An early stage, Reddit-only application has recently launched within the social media giant, allowing users to tip each other small amounts of bitcoin. This free and simple system uses no other website or account and was created to replace the now-retired Changetip service.
A Changetip Replacement
On Friday evening, a Reddit user named ‘Minitip’ (u/Minitip) announced a new “free bitcoin tipping service whose only interface is Reddit”. The system was developed by Reddit user Cobos (/u/Cobosbfb) who said:
I created Minitip because Changetip shut down a few months ago and I wanted to revive the concept of bitcoin tipping on Reddit, since it can be quite fun, brings people together, and brings a lot of exposure to Bitcoin as well.
Using Minitip, Reddit users can tip each other in bitcoin by replying to their posts or comments. Everything is done using Reddit’s interface and there is no third party website to visit or account to create, Cobos explained. The lack of an off-site account keeps Minitip quick and private to use.
The service is ready for testing now but Cobos recommends using it with caution, citing that the service is in its infancy. “Please use with caution, at entirely your own risk, and make sure you only deposit small amounts if you choose to use it”, he wrote. He encouraged users to contact him if they found any bugs or have suggestions for improvement. Commenting on his system, he noted:
The best part is that we have no internal ledgers for transactions, so your tips never leave the blockchain. It is almost entirely peer-to-peer, which, given Bitcoin’s core philosophy of decentralized people power, I feel is quite fitting.
While there is no account to set up, at the time of writing, there are six commands with which users can manage their Minitip usage. All of them work by sending a Reddit private message to ‘u/Minitip’ with one of the commands in the message body. The subject of the message can be anything but it cannot be left blank. A few seconds after the message is sent, the sender will receive a message back from Minitip with information based on the command used. Bitcoin.com tested the system out and it worked fine for us. Below are the six commands.
- Balance – allows users to check their Minitip balance. This command will also return instructions on how to top-up (deposit) bitcoin to be used for tipping.
- History – allows users to view all previous tips which they have sent or received.
- [address] – allows users to assign their own Bitcoin address for receiving tips and withdrawals from Minitip.
- Deposit – allows users to deposit some bits for tipping.
- Withdraw – allows users to withdraw funds from Minitip to their personal address.
- Donate – allows users to donate their Minitip balance to Minitip.
When using the ‘Balance’ command, Minitip will return a message stating the user’s account balance in bits and dollar equivalent. It will also give the user a unique Bitcoin address controlled by Minitip to be used for top-ups.
Once some bits are deposited into the Bitcoin address, the Reddit user can tip another user by replying to a post or comment and typing “/u/Minitip [number of bits to tip]”, explains the Minitip instructions. For example, typing “/u/Minitip 1000 bits” in reply to a user’s comment will send that user a bitcoin tip of 1000 bits.
Minitip currently charges “a flat miner’s fee of 100 bits (~$0.10)” for each tip sent, which is deducted from the tipper’s balance. “Though in the current Bitcoin climate this is a bit low, we feel that this strikes a good balance for small tips here and there that are by no means time-sensitive”, Cobos described.
Tips received are directly deposited into a personal Bitcoin address which the user specified by using the [address] command. If no address is specified, the tips received will reside in the system until it is used to tip others or a withdrawal address has been assigned. Once the recipient specifies a personal Bitcoin address, “all future tips will go directly to the address you specified”, Cobos explained.
On top of the danger of losing a few bits from this being a new and untested system, another potential problem is that the identity of the developer, Cobos, is unknown. Reddit user Francispouliot wrote, “what are guarantees that you simply won’t run-off with the funds? It’s not like you’re an exchange and you created your Reddit account 6 hours ago”.
“You’re right and making it as trustless as possible is the best way, just like with Bitcoin itself”, Cobos responded, adding that “I’ve been trying to think of ways to make it 100% peer-to-peer so that no funds are stored on our end at all. Might implement something like multisig in future, as long as it’s still convenient”.
Would you use Minitip? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Reddit
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