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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Feature Tipit: 12" Vinyl to be released - Moka T i Makul


This week on Youtipit, we are featuring the Polish rappers, hip hop group Moka-T i Makul. Ok, we don’t speak polish but we know when it sounds good and they do. In 2009, they have released a 12” vinyl and they are hoping to release a second one. Why not help them and give them some Bitcoins.

Listen to their music here:


If you like them, give some tips
here !

Moka-T i Makul
Facebook page


Awesome vinyl art cover by Julian Wierzchowski.
You can tip him too just here !

And Julian, if you see this, all you have to do is claim your Tipit and all the Bitcoins are yours ;-)


If you like it, Youtipit!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feature Tipit: The Real Plato & his #BitcoinRoadtrip

Now that we’ve launched our new website, we want to share with you some of the Tipits that we come across and like. We hope you like them to, and perhaps give a tip?! Let’s get those Bitcoins moving ;-)

To start the Feature series, we couldn’t choose better than Plato, The Real Plato. Six weeks ago, this guy embarked on a road trip across the United States. You might say: “Sure, a road trip and so what?”. Well, he has set out to not use a single US dollar to do so. How is he doing that? With Bitcoins. Yes, you read right. No ‘money’, just Bitcoins. We think this is very cool. A great ambassador for Bitcoins, thanks Plato!

Here is a quick glance:


You want to donate Bitcoins? Go ahead and tip him here

Read his stories on his blog
Follow him on Twitter


If you like it, Youtipit!

P.S. btw, we are working on our new blog look & feel. Coming soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Opportunity: Thy Name is Bitcoin


In Mat Cropp's excellent article for the Bitcoin Sun(@TheBitcoinSun) this week he describes how Bitcoin opens doors to fledgling new startups like Youtipit...
"....As a result of this risk-aversion on the part of large firms, shoe-string start-ups that would have been squelched by big com- petitors in the dollar economy have had the opportunity to gain their footing and some momentum. In the case of micro-payment tipping, YouTipIt has emerged as the leader in the Bitcoin economy and, with a bit of luck and a lot of sweat, is looking like it might have the capacity to take on Flattr head-to-head in the near future. In the absence of the shield provided by the currency risk, YouTipIt, along with many other Bitcoin businesses, would never have gotten off the ground."

Read the full issue here.

When we started this project the goal sounded straight forward: we wanted to create the simplest and most effective service that enabled people to reward somebody when they contributed worthwhile content online. Our paradigm was that of the "Online Street Performer": Make its as easy to give a tip online as it is to tip the busker on the side of the street.

We quickly found out however that any conventional method solely based on
Dollars/Euros would be prohibitively expensive, with numerous legal pitfalls that would render our service unviable. Hence we jumped at the opportunity to base our application on a currency as innovative and flexible as Bitcoin. In his article, Matt compares us to Flattr and argues that without Bitcoin we would not be in a position to compete. Flattr is an excellent service that attempts to implement a similar idea to ours. We feel however, that our service complements Flattrs and that even though we currently do not have the same level of features or funding that Flattr has, Bitcoin allows us to provide a more pure service to our members. If you see something you like, you tip it. You give what you feel is appropriate, what you can afford where and when you want to. You can tip truly anonymously or participate in the community and spread the word about the person you just tipped. You do not need to subscribe monthly to tip, in fact you don't even need an account with Youtipit to tip someone who you like. Youtipit is also likely to be a cheaper way to reward someone online(after all maybe you mined the coins yourself!).

When you receive a tip often its not the value of the tip that matters most, its the fact that someone took the time to reward you with something of actual value: for this Bitcoin is perfect. At the end of the day if you want to give something tangible to someone to acknowledge their good work, its difficult to beat giving them a Bitcoin tip on Youtipit.

