partnership going. Would you be interested in a similar partnership?

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chadwhitacre commented Aug 31, 2012

@thiloplanz I use a debit card with Gittip, so this would probably work for some people at least. As @lyndsysimon says you lose the privacy benefits of bitcoin, so a first-class option should still be on the table.

@gasteve Would you be interested in contributing BitPay integration to Gittip? That's the pattern we've established with Balanced Payments (our credit card and ACH processor). After discussion, they forked www.gittip.com, implemented the integration with their service, and then submitted a pull request. Now we have a close partnership going. Would you be interested in a similar partnership?

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Grix Sep 2, 2012

I would be much more inclined to donate if bitcoin was a payment method.

The reasons:

  • I find it much faster and smoother to use than traditional payment systems such as credit cards.
  • The fees, especially for small donations, are small to non-existent.

Grix commented Sep 2, 2012

I would be much more inclined to donate if bitcoin was a payment method.

The reasons:

  • I find it much faster and smoother to use than traditional payment systems such as credit cards.
  • The fees, especially for small donations, are small to non-existent.
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chadwhitacre Sep 8, 2012

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From @gasteve on #126:

Let me see if I can find one of our integration partners to take on this project. I personally have very little time available.

Sweet! Thank you. :-)

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chadwhitacre commented Sep 8, 2012

From @gasteve on #126:

Let me see if I can find one of our integration partners to take on this project. I personally have very little time available.

Sweet! Thank you. :-)

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thiloplanz Sep 15, 2012

Richard Stallman is apparently pushing for bitcoin integration in the similar (to gittip) FreedomSponsors service:

http://blog.freedomsponsors.org/notable-feedback-richard-stallman/

Richard Stallman is apparently pushing for bitcoin integration in the similar (to gittip) FreedomSponsors service:

http://blog.freedomsponsors.org/notable-feedback-richard-stallman/

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martindale Sep 23, 2012

+1 for simple BTC deposit / withdrawal.

+1 for simple BTC deposit / withdrawal.

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ghost Nov 5, 2012

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4743954

Bitcoins looking pretty good right now just saying.

ghost commented Nov 5, 2012

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4743954

Bitcoins looking pretty good right now just saying.

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tuananh Nov 6, 2012

you can use other e-currency like Liberty reserve, etc... the rate is more much more stable in comparison to bitcoin.

tuananh commented Nov 6, 2012

you can use other e-currency like Liberty reserve, etc... the rate is more much more stable in comparison to bitcoin.

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ghost Nov 6, 2012

Can you explain how bitcoin isn't stable? It has been steady raising and is actually quite stable. Also better suited then any other since it was designed with mirco transactions in mind.

ghost commented Nov 6, 2012

Can you explain how bitcoin isn't stable? It has been steady raising and is actually quite stable. Also better suited then any other since it was designed with mirco transactions in mind.

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Grix Nov 6, 2012

@tuananh The point of bitcoin (imo) is it's ease (once you learn it), speed and cost of use. There is nothing else that offers the same experience, comparing bitcoin to liberty reserve is like comparing teleportation to airplanes. The stability of bitcoin will increase over time, but it's definitely useable even right now.

Grix commented Nov 6, 2012

@tuananh The point of bitcoin (imo) is it's ease (once you learn it), speed and cost of use. There is nothing else that offers the same experience, comparing bitcoin to liberty reserve is like comparing teleportation to airplanes. The stability of bitcoin will increase over time, but it's definitely useable even right now.

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janearc Jul 17, 2013

This is true of any such system. To suggest "well, we better not do that
because we might be pwned" is a fallacy. You might be pwned without gittip;
your banking provider might be; your credit card processing provider might;
your cloud services provider might; the NSA might steal your monies … and
so on. One cannot simply not move forward because Big Scary Demons exist
out there. One notes the risks, attempts to mitigate the risks, and moves
forward, as any rational, thinking adult does.

