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HandCash Hackathon Writing

BitcoinOptimists.com — The demo codebase for themed “Social Media Earning Platforms”

BitcoinOptimists.com is a “test dummy” codebase and platform. Although the intent IS launching it into production, its main purpose is to lay the groundwork for other micropayment platforms similar to it. Platforms that appeal to a mainstream audience, rather than those already within the Bitcoin-SV ecosystem. You know, your non-crypto family and friends.

THAT is the overall goal with this/these application(s).

But before we dive into the 5 pre-planned “Social Media Earning Platforms”, let’s go over the main functionality and how the platform actually works.

Much like a traditional social media network, users can post content, comment, like, and follow other users. The difference is a small micropayment — say $.10 — is attached to each action and automatically sent to the relevant party upon submission — via the “HandCash Connect” API and wallet system.

More specifically, and to highlight a main component of this business model, a user is charged a small $.10 fee to post content within a category. This is the platform’s first source of revenue, and it serves as a content-filtering mechanism as well. If you have to pay to post, you’re going to think twice about WHAT you post.

The reason users will pay this “troll toll” is because they can earn much more from their content than what it costs to post. For instance, one Follow generates $.25 in income; one Thumbs generates $.10 in income, and one Comment generates $.05 in income. Because the cost-to-post is set so low, the user can make their money back and earn a profit from their content quite easily. Add in the price-adjustable Paywalls — or hidden content as we call it here — and users may find it quite lucrative to post their content on our earning-based platform(s).

But the real key in creating a highly-used and successful micropayment platform is the categories themselves. The content posted on this type of platform needs to be something that other people appreciate and find value in. They need to find it useful, entertaining, or beneficial to their lives, in some way. Without this, people will lack the motivation to tip out of generosity. If the content is just your basic Reddit forum post or reply, people WON’T feel compelled to tip you. The content must be “tip worthy” so to speak.

And this is why the categories are so key. They direct — or nudge — users into posting specific types of content; content that fulfills one of those useful, entertaining, or beneficial-to-life properties. This is absolutely essential, and why a great amount of time and effort has been spent devising categories (and platforms) that fulfill this necessary requirement. Without it, good luck with mainstream adoption.

The Platforms

Now that we’ve discussed the main functionality and the key components to making these platforms viable, let’s bring the focus back to our example platform, BitcoinOptimists.com. This platform consists of 7 different category types that should appeal to the Bitcoin-SV community members. These are subject to change, but they currently consist of the following:

  1. Meet the Twetchers: A “free-to-post” category meant for introductions, onboarding, and content related to one’s self. The “Off topic” category if you will.
  2. BSV Apps and Business News: For the latest developments within the Bitcoin-SV ecosystem.
  3. Entrepreneurship: For discussion, stories, and other content related to the important subject of entrepreneurship.
  4. Tech Talk: For technical discussion about Bitcoin-SV.
  5. Code Share: For sharing code snippets, videos, and tutorials.
  6. Optimists Lists: For sharing useful or fun lists that other community members might appreciate or find value from.
  7. Letter to Satoshi: For fun. Stamp a letter to the creator of Bitcoin on his very own Blockchain.

Obviously, BitcoinOptimists.com caters to the interests of our niche, BSV community, and doesn’t exactly appeal to the average, everyday person. That’s where the other themed platforms come into play. And what we have on deck for that, is the following:

  1. TipGamers.com, our platform built for eSport gamers who want to promote their content and channels
  2. DietMatador.com, our health and fitness platform
  3. StoryDrafters.com, our writing-based platform for writers and story-tellers
  4. Listoka.com, our intelligence-based “earn-and-learn” platform

To give you a better idea of what they entail, let’s take a look at the type of content that would be posted on our health and fitness platform, DietMatador.com.

