A while back, I wrote about how a system like Chaintip, a way for individuals to tip BCH to other users on Reddit and Twitter, could be expanded to drive more Bitcoin Cash adoption by taking it beyond the one-to-one level.
Although you can read about the original concept here, just as a quick summary, the idea was to create a BCH fund that regularly pays out to the highest voted posts in a subreddit community. This would enable tipping on a more community wide level, so that posts that are appreciated by everyone get rewarded, not just ones that match the whims of individuals. I think this creates more motivation to create high quality posts because there's more clarity on the potential to get a tangible benefit. And it's another proof of concept of how the micropayment potential of cryptocurrency can make social media a better experience.
I was happily surprised when the maker of Chaintip, Tibanne, got in touch with me to talk about maybe making my idea a reality. I actually didn't realize Tibanne was the maker of Chaintip when he first spoke to me. I was only made aware when another person interested in helping, Molecular, pointed it out when we all started chatting on Telegram. Although I was happy to have anyone reach out to help, I couldn't have asked for a more credible person than the one who built the very system I referenced in my original proposal!
We talked a lot about how such a system could work, considering different ways for people to call upon the bot, and what kind of increments of value per vote to use, and other issues. One of the bigger questions was what would be the best way to trigger the bot into action. If it happened at regular intervals, it might be gamed. If it was invoked manually, it was still too similar to the kind of individual tipping the Chaintip bot already does.
The "aha!" moment came when Tibanne had the brilliant idea of tying the timing of payouts to the progress of the BCH blockchain itself, so that payout times would be automatic but somewhat unpredictable. The same way that BCH blocks are mined at random intervals that average out to one discovered every ten minutes, we could make payouts happen roughly once a week, but no one could predict exactly when.
This way, we have a pervasive potential for payouts, meaning it's always a good time to post some good content. People who want to support the community by donating to the fund from which payouts happen can do so any time and it's always helpful. And also, it's hard for anyone to try and game the system when they can't ever know when the next payout will occur.
So what's going to happen is, at random intervals that will average close to once a week as time passes, the Subtipper bot is going to look at the top posts for the week. It will assign a Satoshi value per vote. Then it will start at the top post for the week, pay out an amount equal to the number of votes it has, multiplied by the Satoshi value per vote. With the remaining votes, it will go to the second highest post and pay for its votes, and so on. It keeps going down the list of top posts until it runs out of Satoshis designated for this payout.
At first, we're going to keep the value per vote really low, at a fixed value of 1000 Satoshis per vote, and the number of votes that get rewarded fixed at 3,000. This should make the first payouts in the range of about $30 USD. Small enough so that we don't lose too much if there's some unforeseen issue, but enough so that the first recipients get enough BCH to be worth claiming.
Once we're sure the payouts are happening reliably, we'll adjust the values so that the amount of BCH people are receiving is a little more enticing.
In the long term, the exact value per vote, as well as number of votes rewarded, would both ideally be variable, to scale along with the size of different subreddits and the amount of BCH in the fund. We don't want any one payout to clear out the fund, because then there might be no payout for next week. On the other hand, if the fund increases, we don't want to just be sitting on a pile of money that goes nowhere. Another consideration is that we'd like to see more people get BCH, so as the fund increases, we'd like to favor tipping more votes than seeing the value of each individual vote go too high.
If you have suggestions on a payout algorithm that balances these factors nicely, please let us know. We have some ideas we're considering, but we're always open to input and discussion.
The Subtipper bot is going to be activated on the r/btc subreddit shortly after this article is posted, under the username u/rbtc-tipper. The first payout should happen within a couple hours, because it's going to be manually forced. This just so people can see it in action, and for testing reasons. After that, nobody knows when the next one will be! The schedule will be up to the blockchain. Fun!
In time, assuming that the bot works as hoped, then we'll start approaching other subreddits to see if they'd be interested in having it, because what we'd really like to see is new people get exposed to BCH. We're especially interested in approaching subreddits that represent communities where a little money could be really helpful for people. In the long run, though, we'd like to roll it out to just about anyone interested in using it. If you are part of a subreddit where you feel Subtipper might be well received, please suggest it to us.
Each subreddit needs to have its own separate fund and bot username, so it can't just be used anywhere like the Chaintip bot. Also, we intend to make it standard practice to get moderator approval, because we want to make sure no community feels like they're getting spammed with something they might not immediately understand. That might have the reverse effect of giving people a bad impression of Bitcoin Cash. Thanks to the mods at r/btc for giving us the go ahead to start there!
If you think this is a good idea and want to help support it, you can send BCH to this address. However, we recommend using Chaintip to send a tip to the Subtipper bot. In the case of r/btc, you would send your tip to u/rbtc-tipper. The best time to do that would be on a comment on the post announcing when payouts happen. That way, people can see your support, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. A big thanks to Molecular for helping kick start the fund with his initial donation! And also, any tips on this article will be added to the fund as well.
Update: The first Subtipper payout has happened, so if you want to see it in action, see it's inaugural post here.