Alex J Avriette
http://search.cpan.org/~alex/
+1 858 3677293

On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM, Patrick Connolly <notifications@github.com

wrote:

@pyalot https://github.com/pyalot I understand that a competent
sysadmin could manage it, but I'm unsure the expectation of change
management and security and off-site wallet storage etc with an opensource
project such as gittip. My concern is that the stringent security required
for running bitcoind might cripple the project's open source agility. Maybe
that's wrong, but I just wanted to express the concern :) One exploit and
everything is gone, regardless of backups. External services can help
alleviate that concern is all I'm saying.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/gittip/www.gittip.com/issues/14#issuecomment-21116502
.

janearc commented Jul 17, 2013

This is true of any such system. To suggest "well, we better not do that
because we might be pwned" is a fallacy. You might be pwned without gittip;
your banking provider might be; your credit card processing provider might;
your cloud services provider might; the NSA might steal your monies … and
so on. One cannot simply not move forward because Big Scary Demons exist
out there. One notes the risks, attempts to mitigate the risks, and moves
forward, as any rational, thinking adult does.

Alex J Avriette
http://search.cpan.org/~alex/
+1 858 3677293

On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM, Patrick Connolly <notifications@github.com

wrote:

@pyalot https://github.com/pyalot I understand that a competent
sysadmin could manage it, but I'm unsure the expectation of change
management and security and off-site wallet storage etc with an opensource
project such as gittip. My concern is that the stringent security required
for running bitcoind might cripple the project's open source agility. Maybe
that's wrong, but I just wanted to express the concern :) One exploit and
everything is gone, regardless of backups. External services can help
alleviate that concern is all I'm saying.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/gittip/www.gittip.com/issues/14#issuecomment-21116502
.

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pyalot Jul 17, 2013

@patcon So to get this in a nutshell, you're running a company that manages money of other people and you're worried about being professional enough to manage other peoples money right?

pyalot commented Jul 17, 2013

@patcon So to get this in a nutshell, you're running a company that manages money of other people and you're worried about being professional enough to manage other peoples money right?

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patcon Jul 17, 2013

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@pyalot When you're running through a payment gateway, there are boatloads of safeguards that the company must have in place to protect a user's money, and know their customers. Plus the credit card companies have boatloads of responsibilities as well. Plus any stolen money must be laundered or it has a trail to a bank account. None of this exists with running bitcoind directly. It's incredibly enticing for a malicious user to penetrate, much more so that any service working with Stripe. Nuff said. That's my only point.

If you don't think that's at least a cautious observation worth considering, then I don't know what else to say.

@avriette I'm suggesting "attempts to mitigate the risks" might involve using a third party for now.

I'm not saying we can't do it guys. Honestly. I'm just trying to point out some of the stuff that I don't think has been raised yet, and which we, the presumed decision-makers, should keep in mind.

Also, if we're planning to do any conversion of bitcoin to dollars, then we might be an MSB and so running bitcoind rather than using an accredited MSB (Coinbase) could possibly be illegal. so maybe the point is moot :) I'm a little fuzzy on the minutia of money services business licensing

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patcon commented Jul 17, 2013

@pyalot When you're running through a payment gateway, there are boatloads of safeguards that the company must have in place to protect a user's money, and know their customers. Plus the credit card companies have boatloads of responsibilities as well. Plus any stolen money must be laundered or it has a trail to a bank account. None of this exists with running bitcoind directly. It's incredibly enticing for a malicious user to penetrate, much more so that any service working with Stripe. Nuff said. That's my only point.

If you don't think that's at least a cautious observation worth considering, then I don't know what else to say.

@avriette I'm suggesting "attempts to mitigate the risks" might involve using a third party for now.

I'm not saying we can't do it guys. Honestly. I'm just trying to point out some of the stuff that I don't think has been raised yet, and which we, the presumed decision-makers, should keep in mind.

