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There is a new product sweeping the crypto industry.
Tippin.me was created by Sergio Abril to allow Twitter users to quickly “tip” each other in Bitcoin for being helpful, sharing great content, or just generally expressing appreciation. The product is currently available through Google Chrome and Firefox extensions, but Sergio is planning to expand to other platforms in the near future.
The beauty of Tippin.me is how simple it is. A user downloads the extension, sign ins with their Twitter username & password, and can immediately start sending or receiving satoshis (smallest unit of account in Bitcoin). The barriers of the legacy financial system are removed, along with cross-border transaction complexity.
Users aren’t sending hundreds or thousands of dollars to each other however. They are sending a few pennies worth of Bitcoin at a time. Imagine trying to send $0.05 through any traditional means? It would be really difficult and the transaction fees would cost more than the amount being sent.
As we have seen many times in the crypto industry, word spreads quickly once a volunteer (Sergio) builds a cool product or service. Tippin.me has been no different. Once the product was launched, a few initial users tested it out, the “virality of sending money” started to accelerate adoption, and eventually large Twitter accounts like Jack Dorsey & Erik Vorhees signed up and started tweeting about it.
You can sign up in seconds by clicking here: https://tippin.me/
I am fully aware that many people will roll their eyes at the idea of tippin.me being an important, and potentially world-changing, idea. It is fun. Playful. Easy to dismiss as a game. But remember, many great products start out as small experiments that appear to be small ideas at first.
Tippin.me has created a way for anyone in the world to quickly send micro-transactions to anyone else in a matter of seconds. The use cases for something like this are nearly impossible to understand in the beginning. Here are a few ideas of how this could be used moving forward:
Send tips to content creators or influencers — Entire businesses can be built off a product like this. It allows community leaders to monetize in a more efficient and authentic way, while also sidestepping the high fees and censorship risks presented by legacy products. Think of this like Patreon for Bitcoin.
Streaming payments — The product is fairly elementary at the moment but it wouldn’t be a stretch to see someone incorporate the “pay-as-you-go” model on top of Tippin.me. As we have discussed previously, this is one of the ideas I’m most excited about in crypto, but it is largely unexplored to date.
Commerce — One of the most popular arguments of Bitcoin detractors is that transactions are slow and expensive. They love to say “you could never buy a coffee with it!” With Tippin.me, a retailer could set up an account and have consumers send them small dollar amounts in exchange for goods and services. The settlement times are lightning fast (pun intended) and fees are almost non-existent.
P2P transactions — I’m writing today’s newsletter from Mexico City. Last night at dinner with a few investors, the idea that Venmo (and other popular US p2p applications) doesn’t work in Mexico came up. With Tippin, users would be able to send Bitcoin back and forth without the reliance on Venmo and other platforms to support their country.
There are a bunch of other ways that Tippin could evolve or be leveraged by users, but you get the point. The most exciting aspect of the product in my opinion is that it is built on top of the Lightning Network. We are seeing an impressive adoption of the Layer 2 scaling solution and I anticipate more developers will build on top of it in 2019.
The legacy banking system has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to build the infrastructure for a physical world separated by nation state borders. The internet is a single nation with no borders, therefore we need a separate set of infrastructure to facilite this borderless, digital financial system.
The Lightning Network is laying the foundation and applications like Tippin.me are pushing adoption. We are still so early in the development of this new financial system though.
I can’t wait to see what entrepreneurs come up with next.
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