Cheers,

The Youtipit team

PS: If Matt or any of the guys from the Bitcoin Sun wish to create a tipit on Youtipit we will be sure to reward you for your excellent publication.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Escrow Tipits – Tip any Facebook user using Youtipit

After our successful relaunch of the site, we are now actually going to show you where that Escrow Tipit feature can be found. We deliberately concealed this feature on purpose as we wanted to test it ourselves live before we let you guys loose on it.

Quick recap: An Escrow Tipit can be created if you wish to tip somebody, who does not have a Youtipit account yet. All you need is the Facebook homepage link of the person you would like to tip. (If this feature is successful, we will be adding Twitter support as well)

So here is how it works:
To create a new Escrow Tipit
  • Go to the normal create Tipit page and click on the last link “here” in the bottom of the description at the right of the page.
  • Enter the link to the Facebook page of the person for whom you would like to create a Tipit. (Note: This currently must be a person and not Facebook (fan) page).
  • Check to make sure the image returned is that of the person you want to tip.
  • Follow the dialogs to complete the process.
You will have tipped and created a Escrow Tipit and Escrow Account.
  • All members can tip this Tipit now
  • All members can edit and maintain the Tipit.
  • All members can add new Tipits to the Escrow Account. (To this just follow the above “Create Escrow Tipit” steps again.
How does the owner know of the Tipits existence?

He doesn’t. If you really want him to get your tip, then we depend on you to try and notify him or her.

So how can the owner claim it?

On the Escrow Tipit page, there is a Claim link. All the owner has to do, is click on the link and login with his matching Facebook account. He is then the owner of the account and his Tipits will turn into normal Tipits.

What happens if the owner doesn’t claim it?
If the owner doesn’t claim it all tips go back to the Tipster. We are currently thinking of a time span between 3 and 12 Months for this to happen.


Can I see it in action?

Here is an Escrow Tipit for Soma FM, the excellent online radio station based in San Francisco, California. (We've been listening to Soma FM a lot, mainly Space Station Soma and Groove Salad, while developing Youtipit.) With this Escrow Tipit, we hope to give something back.



As of the time of writing this post, the SomaFM Tipit is unclaimed. However once the owner of this Facebook account realizes he has some Bitcoins waiting for him on Youtipit, he/she can claim the Tipit (and its tips) using the simple claim process. Then its up to him/her to decide what to do with their Bitcoins.

We believe that the Escrow Tipits are a very powerful feature for us. On the other hand they could also be perceived like unsolicited Emails and that is the last thing we want and that is why we are a bit cautious on using them.

We will be watching how they are perceived and used in the next week and then decide if we will keep them or not. We'd love to hear from you. Give us your Feedback and thoughts please!

And Send Soma FM some tips. The've been around since the '90 and really deserve support (if you have been listening)

Cheers,

The Youtipit team.

PS: We are not 100% happy with the current "Escrow Tipit" name: Other names we are thinking about are:
  • Guerilla Tipit
  • Slip Tipit
  • Unclaimed Tipit
We are open to offers and suggestions :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Youtipit Relaunch - THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO

Finally all the bits and pieces are falling into place and we are ready to launch our new design. Youtipit will be going into maintenance mode on Monday the 16th of May, sometime around 13:00 CET. We expect a downtime of around four hours, but if all goes well it should be done in an hour.

We had planned to launch last Friday, the 13th, but our astronomer advised us not to risk a bad karma.

Development has taken a lot longer than anticipated, mainly because we decided to rewrite the complete front end. In our current release we had some design issues which would have hurt us in the long run, so really there was no way around the change.

So what’s in store for you? Here are some of the highlights:
• Brand new design (yes, we are listening)
• Bye,bye Junkets: Hello Tipits
• Directory of Tipits now supports sorting
• Previous and Next navigation in Tipits
• Simpler login process (no more popups)
• Associate multiple account providers with your Youtipit account
• Option to use alternative profile images (use your Facebook or Twitter image)
• Escrow Tipits

What are Escrow Tipits?
Escrow tipits (and matching escrow accounts) are our hottest new (alpha) feature. Essentially we are enabling you to tip whoever you like – without the receiver having a Youtipit account! All you need to know is the link to the receivers’ facebook page and you can create a tipit and tip the person in three simple steps. You then notify the receiver and he can then come and claim his escrow account by signing in with his Facebook account.