Also, if we're planning to do any conversion of bitcoin to dollars, then we might be an MSB and so running bitcoind rather than using an accredited MSB (Coinbase) could possibly be illegal. so maybe the point is moot :) I'm a little fuzzy on the minutia of money services business licensing

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pyalot Jul 17, 2013

@patcon see yellow pages, security/sysops professional, I think that's plenty of consideration.

pyalot commented Jul 17, 2013

@patcon see yellow pages, security/sysops professional, I think that's plenty of consideration.

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patcon Jul 17, 2013

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OK, cool. Thanks for hearing me out guys. Sorry for the abundance of words.

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patcon commented Jul 17, 2013

OK, cool. Thanks for hearing me out guys. Sorry for the abundance of words.

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@patcon So to get this in a nutshell, you're running a company [...]

@pyalot For the record, he's not running the company. I'm running the company. :-)

[...] that manages money of other people and you're worried about being professional enough to manage other peoples money right

Gittip uses third-party vendors to process payments. Just as we don't process credit cards directly in order to avoid the direct burden of PCI compliance, we're not going to process bitcoin directly either. Processing payments is not Gittip's core business. Gittip's core business is enabling users to tell a story about how they're making the world better, and to participate in one another's stories through weekly financial gifts and other encouragement. The actual mechanics of the financial transactions themselves are uninteresting to Gittip, and are duly outsourced.

That said, we do make appropriate efforts to ensure that Gittip is secure, and to monitor for fraud on Gittip. For more information, see https://www.gittip.com/security.txt regarding security, and https://www.gittip.com/about/fraud/2012-11-05.html regarding fraud.

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chadwhitacre commented Jul 17, 2013

@patcon So to get this in a nutshell, you're running a company [...]

@pyalot For the record, he's not running the company. I'm running the company. :-)

[...] that manages money of other people and you're worried about being professional enough to manage other peoples money right

Gittip uses third-party vendors to process payments. Just as we don't process credit cards directly in order to avoid the direct burden of PCI compliance, we're not going to process bitcoin directly either. Processing payments is not Gittip's core business. Gittip's core business is enabling users to tell a story about how they're making the world better, and to participate in one another's stories through weekly financial gifts and other encouragement. The actual mechanics of the financial transactions themselves are uninteresting to Gittip, and are duly outsourced.

That said, we do make appropriate efforts to ensure that Gittip is secure, and to monitor for fraud on Gittip. For more information, see https://www.gittip.com/security.txt regarding security, and https://www.gittip.com/about/fraud/2012-11-05.html regarding fraud.

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It may take come convincing for others, but @whit537 knows how much of a vested interest I have in seeing gittip support Bitcoin. I've talked ad nauseam about it to a bunch of folk at Pittsburgh-area meetups.

The actual mechanics of the financial transactions themselves are uninteresting to Gittip, and are duly outsourced.

This. 👍

The time and attention of the Gittip team is better of spent building a community, not a payment service. When comes into existence a Bitcoin payment service that service a business model like Gittip's as close as we want it to, then I'm sure I'll be racing y'all to submit that PR ;-)

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colindean commented Jul 18, 2013

It may take come convincing for others, but @whit537 knows how much of a vested interest I have in seeing gittip support Bitcoin. I've talked ad nauseam about it to a bunch of folk at Pittsburgh-area meetups.

The actual mechanics of the financial transactions themselves are uninteresting to Gittip, and are duly outsourced.

This. 👍

The time and attention of the Gittip team is better of spent building a community, not a payment service. When comes into existence a Bitcoin payment service that service a business model like Gittip's as close as we want it to, then I'm sure I'll be racing y'all to submit that PR ;-)

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What about integrating bitcoin in a way that's tangential to the way all other payments are processed? That is, make a field for a bitcoin address to receive bitcoin tips. Givers can then send directly to the address using any means they like. The amount given can be tracked by periodically looking up the address on the blockchain. If givers don't want to be anonymous they can link their gifts to their sending bitcoin address by signing a statement with their private key.

