ChangeTip Brings Bitcoin Tipping to SoundCloud Amid Privacy Concerns

Bitcoin Magazine
ChangeTip Brings Bitcoin Tipping to SoundCloud Amid Privacy Concerns

Social media has been around since the infancy of the internet, beginning with BBS and CompuServe in the ‘80s and ‘90s which allowed members to share files and access news and events.

Now, Facebook and Twitter are arguably the kings of social media, but ChangeTip wants to lead a new era of social media where you can share more than cat pictures.

ChangeTip aims to transform social networking forever by introducing “the money layer of social media.” Recent integration with the social sound platform, SoundCloud, is evidence of ChangeTip’s commitment to becoming the biggest platform dedicated to the exchange of money in the digital universe.

“It’s the transformative nature of where technology is taking us,” says ChangeTip’s Kyle Kemper.

The heavily requested integration is good news for users and producers of music. Now for the first time, supporters of indie artists can tip their favorite musicians and directly express appreciation for their content. But ChangeTip is not stopping there. Future plans include integration with other music platforms like Spotify, as well as Meetup.

“The demand can get pretty overwhelming,” Kemper states. “The most effective way to handle [the demand] is through a robust API. That way other platforms like Meetup and Spotify can just do their own native integration using our API.”

ChangeTip’s technology can be used for more than supporting indie artists and sending your friend’s payment for beer. Recent integration with the Red Cross has allowed people from all over the world to donate over 28 bitcoins to Nepalese victims struggling after the earthquakes.

Value Transfer Competition

Sending money over the internet is not new. Online payment platforms like Paypal and Venmo have existed for years. Kemper explains what separates ChangeTip from the rest of the pack, saying, “ChangeTip is international, bitcoin is international and with ChangeTip sending money can all done with no fees – instantly.” ChangeTip is also able to process microtransactions, transactions with a value of less than a dollar, which are typically cost prohibitive for traditional payment methods.

Coinbase had also developed a tipping service similar to ChangeTip but deferred to ChangeTip’s platform, stating, “ChangeTip is an excellent example of a company which uses our APIs, and we’d like to support them instead of competing with them.”

With seemingly no competition in the “money layer of social media,” the ultimate goal for ChangeTip, according to Kemper, is for people to, “understand they can become their own bank with bitcoin. What makes it feel like real money is that they offer to buy $20 USD worth of bitcoin, and you send them $20 USD worth of bitcoin on ChangeTip.”

Critics Speak Out

But not everybody is happy with ChangeTip. Some criticize the company for its centralized practices and off-chain transactions. In off-chain transactions a claim is made on an amount of bitcoin and sent from one person to another – no actual bitcoins get exchanged, and the transactions are not recorded on the blockchain. In this case, ChangeTip also controls the private keys for all bitcoin addresses associated with the service.

While no transactions are recorded on the blockchain, off-chain transactions are beneficial because transactions can be made instantly without waiting for confirmations. Kemper comments,“ChangeTip is a transitional wallet for fast spending. We don’t encourage people to keep a lot of money on their account.”

Some users have raised concerns about the amount of personal and social data that ChangeTip is collecting. For example, ChangeTip collects information about every social network where its users send tips. This means that ChangeTip could potentially be able to link a private Facebook profile to a Reddit account or a withdrawal bitcoin address for a user. Others have reported that ChangeTip may be making some user data publicly available unintentionally.

Despite these concerns, ChangeTip continues to grow its presence across the popular social platforms and spread awareness about bitcoin.

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Coinify Expands to 34 European Countries

Coinify, a Danish bitcoin exchange and bitcoin payment processing platform is expanding its platform to all 36 EU member states under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) including Monaco, Malta, Iceland and Croatia.

The SEPA project was initiated in February of 2014, with an aim to make cross-border Euro transfers equivalent to a domestic transfer in a country. Exact description of the project is “To improve the efficiency of cross-border payments and turn the fragmented national markets for euro payments into a single domestic one.”

Coinify plans to expand its services to the countries under the SEPA project to make it even cheaper for those needing to make cross-border remittances/transfers, with 0% transaction fees.

The Danish bitcoin startup completed an early multi-million seed funding led by SEED Capital, the largest tech-focused VC firm in the nation, hoping to be the leading bitcoin startup in Denmark’s cryptocurrency industry.

The investment from SEED Capital and Accelerance allowed Coinify to acquire one of the earliest European bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin Broker Bitcoin Nordic. Due to the acquisition, the bitcoin exchange of Bitcoin Nordic began to operate as a core service of Coinify, with the founder Lasse Birk Olesen appointed as the Chief Product Officer.

