Developer Suggests to Replace Blocked Ads with Bitcoin Donations

Can we replace blocked ads with something useful? Can this be an invitation to donate Bitcoin? In fact, why not?

Photo: Sam Hurley/Flickr

Photo: Sam Hurley/Flickr

Not long ago, Kevin Owocki, a software developer in Colorado, came up with a bright idea. It was about users visiting a news web-site using an ad blocker. Kevin thought, what if the site substituted ads with an invite to donate a fraction of a bitcoin?

So, readers could pay contributing to the site’s well-being. The articles users wanted to read could be payed that way.  “You read all the time about how publishers are having trouble migrating their business model to the 21st century,” says Owocki. “It just seems like micropayments is where that should go,” he adds.

Actually, Owocki managed to build a tool making his idea come true and posted it on GitHub. In fact, the tool he built became popular at Hacker News. “Personally, I think bitcoin is the move,”said one user. The long-term deflationary nature, the hivemind of sage engineers swarming around scalability, with the end-goal being tiny machine-to machine-payments, and the precision of value that you can achieve make it perfect.”

In a nutshell, the community enjoyed the idea.

However, this idea needs to be developed and probably won’t become popular soon. But surely, it stimultates discussing the possibility of funding online publishers through micropayments. In that sense, it’s already working.

In fact, recently publishers have already spoken about the possibilities to moderate the influence of ad blocking. Moreover, software developers created similar tipping services for publishers. Plus, Coinbase came up with the idea to use a browser that would let users pay small amounts of bitcoin for almost anything.

“If your real objective is to get actually some income in place of the ad, I would highly suggest supporting traditional forms of payment in addition to bitcoin,” another Hacker News reader said in response to Owocki’s idea. “Although Bitcoin is interesting/cool/worthy of existence, 99.9 percent of users don’t have a Bitcoin wallet, so you’ll be missing out on a lot of potential income.”

It’s obvious that the idea is a rough draft. Owocki created his service in a couple of hours using an open source tool dubbed FuckAdBlock, which can track down when an ad blocker is used.

So far, the code can be distributed even faster thanks to Github, the Internet’s central repository for open source software. As new ideas and new suggestions arrive, they can almost instantly come to fruition. The future of publishing may be closer than you think, reads Wired.


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