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reedlaw commented Sep 12, 2013

What about integrating bitcoin in a way that's tangential to the way all other payments are processed? That is, make a field for a bitcoin address to receive bitcoin tips. Givers can then send directly to the address using any means they like. The amount given can be tracked by periodically looking up the address on the blockchain. If givers don't want to be anonymous they can link their gifts to their sending bitcoin address by signing a statement with their private key.

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thiloplanz Sep 12, 2013

What about integrating bitcoin in a way that's tangential to the way all other payments are processed? That is, make a field for a bitcoin address to receive bitcoin tips

That seems to be the idea expressed in #104. People can put alternative ways to donate on their profile, Gittip has nothing to do with it (except vouching for that it was the account owner who put that info there and maybe surfacing this info in interesting ways -- such as showing logos, links, or tallying amounts from the Bitcoin blockchain as indicated above).

What about integrating bitcoin in a way that's tangential to the way all other payments are processed? That is, make a field for a bitcoin address to receive bitcoin tips

That seems to be the idea expressed in #104. People can put alternative ways to donate on their profile, Gittip has nothing to do with it (except vouching for that it was the account owner who put that info there and maybe surfacing this info in interesting ways -- such as showing logos, links, or tallying amounts from the Bitcoin blockchain as indicated above).

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campadrenalin Sep 12, 2013

There's an update coming to Bitcoin itself, where you can publish a request that Person A pay Person B in the amount of X BTC. Once support rolls out widely in the Bitcoin network itself, and third party services start to make use of it, you could simply work out a way to regularly issue payment requests based on the current value of Bitcoin.

This doesn't solve the "abstracting away exchanges" problem - you are still limited to BTC -> BTC transfers here, so that may not be the "ideal" solution. But I'm starting to think that it's better than holding out indefinitely for a perfect solution that may never happen. Payment requests may not be ready yet, but they're actually in the development pipeline of reputable people, whereas a transparent exchange system is total vaporware (something like Ripple might someday solve that, but Ripple itself has a lot of serious issues, and I would not invest any serious trust or effort into supporting it).

There's an update coming to Bitcoin itself, where you can publish a request that Person A pay Person B in the amount of X BTC. Once support rolls out widely in the Bitcoin network itself, and third party services start to make use of it, you could simply work out a way to regularly issue payment requests based on the current value of Bitcoin.

This doesn't solve the "abstracting away exchanges" problem - you are still limited to BTC -> BTC transfers here, so that may not be the "ideal" solution. But I'm starting to think that it's better than holding out indefinitely for a perfect solution that may never happen. Payment requests may not be ready yet, but they're actually in the development pipeline of reputable people, whereas a transparent exchange system is total vaporware (something like Ripple might someday solve that, but Ripple itself has a lot of serious issues, and I would not invest any serious trust or effort into supporting it).

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+1 from @Jauny on Twitter.

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chadwhitacre commented Oct 22, 2013

+1 from @Jauny on Twitter.

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knocte Nov 23, 2013

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+1

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knocte commented Nov 23, 2013

+1

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andychase Dec 19, 2013

Coinbase has a recurring payment system now, but only for people with Coinbase accounts.

Still, that might be good enough for gittip:

https://coinbase.com/docs/merchant_tools/recurring_payments

Note you don't need a bank account to use Coinbase, you can simply make an account and send Bitcoins there from other wallets.

Coinbase has a recurring payment system now, but only for people with Coinbase accounts.

Still, that might be good enough for gittip:

https://coinbase.com/docs/merchant_tools/recurring_payments

Note you don't need a bank account to use Coinbase, you can simply make an account and send Bitcoins there from other wallets.

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colindean Dec 20, 2013

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I think it would suffice, but would this integration limit us to US Bitcoiners only?

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colindean commented Dec 20, 2013

I think it would suffice, but would this integration limit us to US Bitcoiners only?

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andychase Dec 20, 2013

@colindean

It's true Coinbase only works with US-Based bank accounts for trading for USD, but you can still make an account and load it with Bitcoins from anywhere in the world for free.