Escrow accounts have a wiki-like character, meaning that Youtipit members can go and edit the tipits or even add more tipits to the escrow account. If an escrow tipit is not claimed within a year (time span can still be reduced) tips will be returned to sender.
This feature is still in alpha or lab stage, because we are a bit unsure of how popual it will be. We will be explaining more about escrow tipits in a forth coming blog post.

Note to Youtipit Google Members
Youtipit Google Members are, members who registered with us in the current version using Google as their account provider. As we are changing our login-system, we will require an additional action on your side to migrate your account. We will be sending an re-confirm-your account email to all existing Google members and ask you to go through a simple process to re-validate your Google credentials with us. (All other accounts won’t be needing this and will be able to login seamlessly)

Next Steps
Youtipit will still be in Beta for approximately two to four weeks. Then we will finally launch the full product. We still have a load of features up our sleave, which will be releasing step by step in the course of the year(s)..

.. and last but not least: Our Bitcoin stash has been added to.....,
so "Keep it humming"!

Happy Tipping!
The Youtipit Team

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We've been too quiet...

...only because we've been too busy! Please excuse us for not posting more regularly, but there's been lots of activity behind the scenes at Youtipit.

Ok, where to begin? We now have a designer (that's me) to sort out the visual branding and to scrutinise the usability, and generally bring "design thinking" to the challenges ahead. We have a communications person (that's Annie) who will help us reach out, expand our community and make sure that everyone loves us.

And we have a new big boss man (Klaus) who will keep reminding us that, although we're like kids at Christmas with this project, it just might be nice one day to get a pay cheque.

Anyway, more on all that later. I'm here to say a few words about the soon-to-come new UI design. Our objective with the design is to create a friendly, simple-to-use interface that caters for users of varied web-skills. Also, we aim to keep a human touch to this platform. Youtipit is about the exchange of goodwill - people unnecessarily rewarding other people for their work.

So, here's a sneak preview of the home page. Although it's still evolving, it'll give you a sense of the next iteration. Of course, your feedback is always welcome!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bitcoin and YouTipIt updates

Over the last couple of weeks we have been updating our code base to a new platform. The update went reasonable smoothly and we will be turning our attention to rolling out our new design and UX. Stephen Gornick makes some good points in is his recent blog post (http://forrst.me/sgornick/posts). In this he mention the need for bitcoin based web applications to improve their web design if order for bitcoin to become more attractive to new users. We are currently working though our new design and it will be deployed over the coming weeks.


Gavin Andresen featured YouTipIt during his excellent Ignite presentation. During his presentation Gavin gives a overview of bitcoin and its current state. Could bitcoin become the reserve currency of the world in 50 years?



A java implementation of the bitcoin client has been released (http://www.bitcoin.org/smf/index.php?topic=4236.0). The most interesting thing about this development is that the implementation is by a Google employee. Maybe someday soon Google will accept bitcoins for Adwords!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mea Culpa: Misplaced Clicks Cause Outage

Unfortunately we had an unplanned outage last night: this was caused by some reckless clicks that inadvertently resulted in the deletion of our load balancer. Needless to say this made it impossible for anyone to access the site and caused some undue stress to our buskers and tipsters. Let me apologize for the incident and thank the members for bringing the issue to our attention. We will learn from this incident and our clicks will be better aimed from now on....


On a more positive note we have added a few features to help make junkets and YouTipIt members more easy to find. Firstly we have added a search box that will let you google the site for search items. Also we now own the "utip.it" domain and this can now be used when posting links to your profiles and junkets on the web (see the snippets section). We have also been improving our Internet Explorer compatibility (did we tell you how much we love this browser?) and removing those annoying security popups that were previously occurring.


