PropinaBitcoin, a new project that seeks to promote digital currency awareness in Latin America by encouraging the use of bitcoin for real-world tipping, has officially launched.
Described by developer Nubis Bruno as a grassroots initiative, PropinaBitcoin is a free online service that allows bitcoin users to print paper wallets that can then be left as tips at restaurants and bars. Those who receive the paper wallet then visit PropinaBitcoin's website where they are given detailed instructions on how to retrieve the funds.
Bruno, who also serves as the chief product officer for Latin America-focused bitcoin exchange Bitex.la, framed the service as an informal project aimed at connecting new bitcoin users to popular industry services. The site refers users to Bitex.la, peer-to-peer trading platform ConectaBitcoin, bitcoin-friendly merchant listings site CoinMap.org and bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Bruno indicated that the strengths of the project are its design and community support. The look of the tipping vouchers notably mimics traditional bank notes so that recipients better recognize that the paper slips they've received have value.
"The paper wallet design gets their attention and suggests value [...] I think people living on a fixed income in Argentine pesos have the most to gain from a currency like bitcoin, and giving out small amounts is a good incentive for them to inform themselves and learn about it."
The project was originally proposed on the Bitcoin Argentina Facebook group, where it received widespread support, garnering nearly 70 comments as of press time. The software itself is a fork of Bitaddress.org, an open-source bitcoin wallet generator.
Currently, the website is available in Spanish only. The project was co-developed by Manuel Beaudroit.
Site users who want to print their own tickets can follow the prompts at the bottom of the website to begin using the program.
By clicking on the 'Print your own tickets' command, users have the option to create and print 12 unique tickets.
Users then send bitcoin to the QR code printed on the slips, stocking the paper wallets with the value they want to leave as a gratuity.
Bruno said that he believes the resulting offering will appeal to local restaurant workers, in part because of the industry's cash-friendly culture. He said tips are rarely paid with credit cards and that many businesses only accept cash.
The nature of the design also makes it secure for users, Bruno said, adding:
"The paper wallets are generated in the user's browser so PropinaBitcoin does not even know about the bills being printed by others."
Generating support from Argentina's enthusiastic bitcoin community will be a continued goal of the PropinaBitcoin project. One way it hopes to keep the conversation about the initiative going, for example, is through a dedicated Facebook page.
There, users are encouraged to post images of PropinaBitcoin tips that they leave in an effort to increase overall usership.
With the feedback phase over, Bruno is now excited to put the idea into practice, in what he hopes could help further develop the bitcoin conversation in Latin America. He concluded:
"We're giving out bitcoin tips anytime we can and we're receiving feedback from people leaving their own tips."
Images via Facebook