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It's true Coinbase only works with US-Based bank accounts for trading for USD, but you can still make an account and load it with Bitcoins from anywhere in the world for free.

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colindean Dec 20, 2013

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With that in mind, it seems like a good first step!

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colindean commented Dec 20, 2013

With that in mind, it seems like a good first step!

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chadwhitacre Dec 20, 2013

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I like Coinbase.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 20, 2013

I like Coinbase.

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andychase Dec 20, 2013

Here's how I'd imagine it'd work:

(end-user perspective):

  1. On Recipient's Gittip profile page, Sender clicks "subscribe with Bitcoin" (or "Pay with Coinbase") (Sender wouldn't necessarily need a Gittip account for this to work, force one anyway?)
  2. Sender is prompted to login or sign up for a Coinbase account
    1. Have Coinbase Account
      1. Sender selects amount.
      2. Done.
    2. Need Coinbase Account
      1. Sign up for one.
      2. Account created... fill account with BTC (takes about a minute to process)
      3. Return to Recipient page
      4. Click Button -> Select amount
      5. Done.

(back-end perspective):

You will need:

  • A table of Coinbase buttons keyed with accounts
  • A table of Coinbase transactions
  • A Coinbase account

How to do it:

  1. On Recipient page generation, check to see if a button exists and display it, if not use the Coinbase api to make one programmatically (could be done ahead of time I suppose, or on a queue) (might need multiple buttons to enforce Gittip pay scale rules-- or try "suggested amounts" and disable "let user change price") (use button[custom] to record recipient id)).
  2. Add an endpoint for the Coinbase callbacks, recording transactions which can be configured to instantly deposit into the gittip bank account. (takes 2 business days to process [source]). (One callback for subscription, another for actual payout).
  3. Transfer money as usual on payout day.

Other notes:

  • Bank accounts from outside the US are planned (estimate.. early 2013(?)) [source]
  • Currently, making a Coinbase account without linking it to an account (for non US-users) will be a confusing process. Since you will be prompted to do so and you'll be told US-only which will be confusing for some. You also have to find your deposit Bitcoin address under Account Settings -> Bitcoin Addresses which isn't intuitive. This is made less of an issue by virtue of the fact that currently it may be that many Bitcoin users are "Tech-Savvy".
  • Button creation api documentation is missing docs for {"button[repeat]": "weekly"}, but it should work. Might not be ready for prime time? See: [this comment]

I'll admit this isn't as smooth as butter, but I could see it working. Anyway you'd get the attention of "early Bitcoin adopters" as well as maybe some more global users.

Here's how I'd imagine it'd work:

(end-user perspective):

  1. On Recipient's Gittip profile page, Sender clicks "subscribe with Bitcoin" (or "Pay with Coinbase") (Sender wouldn't necessarily need a Gittip account for this to work, force one anyway?)
  2. Sender is prompted to login or sign up for a Coinbase account
    1. Have Coinbase Account
      1. Sender selects amount.
      2. Done.
    2. Need Coinbase Account
      1. Sign up for one.
      2. Account created... fill account with BTC (takes about a minute to process)
      3. Return to Recipient page
      4. Click Button -> Select amount
      5. Done.

(back-end perspective):

You will need:

  • A table of Coinbase buttons keyed with accounts
  • A table of Coinbase transactions
  • A Coinbase account

How to do it:

  1. On Recipient page generation, check to see if a button exists and display it, if not use the Coinbase api to make one programmatically (could be done ahead of time I suppose, or on a queue) (might need multiple buttons to enforce Gittip pay scale rules-- or try "suggested amounts" and disable "let user change price") (use button[custom] to record recipient id)).
  2. Add an endpoint for the Coinbase callbacks, recording transactions which can be configured to instantly deposit into the gittip bank account. (takes 2 business days to process [source]). (One callback for subscription, another for actual payout).
  3. Transfer money as usual on payout day.