We are working hard on getting next version of YouTipIt up and running. In the mean time keep the tips and comments flowing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Youtipit Spotlight: Plankhead



The cool guys from Plankhead are fundraising with Kickstarter.com to finance their latest production: Your Face is a Saxophone. You can now support the campaign using YouTipIt and/or Bitcoins.

Plankhead run a site which is all about creating and promoting public media. As they say “we make stuff, donate it to the world, and scream loudly about its existence”. Anything that they create can be viewed, downloaded and/or reused for fee. Their copyright notice sums it up very nicely: “Please copy with reckless abandon”.

Their current project is an animated series called “Your Face is a Saxophone" and they wish to produce six more episodes but they need funding. They have started a Kickstarter.com campaign asking fans to donate money: 9,000$ by March 25th, 2011.




They also run a funny blog with a load of ironic and sarcastic comments about the copyrighting, media or anything else that has tickled their fancy at the moment.

We acknowledge that their content is free and we understand how much work is involve to produce that kind of content. And to be able to continue, they need your support. Send them Bitcoins and help make this a showcase on how Bitcoin can help making the internet DRM-free. Like the Kickstarter.com campaign, if the goal amount isn’t reached, all Bitcoins will be refunded. Warning: Make sure you don’t tip anonymously, if you would like to be refunded.

So of you go tipping:

Plankheads Youtipit page:
http://www.youtipit.org/m/Plankhead

My personal favorite is the sour kraut
https://www.youtipit.org/t/2684-2 (Pun intended)

Follow them on Twitter

Friday, February 11, 2011

Anonymous Tipping

We added a neat new feature today, which we believe should have been in right from the very first day. Every Junket now has a unique, publicly visible Bitcoin address.

You can now tip a Junket directly by sending Bitcoins from your favourite Bitcoin application. You obviously can't add a comment then, but if you'd like do this you can always login ..




[Photo by irrezolut]

Friday, February 4, 2011

YouTipIt @ Munich Global Ignite Week

We had the opportunity to present YouTipIt and Bitcoin at the Munich Global Ignite Event last night.

Using the Ignite format is quite challenging because it restricts you to 20 slides which are automatically forwarded every 15 seconds, resulting a total 5 minutes of speaking time. This results in a busy but entertaining session agenda.

There we're a lot of great sessions. My personal favourite was mysherpas.com, which is a German crowd-sponsoring platform. @MySherpas: Come on guys, get that English version out! You now there is huge European market which would love to embrace your platform. (Side note: Kickstarter is not an option for non-us citizens, as you are required to have a US company and bank account to participate).

YouTipIt's core idea was warmly greeted by the audience. Some people made the obvious comparison with Flattr and I had to explain the areas in which our service is quite distinct to theirs. The YouTipIt App, with which you will be able tip street musicians, will be our shining knight in armour. Development will commence shortly.

The audiences reaction on Bitcoin was also very interesting. Hardly anyone had heard of Bitcoin before, and I only had four slides to float the idea. After initial scepticism, everybody had quickly grasped the concept, but not many were exited. Once I had explained why using "traditional" payment service providers aren't economically feasible for micro donations due to high ratio of transaction costs to the overall payment, many responded with an enlightened look.

I've posted the slides on slideshare: English German

The video of the session follows. Careful though, it contains very harsh german language (for non-german speakers that is) and the quality isn't too good. Big thanks to Marco from go-bitcoin.com who ripped the video from the live stream.





Go-bitcoin.com is all about building up a German Bitcoin community and we from YouTipIt will definietly be supporting it. Marco has already written quite an impressive amount of posts on his old blog which has now moved to the new location.
Marco was here in our office last week and interviewed us and the result is a neat feature Post about YouTipIt. Warning to the non-German speakers again: More harsh language out there.
Here's his post


Thanks again, to everyone. See you @ YouTipIt


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Features & Tweeting Tips

We've added and improved some features of YouTipIt today. Here's a summary of the changes introduced.

