Is This Bitcoin’s Killer App?

Conor Maloney

February 28, 2019

Of all the thousands of cryptocurrencies tackling different use cases, Bitcoin is undeniably the most secure, decentralized, and widely adopted. The only reason other currencies are even deemed necessary is their focus and improvement on specific pain points holding Bitcoin back – transaction speed, fees, etc.

There are bespoke cryptocurrencies designed to mimic niche aspects of the Bitcoin network, and while none of them have reached the same level of adoption as BTC, there are several that have a use case by outdoing Bitcoin in different regards.

That may be about to change.

Bitcoin’s Killer App?

Users often complain that Bitcoin is inconvenient to use, but a new app is tackling several issues traditionally faced by the network by leveraging the Lightning Network and social media.

Tippin is an app that allows people to send BTC tips on Twitter to other users, something which could make a big splash in terms of mass adoption, solidifying Bitcoin’s use case as a currency used for day-to-day transactions as well as a store of value.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted about it to his 4.14 million followers, calling the project “excellent” and linking an article about it.

Tippin is a Chrome and Firefox browser extension that enables tipping on Twitter by adding a tip button on every single tweet. All tips are made using Bitcoin through the Lightning Network: instant transactions, even of a few cents with almost zero fee.

Rewarding Online Content Creation

The concept is not a new one in the world of cryptocurrency, although it has yet to be implemented with Bitcoin in a significant way. The backing of Jack Dorsey could turn the tide and make Tippin the first major, worldwide Bitcoin app.

Monetizing and incentivizing online content is something we touched on in our recent article about the EthTrader “donut” token fiasco which nearly ground the popular subreddit to a halt through people trying to game the system. Tippin is a similar idea but has the potential to thrive more organically and in a larger, less manipulable environment (Twitter and most likely other social media).

If tipping small amounts of BTC for good content becomes the norm on Twitter, the crypto landscape could be about to change significantly.

How It Works

To send tips to other users, it’s necessary to set up a Lightning Network wallet and deposit BTC into it. This is still a complex process for newcomers not in the know, and, like all other crypto apps, likely to put many people off from trying even if they have a vague interest in cryptocurrency.

However, it’s likely that those sending tips will already be BTC veterans – the real issue will be whether it’s complicated to receive funds for content.

To receive BTC from Tippin, users need to open an account with Tippin. Doing this is as simple as clicking “join now” and then selecting the option that allows Tippin to connect to your Twitter account. The process takes two clicks and doesn’t even require any typing – users then have a Lightning Network wallet generated for them that can allow them to receive BTC through Twitter.

The simplicity and seamlessness of the process is crucial – other apps have tried and failed to stimulate crypto adoption, invariably criticized for being too technical and confusing for mainstream adoption.

It’s much too soon to tell if Tippin will take off or not, but the project has a promising air to it. There is a sense that if not this app, another will soon emerge, and in the near future, we will finally have the real-world adoption we need to show others that cryptocurrency, and specifically Bitcoin, is a genuinely groundbreaking technology that has countless applications beyond its use as an investment vehicle.