Wouldn’t it be cool if you could easily earn money on the internet? Yours is a social media community like reddit, but where every user has an integrated wallet so they can easily pay each other for things. It’s the first social media community with a real economy. See the pitch we recently gave at Boost VC for an overview of the idea.
Today we’re happy to announce we have our micropayments technology working in our UI. This means we have the world’s first micropayments web wallet. Although the term “micropayments” has been highly overused since the 1990s, genuine micropayments weren’t really possible until the advent of the blockchain. With a network of smart contracts on top of the bitcoin blockchain, Yours users can possess and send fractions of a cent with zero fees. It’s like the Lightning Network, but in a web browser, and for a mainstream audience.
Yours has been in development for over a year. When we demonstrated our first prototype in April, which used normal bitcoin transactions, we realized the fees of 5 cents per transaction were too high support payments of only 1 cent for content. Fortunately, the brilliant Lightning Network team proved a solution to this was possible with a network of smart contracts on top of the blockchain. So we began our odyssey to implement something like this for Yours.
Two months ago we announced we had a proof-of-concept working in a simulated environment. Last month we announced we had it working on bitcoin testnet. Now that we’ve got it working in a web-based UI, we are only one step away - we will now integrate it into our social product, and then we will have our MVP.
We would like to pre-empt one important comment about us being the “first” micropayments web wallet. We would like to tip our hat to Streamium and acknowledge they had micropayments working on the web over a year ago. However, there was one key problem with Streamium at a technical level that is very difficult to correct. Streamium works by opening up a payment channel for every pair of users. This has a poor scaling property that if you only want to send a micropayment to someone one time, you still have to put a transaction on-chain. Our smart contract network solves this problem, making genuine user-to-user micropayments possible in arbitrarily small amounts and with no fees. So Streamium had micropayments working, but it wasn’t a general purpose micropayments system like ours is.
With this milestone we can begin integrating the wallet into the app and sketch our a timeline for launch. We will be launching in phases to our early invite audience over the next three to six months. As we identify security and scaling problems, we will fix them before opening up to more users. We think a general purpose launch will be possible in early 2017.
Check out this video demo of the micropayments wallet where we send a p2p digital cash micropayment of less than one cent: