The idea is so powerful that Satoshi decided to make the introduction of the bitcoin whitepaper all about this topic:
“While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. The cost of mediation increases transaction costs, limiting the minimum practical transaction size and cutting off the possibility for small casual transactions, and there is a broader cost in the loss of ability to make non-reversible payments for nonreversible services. With the possibility of reversal, the need for trust spreads.”
What would current online businesses look like if they could leverage this technology?
Wikipedia consistently has a donation plea consistently appearing on their pages, this is both annoying and desperate. Wikipedia is one of the biggest websites in the world, why is it that they are not able to sustain themselves. Their mission statement to make information free with no influence of advertising is a powerful one. The issue is not that people don’t want to pay for wikipedia or donate small amounts, it’s that the minimum donation amount is £5. That is as much as a cup of coffee. Objectively not very much however in a one time payment in a spur of the moment act of generosity it becomes prohibitively for something that people would like to do but might not want to be forced into such a commitment.
The model that the moneybutton and bitcoin cash allows is impulse buying, things that you find at the check out and think, “it’s only $0.50 I might as well have it”.
Wikipedia’s mission statement states: “To empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. […] The Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.”
If every time I found a useful article on wikipedia which I could one click to pay the contributors something like $0.10. Let’s do some maths on what wikipedia could do with micropayments.
Wikipedia page views average around 15 billion per month.
Assume one in 100 people actually donates.
Donation amount $0.10 for every page they viewed
$15 million per month to either distribute to contributes pay for server time or develop other areas of the wikipedia foundation. Given that it only costs $250,000 to host per month it’s a healthy margin to give back to its contributors and communities. This same model can be used in news media and blogs. Micropayments are the use case of blockchains, people seem to have forgotten their power.
Information should be free. Donations are appreciated.