New Currencies and Compensation Models

Session Type:
Policy, Creative
Session Category:
Working group
Session Leader:
Holmes Wilson (PCF)

Day: Saturday
Room: W320
Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm

Session Notes


In recent months, there has been huge progress in infrastructure for micropayments. With Bitcoin bursting in on the scene, and Flattr gaining momentum in micro-donations, it is easier than ever before to imagine a button in your browser that donates $1 to a YouTube video, attaches money to an e-mail, or gives $0.01 to every piece of journalism you read.

Amateur and indie video producers, in particular, need this. Without successful revenue models compatible with open-licensing and decentralized distribution, creators will feel pressure to reject the open video approach for financial reasons. The open video community has an opportunity to contribute some key infrastucture here.

We can create a world where someone with millions of views on YouTube gets thousands in donations, regardless of what country they’re from, even if they don’t have a bank account. We can save the American newspaper. We can make it way easier to pay a friend for dinner. Sky’s the limit.

The goal for this session is to survey new opportunities like these, decide on the best first steps and (coming out of the session) take them.

If you’re working in this space, or if you are a developer with either a) experience building applications around micropayments and payment APIs or b) Bitcoin or c) a solid understanding of cryptography and security, please be in touch. We need you to make this session work.

We also really need talented developers or designers of any specialty who find these things exciting. And of course, if you have ideas, time, and energy to contribute in any aspect of this we’d love to hear from you too.


A proposal and blueprint for a micropayments web service, or another method for compensating web creators.