Commenting on Tips
By popular demand we've added the possibility to comment on tips. We've even gone so far that anyone who is logged can comment on a comment.

Receive Email on Tip or Comment
If you want to you can now receive Emails, whenever you receive a tip or a comment on one of your Junkets. To use this feature, you will have to go to your Profile Settings and set the values accordingly.

Activity Overview
The personal home page now has an improved view of all the activities. Here you should now see what has been happening: Deposits, Withdrawals, Tips and in the next release personal Messages.

Junket Text
The Junket Text (or description) will finally respect your line breaks and turn them into paragraphs.

In the next days we will be adding the following features:
- Send Personal Message
- Making the tips amounts you have received public (option)
- Tweet Tips you have received

Tweeting Tips
We've come to realize that Twitter is a very powerful tool when it comes to getting the word out. So we have decided to add an option which will send a tweet every time a Junket is tipped.
The tweet will look something like
@kseudo tipped @aykarsi 5 BTC. Keep up the good work!
This will be an optional setting in the Junket. Users will also have the option of setting their Twitter user names in their profile.

That's all for today, keep the feedback coming.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bitcoin Stash Delivered

Just a quick post to inform everybody, that we are selling BitCoins again. The market prices have rissen significantly since our last purchase. Therefore we had to adjust our prices.

[Omar your friendly Bitcoin dealer; The Wire; Copyright HBO]


We are now selling at the following Rates:
1 BTC = 0.35 EUR
1 BTC = 0.46 USD
1 BTC = 0.30 GBP

The stash is also bigger this time, so we won't run out as quickly as last week. We should also be to top it up much faster now, as we have established the process of sourcing the Bitcoins.
Please note the 45 day rule will keep on applying.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

User Feedback & Bitcoin Reserve

We would like take to this opportunity to thank everyone for the great feedback we got, since our launch last week. The overall tone was very positive and welcoming, even though we managed to sell our Bitcoin reserve a lot quicker than anticipated.

The biggest compliments we got were, the we are the "Flattr of Bitcoin" or the "Bitcoin Killer Application".

THANKS!

Bitcoin acceptance & availability

It was great to see how quickly Bitcoin users started sending in their coins. The selling of Bitcoins went even better. Admittedly we underestimated the demand, especially at that good price we were giving.

We should have stocked up again by Thursday though, unfortunately at a higher price. Probably 0,45 – 0,50 USD. The main reason for this is that prices have gone up significantly since we bought our initial stash. The other reason is that we want to give Non-Bitcoiners an easy way into the Bitcoin world. If we sell below market value, well, I can't blame anyone trying to make a quick buck like that. On the other hand we believe Bitcoins should be used by everybody, not only by people who can fix computers.



Feedback and Improvements

We got a load of mails with improvement suggestions (and also the odd bug report:-) ).

The following has already been implemented and is live:
- On your My Profile Page you can now see, who tipped what when.
- We now have monitoring in place which notify us instantaneously, should the Bitcoin Service go down again.
- When registering, emails may now contain a “+“
- Fixed a Bug in the Edit Junket, which cut of parameters of the URL
- All Junkets should now be crawled by google.
- Added feedback service

The feedback system can be used for suggesting ideas, problems or asking questions. I think it's very slick and also works anonymously. We are using Idea Informer which is completely free and definitely deserves a few tips, (if they had a Junket.)
Some of the ideas from the Feedback we’ve gotten have already been added. Make your additions as needed. You can view it here, or click on the “Leave Feedback” button when you’re browsing YouTipIt.

Thanks again for the great start and keep it coming!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We now accept Bitcoins

As we announced recently we have now completed the transition to Bitcoin. It’s been exciting and fun getting the grasp of the concept behind Bitcoin and actually implementing it in our system.