Other notes:

  • Bank accounts from outside the US are planned (estimate.. early 2013(?)) [source]
  • Currently, making a Coinbase account without linking it to an account (for non US-users) will be a confusing process. Since you will be prompted to do so and you'll be told US-only which will be confusing for some. You also have to find your deposit Bitcoin address under Account Settings -> Bitcoin Addresses which isn't intuitive. This is made less of an issue by virtue of the fact that currently it may be that many Bitcoin users are "Tech-Savvy".
  • Button creation api documentation is missing docs for {"button[repeat]": "weekly"}, but it should work. Might not be ready for prime time? See: [this comment]

I'll admit this isn't as smooth as butter, but I could see it working. Anyway you'd get the attention of "early Bitcoin adopters" as well as maybe some more global users.

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pyalot Dec 20, 2013

Surely you realize that you don't need to be in control of the funds in order for tipping with bitcoin to work right? All that's required is that you display the address of the recepient and maybe a barcode somebody can scan and that's it.

pyalot commented Dec 20, 2013

Surely you realize that you don't need to be in control of the funds in order for tipping with bitcoin to work right? All that's required is that you display the address of the recepient and maybe a barcode somebody can scan and that's it.

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andychase Dec 20, 2013

@pylot

I know, it's dumb that we're not all on Bitcoin yet. But this system is for people who want to send weekly money to people on Gittip without the receivers having to worry about conversion.

Surely someone could make a Bitcoin-only SuperLegitBitGitTip.

@pylot

I know, it's dumb that we're not all on Bitcoin yet. But this system is for people who want to send weekly money to people on Gittip without the receivers having to worry about conversion.

Surely someone could make a Bitcoin-only SuperLegitBitGitTip.

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pyalot Dec 20, 2013

@asperous

Then don't worry about conversion. Those who want to receive bitcoin get to display their address, and those who want to send need to do so with their bitcoin wallet, problem solved.

pyalot commented Dec 20, 2013

@asperous

Then don't worry about conversion. Those who want to receive bitcoin get to display their address, and those who want to send need to do so with their bitcoin wallet, problem solved.

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janearc Dec 20, 2013

I've mostly been keeping out of the discussion, but suggesting that this
effort bifurcate specifically on the bitcoin-as-currency issue is harmful.
There is no need to create a SuperLegitBitGitTip; a bit-tip already exists:

http://bittip.it/get-a-button/

the issue with this is that gittip already has the users that people who
have requested this feature want to donate to. BitTip does not.

Jane

jane avriette
jane@cpan.org
http://innenin.blogspot.com/p/contact.html
858-367-7293

On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:22 AM, Andy Chase notifications@github.comwrote:

@pylot https://github.com/pylot

I know, it's dumb that we're not all on Bitcoin yet. But this system is
for people who want to send weekly money to people on Gittip without the
receivers having to worry about conversion.

Surely someone could make a Bitcoin-only SuperLegitBitGitTip.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/gittip/www.gittip.com/issues/14#issuecomment-30991217
.

janearc commented Dec 20, 2013

I've mostly been keeping out of the discussion, but suggesting that this
effort bifurcate specifically on the bitcoin-as-currency issue is harmful.
There is no need to create a SuperLegitBitGitTip; a bit-tip already exists:

http://bittip.it/get-a-button/

the issue with this is that gittip already has the users that people who
have requested this feature want to donate to. BitTip does not.

Jane

jane avriette
jane@cpan.org
http://innenin.blogspot.com/p/contact.html
858-367-7293

On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:22 AM, Andy Chase notifications@github.comwrote:

@pylot https://github.com/pylot

I know, it's dumb that we're not all on Bitcoin yet. But this system is
for people who want to send weekly money to people on Gittip without the
receivers having to worry about conversion.

Surely someone could make a Bitcoin-only SuperLegitBitGitTip.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/gittip/www.gittip.com/issues/14#issuecomment-30991217
.

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Also bittip is not recurrent. The bittip page itself says it: bittip is like flattr but with bitcoin.

