Here’s another way that digital currency Bitcoin could have a big impact, according to startup BitWall: it could give online publishers a real alternative to putting up paywalls or relying solely on ads for revenue.
The argument for micropayments is probably familiar to most of you: You may not want to pay a big subscription fee but might be willing to shell out a little bit of money to read an article that interests you. Yet the idea has never really taken off with online publishers.
How is Bitcoin supposed to change that? BitWall argues that with traditional payment systems, there’s a significant transaction fee, so small payments don’t make sense. With Bitcoin, where the fees are lower, the startup says publishers “can finally unlock the untapped world of micropayments.”
At the same time, co-founder and CEO Nic Meliones said the team is open to adding other payment options in the future. He also noted that readers who just want to pay in U.S. dollars can do so, since BitWall is integrated with digital wallet system Coinbase, which allows easy conversion between USD and Bitcoin.
Meliones gave me a quick demo of how the system works…