The power of Bitcoin tipping can no longer be denied. The Zapchain model of microtipping is growing. According to founder Matt Schlicht, some Zapchain communities are getting over 100,000 visits per month. Zapchain’s tipping mechanism has created a market for quality communities. By rewarding users with something valuable — bitcoin — it’s easy to see what motivates people to keep coming back.
Two hundred new forum subsections, called “Communities,” have been created in the past seven days. The most popular community — unsurprisingly — is Bitcoin, with over 9,000 members. Other popular communities include 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, Gaming and Drones. Some members have used the Bitcoin they’ve earned on the site to pay for college books and phone plans.
Zapchain works simply. It’s similar to Reddit and its voting system, except Zapchain takes it even further. Upvotes on Zapchain contain fractions of bitcoin which are given to “OP,” or the person who starts the topic. Bitcoin earned on Zapchain can be withdrawn to a bitcoin wallet. Currently, a Coinbase-linked wallet is the only withdrawal method. Hopefully this will change in the future and allow people outside Coinbase’s operating area to join the conversation.
Zapchain users can earn bitcoin by replying to topics with pre-specified bounties. For example, a user can post a question and reward the 10 best responses with 1,000 bits. These bounties can be configured however the OP pleases. These types of threads are among the most popular and receive numerous, thoughtful responses. In the z/Bitcoin section of the site, a recent thread received 34 responses in under 48 hours; the topic: Do you agree with former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke when he says bitcoin has ‘serious problems’? The thread OP, Zapchain COO Daniel Cawrey, offered a bounty of 2,500 Bits to the best 5 answers.
One can earn Bitcoin on Zapchain by reviewing products and leaving great comments. Developers can gather feedback easily on new products or apps. The applications are many. The common denominator is Bitcoin — which adds an incentive to want more.
It’s unclear how Zapchain monetizes the business. There doesn’t seem to be any sponsored ads. Zapchain received $350,000 in initial funding from a consortium of three VC firms including Boost Bitcoin Fund. Tim Draper says the goal of his investment was to see Zapchain evolve into a platform that reduces bank friction between journalists and readers. Dan Cawrey, Zapchain COO says the VC funds are being used to attract new content creators to the website.
It is clear that Zapchain will begin to capture a greater share of the social media market. With Reddit, especially r/Bitcoin, being censored by moderators, Zapchain offers a transparent alternative. Zapchain has made it easier to monetize small-scale journalism. This is undoubtedly positive as it removes the bias often associated with the old model of conglomerate-owned media.
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Image courtesy of Zapchain