Digital Endearment and the Monetization of the Like-Button

With relative ease we have the capability of intensifying the like-button to the degree that monetary value can be attached to that like. When it comes to payment transactions across the internet, cryptocurrencies provide a fluid payment network that requires very little commitment on the part of both the tipper and tippee. We should all strive to monetize the like-button because there exists a public desire to express appreciation for something in the form of a tip, and probably a bigger desire to receive that tip for one’s work in the Uber economy.

Up until now the tipping experience has been somewhat limiting. While we as consumers are increasingly carrying out cashless transactions, many of these cashless payment methods restrict our ability to effectively tip with ease (i.e. credit cards, PayPal, ACH). Given the appropriate application, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology can be a practical solution in tackling this problem. Peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transactions involve a relatively quick process that does not require the relinquishing of one’s personal information. It’s as simple as opening an app, scanning a code, and pressing a button. When it comes to transparency, the value proposition of cryptocurrencies over traditional payment methods is highlighted by intermediaries. There are numerous ways to verify a transaction with credit cards or PayPal, however all of these methods involve third parties or middlemen, all of which can become quite costly in the long-run. With cryptocurrencies, all direct P2P transactions can be verified on the blockchain, a publicly audited ledger.

The argument that volatility is a hindrance to cryptocurrency adoption should not be applied to tipping; this argument fails to take into account the minimal impact exchange rate fluctuations would have on relatively small units of money (i.e. tips). Obviously this would be different for larger transactions where there is greater importance for such amounts to maintain a stable value. One must assume any kind of tip to be more welcoming than nothing at all.

Many entrepreneurs, contractors and artists who have become acclimated with using cryptocurrencies will often leave their cryptocurrency address (or QR code) at the bottom of the homepage in hopes that someone will send them some spare crypto-change. We have already begun to see this form of digital endearment through the use of tipping with not just Bitcoin, but with other digital currencies. For instance, the Jamaican bobsled team obtained a portion of their funding for their participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in the form of Dogecoin.

The concept of monetizing the like-button for the purposes of expressing appreciation for someone’s work can be taken a step further in the form of rewarding people for performing smaller skilled tasks. We have seen and will continue to see this business model evolve in the Uber economy as the workplace slowly moves away from the traditional 9-to-5 office environment and more toward a virtual one. Sending money does not have to be an elaborate multi-step process defined by one occasion, but rather can involve a continuous expression of approval that flows like water. One’s wallet can be just as accessible as that like-button. No one can be sure where this is going to take us, but be prepared to see a transformation in how we recognize each other’s efforts in a digital world.