First of all we would like to send out a big THANK YOU to the makers of Bitcoin and to the great people who are actively supporting its evolution. You guy are doing a fantastic job.

For those who don’t know what YouTipIt is, here is a brief summary: YouTipIt is an online community platform for tipping small amounts of money to other internet users. Anyone who has a YouTipIt account can tip other users or can receive tips. The motivation behind YouTipIt is to enable all those eager content creators out there (Bloggers, Musicians, Developers, Artists etc..), to get rewarded for the things they publish for free and often enough make our day(s).

Starting with our new release today, we enable our members to use the independent digital currency Bitcoin as the tipping currency. (Visit Bitcoin.org for more details). As using Bitcoin can seem daunting to the uninitiated, we are aiming to reduce the learning curve and make it more accessible to a wider audience. Ideally our users should not need to understand the mechanics of Bitcoin, but just accept and trust Bitcoin as a practical digital currency.

YouTipIt acts like an online Bitcoin wallet for its members. You can send in Bitcoins from your Bitcoin client and withdraw Bitcoins to any Bitcoin address. We also keep a reserve of Bitcoins which we sell using PayPal. Bitcoins purchased from us, have to abide by the 45 day rule, meaning they have to stay in our system for 45 days. They can be tipped internally to other members, but cannot be withdrawn until the exit date has been reached. (See our previous blog article for the background).

YouTipIt still is in a beta phase. It’s not feature complete (and probably never will be :-) ), the processes and the handling still need a lot of tuning and there will be some bugs which have managed to wriggle through.
Please bear with, send us your opinion and help make YouTipIt a success.



As an “introductory” offer to all you aspiring internet street performers out there, we will tip 3.33 Bitcoins to the first 33 members, who create a Junket, place it on their public web presence and send us a message through our contact form with a link to the page containing the Junket.

P.S.
From the feedback we’ve already gotten we know that our snippets feature for promoting the Junket is not quite up to scratch yet. We will work on it.. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The 45 Day Rule

To protect ourselves from fraud using stolen credit cards and/or abusing chargeback policies from payment services providers, we will be implementing a logic which we call the 45 day rule.

For YouTipIt members this will essentially mean, that Bitcoins that have been bought from us using PayPal etc. , will have to remain in our system for at least 45 days. These Bitcoins can be tipped immediately after purchase, but they just cannot be withdrawn before they have passed that 45 day stay.

We do realize that many users might see this as an inconvenience, but this our strongest method of deterring internet payment fraud and not making our members pays ridiculously high transaction fees. I’ll elaborate in more detail how these frauds work below, but before that I’d like to highlight the core facts of the 45 day rule.

  • Bitcoins bought from YouTipIt through a payment service provider such as PayPal will remain for 45 days in our system.
  • Bitcoins that have been deposited using the Bitcoin network do not have this restriction. They can be withdrawn at any time!
  • Bitcoins which still are on hold can be tipped and re-tipped. The hold remains, only the owner will have changed. (We add a timestamp and some metadata on each coin when it is credited to the member)
  • If a credit card transaction bounces and we have to pay the money back to the credit card company, then the Bitcoins of that particular transaction are “deleted” from the system. All tips using that money will then consequently be invalidated.
  • If a member is unhappy with our service and wants his money back, he/she can contact us and we will gladly arrange a reversal at a minimal fee. (Please do not use PayPal’s dispute functionality)

Now, as promised, more details on the background: The way most credit card fraud works on the internet is actually quite simple, provided you have sufficient criminal motivation that is...

  1. Illicit person acquires credit card data (theft, purchase..)
  2. Illicit person buys goods or services in a shop on the internet
  3. By the time the Non-Illicit person realizes that something is wrong and acts (blocks credit card, reverses credit card transaction), the shop on the internet will often have already delivered the goods or services, leaving the shop, the credit card owner, the credit card company and often also a payment service provider to fight it out who pays for the damage done.