Flattr is not like gittip! I guess the closest gittip-like in the bitcoin world is http://coingiving.com/

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knocte commented Dec 20, 2013

Also bittip is not recurrent. The bittip page itself says it: bittip is like flattr but with bitcoin.

Flattr is not like gittip! I guess the closest gittip-like in the bitcoin world is http://coingiving.com/

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ehmatthes Dec 20, 2013

I'd love to see btc integrated with gittip, if it's not a major distraction to the team to implement it well.

Good, clean btc integration -> awesome for gittip.
Messy, high-maintenance integration -> sandpit for gittip team.

It's not as simple as having gittip display someone's address, because gittip is about automating the tipping process. If I have to go send someone a tip manually every week, I can do that without gittip. It seems like a btc integration for gittip would involve people depositing some btc, and then gittip would redistribute those btc. That doesn't seem entirely trivial, but I am not fully up to date on what that would involve.

TL; DR: way +1 on this, but don't want to see the team too distracted by this until they are ready to focus on it.

I'd love to see btc integrated with gittip, if it's not a major distraction to the team to implement it well.

Good, clean btc integration -> awesome for gittip.
Messy, high-maintenance integration -> sandpit for gittip team.

It's not as simple as having gittip display someone's address, because gittip is about automating the tipping process. If I have to go send someone a tip manually every week, I can do that without gittip. It seems like a btc integration for gittip would involve people depositing some btc, and then gittip would redistribute those btc. That doesn't seem entirely trivial, but I am not fully up to date on what that would involve.

TL; DR: way +1 on this, but don't want to see the team too distracted by this until they are ready to focus on it.

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andychase Dec 20, 2013

Pros:

  1. Sender wouldn't need a Gittip account, only a Coinbase account (free and easy to set up).
  2. Receiver wouldn't need to worry about holding Bitcoins, would receive donations in USD (like their other donations if they have any). <- This makes the burden of complexity on the person trying to use Bitcoins, which is where I think it should be.
  3. Recurring/One-time
    1. Recurring weekly payments instead of one-time Bitcoin tips are more conducive to encouraging continued contribution and continued generosity than a one-time tip. (Citation needed: isn't this the idea of gittip anyway?)
    2. Since you can't set up a recurring Bitcoin personal tip (anywhere?), this would be the first of it's kind.

Cons:

  1. Complexity involving having to make a Coinbase account. (Again, burden of complexity on the sender so it wouldn't impact normal users).
  2. Development time. Because of the Coinbase callback/webhook system, it shouldn't be too complicated, but I couldn't know for sure without trying it. (I really think because it's "hip" it would increase traffic/donations to Gittip, at least temporarily.) Isn't there a bounty on this issue anyway? Yeah: $80.
  3. Angering people who think it's against the Bitcoin way. Since Bitcoin's scripting system doesn't support Oracles yet (and thus, no time based transactions), recurring payments can't be done in any other way currently. Once that feature is implemented in the mainline clients, then this kind of service wouldn't be needed anymore (assuming receivers all have Bitcoin addresses) and I'd understand this point further. However it might be a long time until that feature gets implemented, and even longer before it's accessible to the average person.

Other ideas:

"Payouts with Bitcoins" would also be trivial once Coinbase integration is set-up. The payout recipient wouldn't need a Coinbase account, could stay anonymous, and wouldn't need a US-based bank account. Transaction fees are usually about 5 cents, much lower than wire-transfers. Payout recipients would get their local currency through a state-regulated marketplace (in Countries that allow it).

I think this issue is about Debiting a Gittip account using Bitcoin. This could also be done through recurring transactions, however my method doesn't require a Gittip account.

