This is fun! Someone has figured out a way for people to send each other micropayments online. Useful when a “like” somehow isn’t enough.
It’s powered by BitCoinÂ which is a strange virtual currency that can be exchanged into regular currencies like USD and EUR. The current rate is around 250 USD for 1 BTC so it’s more common to deal with fractions that are ingeniously called bits:Â 1Â BTC = 1 000 000 bits.
ChangeTip is everywhere, or at least all the most common places where people meet online.Â I have no idea if this is going to be useful, but it sure looks fun! I’ve created an account for myself to check this out.
To give a tip to someone, one can simply mention it in a comment, like this:
Twitter:Â @ChangeTip, send $1Â to @torbengb
Google+:Â +ChangeTip, send 250 bitsÂ to +Torben Gundtofte-Bruun
… and so on.Â Tips are sent in bitcoins to make the transaction completelyÂ free. If the recipientÂ isnâ€™t already a ChangeTip user, the bot will send a link to the ChangeTip website to claim theÂ tip.
To make it even more personal, you can replace the currency with monikers like 2 coffeesÂ orÂ 1 beer.Â Each moniker translates into pre-defined amounts in the background.
And because videos are all the rage these days, here’s their intro:
And if you’re curious about Bitcoins themselves:
What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is digital money used for secure and instant transfer of value anywhere in the world. It is not controlled or issued by any bank or government – instead it is an open network which is managed by its users.
Is bitcoin safe?
Bitcoinâ€™s core protocol is viewable by anyone, has been vetted by thousands of security researchers around the world, and has proven to be robust and reliable after immense scrutiny. Using bitcoin is similar to using other private applications on the internet, such as email or online banking. Just like these other web services, you must access your bitcoin with a password in order to ensure only you have access to your money.
Is it similar to PayPal?
Unlike credit card networks like Visa and payment processors like Paypal, bitcoin is not owned by an individual or company. Bitcoin is the worldâ€™s first completely open payment network which anyone with an internet connection can participate in. Bitcoin was designed to be used on the internet, and doesnâ€™t depend on banks or private companies to process transactions.