Every now and again I see someone on the r/btc subreddit propose that people with a little BCH to spare should go around to other subreddits and tip people using Chaintip.
If you're not familiar with Chaintip, it's very simple. It's a bot that allows you send someone an amount of BCH through a comment on Reddit. All you have to do is reply to someone's comment or post, and write in the amount of BCH you want to send, and boom, that's it. There is a simple syntax you have to use so the bot will see your comment, but it's very easy to use. The process is also pretty simple for the person receiving your tip. And once they've set it up once, it's even easier thereafter.
In principle, the idea of getting people interested in Bitcoin Cash by giving them some is something I not only agree with, I've strongly advocated for it in previous articles I've written here on Read.cash. People are motivated by getting something, not by explanations.
But... I think that giving random tips to people with Chaintip is not likely to be enough to move anyone's interest meter.
Think about it this way. Let's say someone came up to you out of the blue and said, "hey, I like what you just did, let me give you one Moroccan Dirham." Now, you, the person reading this, might already know what a Moroccan Dirham is, but I had never heard of it before just now, when I looked up the currency of Morocco, a country I picked at random for this example.
Would I be thrilled to get this free money? Or would I just be confused? It's not really an exciting opportunity for me to learn about Moroccan Dirhams, because I'm not going around looking for new currencies in my life. I think I would appreciate the gesture, but when I look up online and find out that one Moroccan Dirham is worth ten US cents, that's where it would end for me. I wouldn't even bother finding out how, let alone if, I could spend it or convert it into a currency I understand.
If I received the equivalent of ten dollars in some weird new currency I've never seen, I'd be more motivated to find out what to do, but there would be a limit to how far I would put energy in. If the amount got up to fifty or a hundred bucks, then I'm more committed.
Those numbers expose my privilege. For different people, the rates will be less, or more, but everyone has their ranges. There's a floor amount that's too small to bother with, and a range above that where difficulty and benefit have to be weighed against each other.
So, in summary, I don't think giving some random person out on Reddit a small amount of BCH in a Chaintip does much to win people over. It's like throwing Moroccan Dirham's at people who have never been to Morocco.
There is potentially a better way.
What I'm about to propose requires two things. One is a fund of money of a few tens, to hundreds, to maybe thousands of dollars. This can be raised through the community, or particularly motivated BCH evangelists or companies, or whatever. The exact amounts will become clear in a bit, but the point is, it will have to be enough to matter to people.
The other thing needed is a bot that builds on what Chaintip does and can do just a little bit more monitoring of Reddit activity. I don't know how to make bots on Reddit, so I couldn't do this myself, but I do know enough about coding to know this should definitely be possible.
Just for ease of explanation, let's put a name to the bot or system that I'm proposing. We'll call it Votecash. I'm not married to that name, it doesn't really matter for now.
Anyway, here's what Votecash would do. First, a fund is raised, and then a value amount is assigned to each Reddit vote. Let's say we decide each vote is worth 5 US cents. And let's say we raise a thousand dollars for the fund. That's a twenty thousand votes that can get rewarded.
Now, you take a sub, it can be any sub, the only criteria would be making sure the size of the sub and the normal amount of top posts balances out with the amount of rewarding you want to do.
What you do is decide a set period of time, like a week, and at the end of that week, the Votecash bot will look at the top posts in a subreddit and give out a nickel per vote to the users that posted them. It just keeps giving out nickels for votes until it's exhausted the thousand dollar fund.
For example, let's take the sub for my hometown, r/Vancouver. The top post for the last week as I write this got 5400 votes. That's 270 dollars reward. That's something that definitely people will go out of their way to check. The next highest is 2900 votes, for 145 dollars. It goes down to about the seventh highest post before the fund runs out, so the seventh person doesn't get the full amount for their post, which was at 2700 votes. The fund was short thirty dollars, so they got 105 dollars.
Note that the rewards are not given out one vote at a time. The Votecash bot would wait until a predetermined finish time, then look at the vote totals for the top posts, add up the total value to find the amount of BCH to send, and then make one transaction per post.
Also, the numbers could be adjusted so votes are worth a little less and more people get rewarded. It's all about finding the right balance of the most people receiving BCH without it being diluted so much that none of them care enough to claim it. I think, actually, the values I gave in the example above might be a little high. I think it would be ideal to dial in the numbers so that the most likely top post of the week would earn up to a maximum of about 100 dollars.
And, I'm not sure if Chaintip already does this, but it would be ideal to have a time limit so that unclaimed funds can be carried over into rewarding others who will claim it.
Think of all the benefits to tipping on other subs this way.
For one thing, it's hard for this to be gamed. Maybe someone smarter than me can figure out how, but, since all the votes are community driven, anyone posting low effort attempts to essentially just try and cash in will almost certainly not get upvoted. And if bots and trolls try and suppress this campaign, by downvoting posts all they do is ensure the cash is spread out to more people. Minimums and maximum payouts could also be implemented. Also note that all posts will be subject to the same moderation that happens on Reddit anyway.
For mods it's attractive, because for any sub that Votecash is pitched to, it encourages their members to post high quality content, and maybe draws in new members.
The idea would be pitched to various subs, by going to their moderators to get their approval, backing, and hopefully their help in promoting it. After all, they don't have to do anything to make it work other than the moderation they're already doing. No one has to do anything, even the people who win don't have to claim the money if they don't want it.
Also, instead of random individuals getting some amount of BCH they may or may not care about, the whole sub is informed of the potential to win, so that informs potentially thousands, or even millions of people at a time.
I'm envisioning this as something that happens in discrete campaigns, not an indefinitely ongoing thing. One week on one subreddit, and then another week on another. How frequently campaigns are run would be determined by funding and interest.
I think the first sub to try this out should be r/btc. Turn it into a place where votes have value on a regular basis. Imagine all the other crypto subs starting to wonder why their sub doesn't consistently reward them. It would also encourage high quality posts, which r/btc could use, just like every subreddit.
Then, when the idea is battle tested a bit, take it to other subs, just going one at a time, offering them BCH for just doing what they're doing.
Votecash, or whatever it's called, could take the potential of Chaintip and level it up into something that eventually all of Reddit might take note of.