  1. Fitness/Exercise Videos
  2. Healthy Cooking Videos
  3. Nutrition Learning Videos
  4. “Food Journal Stories”
  5. Individual Topic Discussion — Guest Writings and Contributions
  6. Diet Matador brand related content (writings, videos, etc.)

AKA: Things that people find useful.

On DietMatador.com, the main demographic or target audience isn’t your standard crypto dude. The demographic most interested in this type of content is predominately adult females. They are the ones more concerned with their health and will post and share this type of content over social media, which increases our chances of virality as a result. We envision personal trainers, nutritionists, cooks, and the average everyday person sharing healthy-based content that other people find beneficial to their lives. THAT, is our target audience with this particular platform; and THAT, fulfills the “tip worthy” requirement.

But the best and most successful platform is likely to be TipGamers.com, because the “gamer male” is a more natural demographic fit. They are technically-savvy and unintimidated by digital currency, and they’re already accustomed to sending and receiving digital money via Twitch. The transition would be seamless. And considering this would just be another revenue stream for these eSport gamers, it doesn’t take a huge leap in the imagination to see this growing and spreading rapidly. Time will tell, however.

The “Social Media Earning Platform” Business Model

As previously mentioned, the required cost-to-post is the initial revenue source. We take 100% of the cut there and take no cut thereafter. From that point on, every cent earned from Tips or Thumbs or Comments or Follows or Paywall Purchases goes directly to the content creator. Granted, this could be reprogrammed, but we believe this unique type of payment structure will be quite attractive to content creators and we can highlight this fact as one of our main marketing tools. After all, content creators only receive a portion of the cut on legacy platforms. Here, they receive 100% of everything and we believe that will sell. It’s an incredible differentiating factor; made possible and enabled only by micropayment technology.

The second potential revenue source comes simply from donations, with a donor leaderboard coded-in, to put the spotlight on those who make contributions. Nothing too special or groundbreaking here, just the possibility of people appreciating our platform and monetarily rewarding us for it. Note: We provide them the option to send us a special message attached to the donation payment as well.

The third and more important revenue source aims to increase our cash-flow. This is accomplished by charging a $20 membership fee up-front (subject to change), that enables users to post content for free going forward. That is the initial benefit provided by this membership purchase, but it is within the realm of possibility that other features and benefits may be included as well. Currently, this is all that is coded-in.

The fourth revenue source stems from ads or promotions, but they are annoying and can muddy-up a platform quickly, so if that were a route we would take, it would have to be done in a less tacky, less traditional way. Something like being paid to promote a content creator’s piece of work over social media via the platform’s account. But pursuing this source of revenue is not on the current agenda. Nobody likes ads and data collection, and with micropayment powers, they truly aren’t a necessity any longer.

So what do we disrupt and actually have with this type of platform? What we have is the evolution of the social media network and how content creators get paid. With Bitcoin, micropayments, and HandCash, the entire experience and process has dramatically improved. Here’s how:

  1. Data-collecting and advertisements no longer needs to be the primary way a social media network makes money. With membership and a cost-to-post, a platform can generate revenue in a less intrusive way.
  2. The financial middleman (banks + credit card companies) has also been removed. Payments can be automatically programmed and sent peer-to-peer, from one party to another, without a middleman taking a cut. 100% of every dollar earned can go to the content creator now. There is no need to get in the middle of every transaction.
  3. The time-consuming and costly nature of the legacy payment systems have been improved. Payments are instantly sent and settled, extremely cheap, and with this business model, the reward comes directly from the content consumers. Something we think the content creators will definitely appreciate.

Merging social media and content creation with micropayment technology creates a more efficient and superior product than what we have today. With a streamlined incentivization structure and the removal of middlemen, the convoluted and cumbersome experience creators and consumers have become accustomed to can forever change for the better. Best of all, it can be applied to a variety of different industries. Health and fitness, earn-and-learn, gaming, writing — that’s just the tip of the iceberg. That’s only what we have thought of. The possibilities are limitless with Bitcoin-SV.

