Changetip, a Bitcoin tipping service that we’ve discussed before, has set a record this week, breaking 10,000 tips in a single day. The service, which currently has about 34,000 registered users, can be used to allow people to “tip” Bitcoins to users of various services (including Reddit and Twitter) – even those who do not have a public Bitcoin wallet, essentially acting as an escrow agent for microtransactions. Nick Sullivan, Changetip CEO, is quoted as saying:
“Our community extends from San Francisco to New York, from Tokyo to Buenos Aires and it’s growing quickly. We are proud that this growth has come organically, primarily through word of mouth, which makes sense since our service is viral in nature in that we connect people to one another via this new, demonstrative communication channel.”
According to Jackson Palmer, a blogger and Dogecoin developer, the statistics available regarding the event tell an interesting story. First, the substantial majority (84.9%) of the tips were delivered on Reddit, with Twitter (for which support was only recently added) trailing distantly with 11.6%. Of those tips, 79% were successfully collected, and the average value was just $1.49. The total value successfully tipped works out to some $3163.52. The most generous tipper gave $972 that day (almost a third of the total), and the top 20 tippers contributed more than half of all tips.
The most interesting part of those statistics, to me at least, is the 79% acceptance rate. The tips being sent are not large (in some cases, vanishingly small). Bitcoin’s reputation is at least superficially sketchy. It’s surprising and heartening that nearly 80% of people are willing to go through the signup process to collect a tip without feeling that they’re about to be taken for everything they’ve got – especially for sums of, on average, about a dollar. Changetip is a powerful tool for Bitcoin activism, and that statistic is an indication that it’s working.
Changetip is still a centralized service, so it’s worthwhile to treat it with a degree of caution. Certainly, it’s not wise to keep large amounts of money there. That said, their incentives are considerably friendlier than those of a large exchange. Changetip doesn’t store money for very long, so the total amount to be gained by making off with all the funds will generally be less than what they’d make by just hanging around and running the service for a few more months. Being Changetip, in other words, is probably more profitable than pretending to be Changetip.
Either way, the current trend of increased tipping is a refreshing change of pace, after a week of fairly bad press. I sincerely hope it continues, grows, and helps to garner Bitcoin some genuine good press.