Pros:

  1. Sender wouldn't need a Gittip account, only a Coinbase account (free and easy to set up).
  2. Receiver wouldn't need to worry about holding Bitcoins, would receive donations in USD (like their other donations if they have any). <- This makes the burden of complexity on the person trying to use Bitcoins, which is where I think it should be.
  3. Recurring/One-time
    1. Recurring weekly payments instead of one-time Bitcoin tips are more conducive to encouraging continued contribution and continued generosity than a one-time tip. (Citation needed: isn't this the idea of gittip anyway?)
    2. Since you can't set up a recurring Bitcoin personal tip (anywhere?), this would be the first of it's kind.

Cons:

  1. Complexity involving having to make a Coinbase account. (Again, burden of complexity on the sender so it wouldn't impact normal users).
  2. Development time. Because of the Coinbase callback/webhook system, it shouldn't be too complicated, but I couldn't know for sure without trying it. (I really think because it's "hip" it would increase traffic/donations to Gittip, at least temporarily.) Isn't there a bounty on this issue anyway? Yeah: $80.
  3. Angering people who think it's against the Bitcoin way. Since Bitcoin's scripting system doesn't support Oracles yet (and thus, no time based transactions), recurring payments can't be done in any other way currently. Once that feature is implemented in the mainline clients, then this kind of service wouldn't be needed anymore (assuming receivers all have Bitcoin addresses) and I'd understand this point further. However it might be a long time until that feature gets implemented, and even longer before it's accessible to the average person.

Other ideas:

"Payouts with Bitcoins" would also be trivial once Coinbase integration is set-up. The payout recipient wouldn't need a Coinbase account, could stay anonymous, and wouldn't need a US-based bank account. Transaction fees are usually about 5 cents, much lower than wire-transfers. Payout recipients would get their local currency through a state-regulated marketplace (in Countries that allow it).

I think this issue is about Debiting a Gittip account using Bitcoin. This could also be done through recurring transactions, however my method doesn't require a Gittip account.

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chadwhitacre Jan 30, 2014

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The time has come to close this venerable issue. The fact is that we do support paying in with bitcoin. From our FAQ:

Email us to request a one-time bitcoin payin (1% + 15¢ fee).

The next step will be to automate this process, which we'll look at further when we see regular demand for bitcoin payins (cf. payouts, #1960).

Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread! :-)

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chadwhitacre commented Jan 30, 2014

The time has come to close this venerable issue. The fact is that we do support paying in with bitcoin. From our FAQ:

Email us to request a one-time bitcoin payin (1% + 15¢ fee).

The next step will be to automate this process, which we'll look at further when we see regular demand for bitcoin payins (cf. payouts, #1960).

Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread! :-)

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The next step will be to automate this process, which we'll look at further when we see regular demand for bitcoin payins

Is there no github issue open for automating the process? I think there should be one, and linking to this bounty: http://freedomsponsors.org/core/issue/16/pre-pay-gittip-with-bitcoin

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knocte commented Jan 30, 2014

The next step will be to automate this process, which we'll look at further when we see regular demand for bitcoin payins

Is there no github issue open for automating the process? I think there should be one, and linking to this bounty: http://freedomsponsors.org/core/issue/16/pre-pay-gittip-with-bitcoin

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@knocte I created it #1963

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sim6 commented Jan 30, 2014

@knocte I created it #1963

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dessalines Oct 15, 2015

I like the project, but it seems pointless without bitcoin integration. Or you could just use stripe which already has bitcoin baked in.

I like the project, but it seems pointless without bitcoin integration. Or you could just use stripe which already has bitcoin baked in.

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+1 from https://gratipay.freshdesk.com/helpdesk/tickets/5056.

Unfortunately, this does not seem likely to happen in the near future. See gratipay/inside.gratipay.com#201 (comment) for an explanation.

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mattbk commented Jun 6, 2016

+1 from https://gratipay.freshdesk.com/helpdesk/tickets/5056.

Unfortunately, this does not seem likely to happen in the near future. See gratipay/inside.gratipay.com#201 (comment) for an explanation.

@mattbk mattbk added this to the Add Payin Methods milestone Jun 29, 2016

@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre removed this from the Add Payin Methods milestone Jan 4, 2017

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