The code

For the purposes of the HandCash Hackathon, a demo of the current codebase can be found on bitcoinoptimists.com. Much of the codebase is complete, but there is still PLENTY of work to do. Let’s start by going over what we DO have complete, and we’ll end with what’s next on the agenda.

  • MERN stack with React & Redux for the frontend. Tailwind for .css. Light/Dark mode. Page transitions. Full CRUD functionality. Frontend validation measures.

Node, Mongo Atlas, and Google Cloud backend integration

  • User Account Schema created w/ HandCash login
  • 11 different and robust Schemas (subject to change)
  • Accounting for the platform + Statistics for each user and piece of content
  • Backend validation measures, Error Handling, and Dompurifying for HTML Sanitizing
  • Quality UI/UX and mobile-friendly throughout the platform (aside from the profile page)

HandCash integration for

  • Cost-to-post, cost-to-comment, cost-to-thumbs, cost-to-follow
  • Membership Purchases
  • Paywall Purchases
  • Donations to the Platform
  • Direct Tipping
  • Fully functional Paywall system only accessible to HandCash users who’ve paid

Other frontend stuff

  • Infinite Scroll Pagination (backend too…)
  • Rich Text Editor (CKEditor5) for Posting and Commenting (includes YouTube embeds for posts)
  • Two-tier commenting system (works, but changing the Schema and may enable a 3rd tier)
  • 4 different post list “sort” types. 2 post list “view” types.
  • Social Media Shares.
  • Confirmation Modals & Toast Notifications when completing actions
  • Code snippet integration with the Codemirror NPM package

Pages

  • List of Posts queried based upon category
  • Post Detail Page
  • Post Editing Page
  • Profile Page — Includes Following/Followers, Drafts, Stats, and ability to purchase membership
  • FAQ Page
  • Hall of Fame Page (gamifying stats)
  • Donor Wall Page
  • Membership Page

Next on deck:

  • Make Tables Mobile friendly on Profile, HoF, and Donor Page
  • Comments
  • Logic for pay to comment rendering conditionally based upon if it’s their own post and whatnot. Frontend + Backend.
  • Refactor with just 1 schema. Make it triple-layered. Big project, multiple days for sure.
  • Privacy Page
  • Notifications
  • Toggle & Query to sort posts by most earned (Account Page)
  • Toggle & Query to sort comments by most earned
  • Home Page login for content from followed users. Only makes sense. Their feed. And it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a few top posts of the day if the feed is < a certain amount.
  • Paywall rating feature
  • Image Upload & Proper display on all screen sizes
  • Tags
  • Search
  • Caching?
  • Possibly getting CKEditor to jive with the Codemirror on the click of a custom button.
  • The little things
  • Design

And that should do it for now…

Sunday, June 27th, 2021: Dear HandCash, Alex, Rafa, Brandon and everyone else…

Maybe I shouldn’t be sharing this, but I had a “late night” last night. After working on my “non-code” code the entire day, I couldn’t say no to having drinks, playing ping pong, and hanging out with friends from a new location (I recently moved to Florida). Cutting loose felt like the right thing to do at the time; even with the Hackathon deadline looming.

Why would I do something dumb like this when I wanted to put out my best for the Hackathon? Because yesterday was a nightmare. I had everything on my checklist finished besides updating the Mongo Atlas seed data — for the purposes of you seeing a beautiful infinite scroll pagination system — but from the moment I woke up, for the life of me, I couldn’t get the SSL certificate to work. And apparently bitcoinoptimists.com wasn’t able to run without it. It worked the day before, but now it wasn’t even letting me visit the site. Not a great way to start the day.

