Bitcoin micropayments startup ChangeTip has introduced a new feature that lets users receive tips without a social media account.
Currently, ChangeTip users can tip one another via accounts linked to their social networks, including Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr and GooglePlus. However, One Time Tip Link now allows registered users to send bitcoin tips directly to a person's email address, using a one-time link.
Email or text tips
In fact, the recipient does not even have to have an email, as users can send tips via Skype or any kind of messaging service. This obviously expands the potential of using small tips to bring bitcoin to a broader audience that may or may not be tech savvy.
Although the sender needs a social media-linked Changetip account, the recipient doesn't need an internet presence to receive the tip – the service also works via SMS.
Victoria van Eyk, VP of community development at ChangeTip, explained:
"I've used this feature to tip cab drivers who are interested in bitcoin, friends and to show others how easy it is to send bitcoin over different mediums. I plan on tipping some journalists tonight who may not have a Twitter handle."
As for the tipper, using the One Time Tip Link is straightforward – users simply need to log into their ChangeTip account, click 'One Time Tip', set the amount and send their tip.
Alternative use cases
ChangeTip said the use of one-time tips could create entirely new use cases for its service. The company pointed out that the community often uses its products in ways it hadn't anticipated.
Van Eyk said:
"Adam Guerbuez had a little giveaway – the first people to click his link won some money through the One Time Tip link. Martin Holland over at OurEverydayEarth.com set up an online scavenger hunt, by hiding money in posts online."
ChangeTip added that the new feature could be used to devise and hold unique online contests, due to the privacy offered to both parties involved in the process.
Roughly a month ago, the company announced the successful completion of a seed funding round, amounting to $3.5m. The round was led by Pantera Capital and included 500 Startups, CryptoCurrency Partners, Idealab and Boldstart Ventures.
Smartphone bitcoin image via Shutterstock