Bloggers paid in crypto micropayments

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Yalls.org is a blog project using crypto micropayments to compensate writers. Alex Bosworth of Lightning Labs started the project twelve months ago and reports this week that between April and November this year, “blog participants have processed nearly 20,000 invoices with the Lightning Network, a bitcoin scaling solution that makes micropayments feasible by keeping them off the blockchain, sidestepping network transaction fees,” says Coindesk.

How does Yalls work?

Readers pay small amounts for reading and commenting on blogs. For example it costs one cent to read a blog, half a cent to leave a comment and 10 cents to post an emoji. It also means that readers don’t need to take out a subscription as with the standard paywall publication sites; all they have to do is connect through the Lightning system, and they don’t even need to have a crypto wallet in advance, because they are connected to one through Yall.

Bosworth told Coindesk that it also brings back anonymity to the Internet: “One nice thing about micropayments is that it brings back anonymity to the web. I’m really a fan of the idea that your identity doesn’t have to be tied to a username and password.”

So far, readers have opened 118 Lightning nodes, many of which “are now facilitating payment channels, in which small amounts are sent back and forth between users before final settlement on the blockchain.” Contributors have posted 170 articles since July 2018 and readers have paid for 675 emojis and 194 comments. Writers have also claimed crypto micropayments 432 times in the same period.

Bosworth says that node operators have been earning around $5 per month for routing fees, and while all the money involved at the moment really is ‘micro’, it shows the potential of this fledgling business model to enhance reader engagement.

As you can tell, it is early days with this project, and as the website’s home page states, it is still in testing stages and there are bugs to be fixed. There is a way to go before Bosworth launches this project, but what started out as a hobby may become a full-time business.

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