So for the rest of it, I did some minor tweaks and worked on Google Cloud Platform Loading Balancing bullshit. (I would say forgive my language, but, well, Alex…)

Anyway, the demo I’m going to upload to YouTube will showcase the actual design and functioning code whether my SSL certificate is validated or not. It should work in some form, but if you can’t test out the demo website during your review, I’m sorry. Fortunately, you’ll have the codebase to know I’m not full of it. However, if I can’t get it to work on my localhost and put a video up, that’s pretty pathetic and I don’t deserve any consideration.

But the truth is I feel like what I’ve built so far is likely to place me in the top 5. It’s pretty complete. I haven’t built the notification system yet and my newly constructed profile page isn’t mobile-ready, but I’ve got accounts, following, paywalls, thumbing, posting, multi-tier commenting, statistics, membership purchasing, mobile-responsive everywhere else, and a fully complete accounting system for the business. More specifically, what I have is the groundwork for “Social Media Micropayments Platforms” or what you should consider, “Social Media Earning Platforms” (for marketing purposes).

Because well, for me, that’s the main draw of HandCash Connect and your micropayment wallet + API / NPM package. With Bitcoin-SV and HandCash, I am able to easily program ways for people to make money doing things they love or are beneficial towards people’s lives. I can build themed platforms that meet this criteria with your suite of tools. Easily. And it’s a beautiful thing. Thank you very much for giving me this ability.

Now, for some reason, I want to start throwing jabs at other Blockchains because they haven’t realized that a non-constricted blocksize with immense TPS on layer-1 is a no-brainer and enables amazing technologies such as yours, etc. etc., but instead I’ll talk about my plans for the future — since there is a future on Bitcoin-SV due to perpetually trivial fees. (Jabs complete.)

On a personal level, you might’ve noticed I’ve said “we” throughout this little “ReadMe writing” and I’ve avoided speaking in the singular. To that extent, I’m telling a lie. Everything that has been coded thus far, has been coded by me. That’s no lie. My buddy Meng started the globals file and we go over code together every now and then, but other than a handful of chitchats with Andrew, that’s the extent of my collaborations. This is essentially a solo deal. All logic and design was built by me.

But this is the only time I’ll ever care to speak in “I” terms. A good leader makes his ego invisible, and supports + gives credit to the team. I don’t have a team at the moment, but a quality long-lasting company doesn’t exist with one person working by themselves. At least, not a company with multiple domains built on code, and one that requires an entrepreneur to focus on the business/marketing side of things after launching the product. Coding is time-consuming, and there are just too many things I don’t know when it comes to this. I can’t do it all myself.

But so far, I have. And I’ve been totally fine with that. I wanted to lay the groundwork and build the code on my own. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it — just like I want to prove to myself I can apply the knowledge I’ve accumulated when it comes to business, marketing, virality, and entrepreneurship. I’ve got an axe to grind when it comes to that, and I look forward to that next phase of my life. It will come eventually and I will succeed, just like I have with code, writing, and everything else I’ve directed my mind to.

Now if you asked me about a desired future, I would tell you it would entail raising funds Kickstarter-style or via venture capital. With cash in the bank, an experienced developer would take the reins, and I would transform into the entrepreneur who promotes the products and onboards normal people onto the best Blockchain in the world. Which as I’ve previously alluded to, is one of my main goals in life. (Bitcoin Optimist, and fan of the greatest form of money known to man, since Cyprus Crisis 2013.)

Until that point comes though, laying the coding groundwork will continue to be my main focus. Unless I go broke and have to get a job, this is what I am doing going forward. I’ve come too far to stop now. There’s still plenty of coding work to be done, but my micropayment platform dream is getting closer and closer to being realized.

To wrap this up, I hope you like what I’ve built so far. It’s not perfect and it’s not complete, but I think you can envision what I have envisioned and that vision is exactly what BSV needs. Tapping into relevant existing markets; enabling everyday people to make money peer-to-peer without middlemen taking a cut; giving people a seamless high-quality user experience with this technology; and a demonstration as to how revolutionary and amazing Satoshi’s micropayment invention can be.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sam

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