Coinify later acquired the intellectual properties and all merchant relationships of one of the largest payment solution providers and payment gateway developer within Europe, Bitcoin Internet Payment System. Kris Henriksen, founder of Bitcoin Internet Payment System, said the company will now focus on technological innovations.

Prior to the funding led by SEED Capital, Coinify was supporting more than 6,000 merchants and 7,000 just from Europe. Moreover, Coinify’s exchange satisfied over 7,000 European users.

With their bitcoin exchange and merchant services solidified, Coinify began to grow its platform and targeted markets including Sweden, the UK, Norway and Denmark and to establish their presence throughout the European region. Coinify specifically targeted Germany and the UK, due to the countries’ large e-commerce markets.

As of now, Coinify plans to seek for investments in the second half of 2015, as Chief Financial Officer Christian Larson stated “We expect to raise a significant amount to make sure that Europe will be playing a leading role in this new payment space. We believe that our strategy on providing the traditional payment service providers with dedicated service is our way in to the market.”

As Coinify expands its service to 36 European countries listed under SEPA, the bitcoin startup hopes to see an increase of trading volume in their exchange and to facilitate more individuals to send cross-border payments throughout Europe.

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Boost.VC Startup BitQuick Offers Quick and Easy Method to Buy Bitcoin

Trading roughly $450,000 every 30 days as of last month, Ohio-based BitQuick is a new peer-to-peer platform that intends on swiftly connecting digital currency buyers with sellers through over-the-counter (OTC) trades. The majority of the company’s user-base is from the United States, but there are also Taiwan and India branches.

It’s been a busy few months for BitQuick. The volume of trades on their website has increased by nearly five times since January 2015, and it was just chosen as a top-five startup on Boost.VC’s demo day, last week.

In comparison to conventional bitcoin exchanges, Jad Mubasalat, CEO of BitQuick tells Bitcoin Magazine, “When you look at the typical incumbents, like Coinbase and BitFinex, they require multiple business day delays and a bank transfer to be able to buy your first bitcoins”, which, admittedly, can be frustrating for those buying bitcoin to speculate, spend online, or perform cross border payments.

The delay factor of most big exchanges robs bitcoin of its novelty in instantaneous transfers without questions. “BitQuick, however, allows anyone to trade bitcoin instantly with cash, without any risk of fraud,” added Mubasalat. Unlike other OTC trading platforms such as Localbitcoins, Bitquick relies on BitGo’s P2SH multi-sig protection technology with a hefty insurance level of $250,000.

Troubled Beginnings

Like many other Bitcoin early adopters, Mubasalat’s experience dates back to managing an escrow service on, where he had to learn about digital currency the hard way.

“I had the misfortune of being scammed for over 10 BTC and having my Mt. Gox account hacked and losing 20 BTC,” he said.

At the time, the Bitcoin community lacked an international mainstream, user-friendly escrow interface for digital currency trading. Only a few days after he got robbed, someone was offering to sell a prototype for a Bitcoin middle-man service on Bitcointalk, and Mubasalat swooped in.

“I checked it out and loved it so much that I offered to buy the platform before he launched it for $300.” After some tweaking here and there, was officially launched in August 2013.

Traction came along naturally to BitQuick through word-of-mouth, but Mubasalat needed help managing the increased trade volume because he was still studying Biomedical Engineering at Ohio State University at the time.

“So I brought on Chad Davis in October, 2013,” Mubasalat said. “He was already my roommate then, and we had known each other since the sixth grade, so it made perfect sense!”

Three Simple Steps

The user selects an order from the current order book, entering his or her email address and desired BTC to trade as well as his or her wallet info.
The desired sum is paid in cash (physical bills) to the account shown on the confirmation page by going to any local branch of the seller’s bank and filling out a deposit slip, or sending a SEPA transfer (EU customers).
Finally, a link is sent to the user’s email, where a proof-of-purchase receipt is uploaded.

Transfer times in the United States have a three-hour guarantee, with no registration required. At only 1 percent to 2 percent in fees, the two-man team is “working towards integrating new payment methods in addition to cash deposit in the United States.”

It’s not far-fetched to see them dominating the OTC market soon, at least in the western world.

A future for the Middle East

Although was launched for a short while to cultivate a market in the Middle East, it was soon pulled due to a lack of demand. Mubasalat said that they “shut it down temporarily to focus on the United States platform.”

For the foreseeable future, bitcoin might not gain a large everyday usage in the Middle East until there is an emergence of basic Bitcoin infrastructure such as wallets and exchanges, he said, given that the Middle East is largely underbanked and has plenty of access to mobile technology.

In the meantime, users can look forward to a Clef integration, which should be completed in the next few months to give users an alternate mode of authentication.

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