New App Lets Coronavirus-Hit Businesses Take Crypto Payments for Zoom Calls

The app is aimed at making it easier for entrepreneurs plying their trade from home to maintain their income.

Apr 23, 2020 at 11:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:32 a.m. UTC

As the coronavirus pandemic makes it harder for businesses to rake in an income, a new app is offering users a way to earn cryptocurrency through Zoom, the popular video conferencing software.

Called SmartSessions, the Ethereum-based crypto paywall developed by 2key New Economics allows firms and "solopreneurs" to take advantage of crypto payments when offering services through Zoom.

The company told CoinDesk in an email the solution would help people pushed out of their normal premises – for example, teachers of activities such as yoga, advisers or mentors – a way to offer video sessions and still receive payments.

SmartSessions utilizes the Ethereum network and smart contracts, via 2key's existing SmartLink platform, to create a number of automated and self-managed features.

After a session is set up in the app, it generates a personalized Zoom link and sends it to the target audience, processing payments automatically. Session hosts can also view metrics for data such as ticket sales and invite views.

Tickets for Zoom sessions can currently be purchased with ethereum's native cryptocurrency, ether (ETH). 2key said automated swaps between ether and dai, tether (USDT) and trueUSD (TUSD) are coming soon via crypto liquidity network Kyber. Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto options are slated to be available next quarter.

Ticket purchasers will be able to buy ether using a credit card within the app, paying with a choice of 17 different fiat currencies. Third parties are also able to earn ETH rewards for sharing the Zoom invites, getting a portion of any ticket sales they generate.

Currently, businesses wanting to take payment for Zoom sessions will need to use PayPal or bank transfers, with each attendee needing to be billed separately.

2key said problematic "Zoom-bombing" – whereby unwanted parties join a call for the purposes of disruption –would likely be a non-issue as only paying parties will have access to a session.

The app has arrived at a time when Zoom activity has soared, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing employees around the world to work from home. According to the World Health Organization, the number of coronavirus cases worldwide has now risen to above 2.6 million.

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