Lawyers, I’m sure, really enjoy figuring these things out, but usually the weakest links in the chain break first, meaning it’s either the shop or the credit card owner who will be left crying in the end.

If we replace “shop” with YouTipIt in the above scenario, it quickly becomes clear that we are at a big risk of people using YouTipIt to launder their stolen credit card money and leaving us with the tally.

Credit Card Companies and Payment Service Providers all have their own strategies to minimize this kind of fraud. Most of them essentially make good people pay for the actions of the bad. This means: If they make enough revenue from “good” people, the relatively small percentage of fraud is something they can live with. So by adding sufficient transaction costs on the transactions of the “good”, they actually succeed in making a decent amount of money.

So if we’d add sufficient transaction costs on every YouTipIt transaction and manage to build up an equally sufficiently big revenue stream, then shouldn’t YouTipIt turn into a successful endeavor? Yes, but only if we had enough capital to burn for a couple of years until we reach that break even.

Now I’m sure we could convince the odd investor or two with a glossy business plan to cough up some dough. We don’t want to be driven by investors. We want to keep our freedom and make YouTipIt something worth its while and be driven its members and not by the investors.

Hopefully, the 45 day rule will deter fraudsters from using YouTipIt and will help us keep running our service at the lowest possible costs.

Thief Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bitcoin transition

Although not many changes are visible on the YouTipIt site, we’ve been working away madly in the last weeks. Especially the last month has been very exciting for us, since we decided to move YouTipIt to using Bitcoins as the tipping currency.

Our biggest issue has been getting things sorted out with our payment service providers (PSP) and banks. Setting YouTipIt up to conform both with PSPs policies, current financial laws, and not opening all sorts of possibilities for payment fraudsters at the same time, has proven to be a bit of nightmare. PSPs have been hesitant to work with us because they view us as pseudo bank, implying that we need to have some expensive financial or banking license. Banks won’t touch us because we’re too small and seemingly irrelevant to them. Or banks will charge such high transaction fees, that we won’t touch them. Then there are financial laws which force us to add a significant overhead of administrative and regulative work... And on, and on and on. In the last weeks we often felt like the man in the photo below.

(With kind permission from Graham from walksydneystreets.net: Check out their site for a lot more of the above)

We believe Bitcoin offers a radical new approach on implementing an online currency. Bitcoin describes itself as a peer to peer cryptographic currency. For those wanting the detailed juicy bits, we’ll refer you to their website: http://www.bitcoin.org.

Essentially what it sums up to though, is that a Bitcoin is an encrypted data package which can be stored on computers and transferred to other computers using a peer to peer network. Bitcoins are started to be accepted as a payment method on all kinds of payments sites. To be fair though, sites accepting Bitcoins are usually more for the technically inclined. But exactly this is where YouTipIt will hopefully be adding some simplicity: We see ourselves providing our members an online Bitcoin wallet. YouTipIt members don’t need to install the Bitcoin client. They don’t really need to understand the technicalities surrounding Bitcoins. They just need to embrace Bitcoin as an online currency, (which is always the challenge when introducing a new currency).

Another great thing about Bitcoin for us and in the end for the users, is that it does not are no financial regulators or other monstrosities involved. The value (i.e. exchange rate) of a Bitcoin is purely determined by the market and the trust people put into it.

In the coming release we will be implementing the following changes:
  • Instead of letting you deposit money in a real world currency, we will be selling Bitcoins. (Initially at a rate of approx 0.3 USD per Bitcoin.)
  • Tipping will be done in Bitcoin.
  • To keep the financial and regulative ogres at bay we will initially not be buying Bitcoins back from you, but will instead send off to one the other (growing amount of) sites which either trade Bitcoins for real currency or sell services or goods for Bitcoins.
  • Once we feel we are in good control of Bitcoin we will then offer to buy back Bitcoins from you.

We have implemented all those changes already and are currently in the process of testing them. We should be releasing this version by mid January.

FOR EVER!