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Author Topic: [DISCUSSION] Setting up a bitcoin service for Greece  (Read 1950 times)
Serenata
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September 05, 2012, 11:42:10 AM
 #1


Seeing the ultra-low adoption of bitcoin in Greece, I've decided to try setting up some useful services that might draw people's attention to bitcoin. My first idea is of a web site that will provide users the ability to send SMS messages to Greek mobiles, at low rates (or free if the service becomes self-sustainable). What I've come up with are the following:

  • There should be some kind of account management, i.e. registration, email conformation, password reset link for forgotten passwords, etc
  • Points managements. Users will deposit coins to a given bitcoin address to get points and those points will be used to send SMS messages. One point = one SMS (no ads whatsoever - full 160-character messages).
  • There should be some kind of automated method to credit the user's account with points based on a bitcoin transaction.
  • SMS messages will be sent via an SMS gateway, using an API and a callback URL for handling status codes.

The site could be a standalone one, or it could be something integrated into BitcoinX.gr (wordpress). I don't expect to make money out of this, so I'd prefer open source code.

Questions incoming...
I suppose it could take me a lot of time to code something like that myself, so I was wondering if:
  • you think it's a good idea. SMS messages are quite popular in Greece but a bit overpriced (10-12 cents per SMS). I could offer something close to 6 cents per SMS.
  • you know any open source project that does something similar to the above (either be it a wordpress plugin or a standalone project - if it's a wordpress plugin, account management would be the same used by wordpress itself)
  • you have any suggestion about the coding language, if I had to write the code from scratch
  • you could suggest a way to handle the payments (one unique deposit address for every user, monitor the addresses and add points to the users' accounts as soon as a payment has one confirmation?)
  • you have any other comments or suggestions

The thread is open to any other info or discussion concerning relative things like SMS gateways, considerations, best practices, SMS character sets etc, etc.

Thanks in advance.

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September 05, 2012, 12:18:03 PM
 #2


Seeing the ultra-low adoption of bitcoin in Greece, I've decided to try setting up some useful services that might draw people's attention to bitcoin. My first idea is of a web site that will provide users the ability to send SMS messages to Greek mobiles, at low rates (or free if the service becomes self-sustainable). What I've come up with are the following:


I'm curious; what technology would you use to send the texts in question?
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September 05, 2012, 05:27:50 PM
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I think it's a great idea.. they need BTC more than anyone.

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September 05, 2012, 05:41:59 PM
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They can also try to start using this:
https://localbitcoins.com

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Serenata
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September 06, 2012, 05:54:39 AM
 #5

I'm curious; what technology would you use to send the texts in question?
I will setup a web page for users and the backend will be an SMS Gateway. The web page will communicate with the gateway via an API

They can also try to start using this:
https://localbitcoins.com
I've been registered to this site since long time ago. Until one month ago, I was the only person in Greece offering BTC. I'm really glad that there are four more people now ^_^ I hope BitcoinX.gr played a role there Wink

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Bitcoin.Greece
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November 08, 2012, 06:43:56 AM
Last edit: January 01, 2013, 08:16:51 AM by Bitcoin.Greece
 #6

I have a facebook page for bitcoin greece.You are all wellcome there.
https://www.facebook.com/BitcoinGreece

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November 08, 2012, 12:38:30 PM
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i'm glad that people take this initiative moves .
Although i find your thought interesting , i dont find it that much appealing to more people  than already involved.
I didn't know about bitcoinx.gr until now and i find this a very good step for people to inform themselves.
Something funny.. some months ago i was handing bitcoins on my fb account to anyone who would post a btc address ... guess what??
NO BITCOIN ADDRESS AT ALL!
I have a question. is there a place for bitcoiners in greece to talk and discuss further development?
(besides a fb group that i read just before that existed)
I do code, as a part of my job.
as for localbitcoins. well , as soon as my economics balance , i'll be buying bitcoins in thessaloniki Smiley
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February 10, 2013, 12:17:41 PM
Last edit: February 10, 2013, 09:57:32 PM by tjohej
 #8

My first idea is of a web site that will provide users the ability to send SMS messages to Greek mobiles, at low rates (or free if the service becomes self-sustainable).
Hmm, that's an idea you have there. I don't have any ideas. If you don't mind this post being here(can be updated) to see responses or standpoints from sms services in Greece to see which ones have any potential interest in accepting BTC.

I don't find it worth the effort to contact viva.gr's sms service for personal reasons.
[Service, date of inquiry,comment]

Got a reply:
time4sms.gr, Feb 10 2013, They have not stated any view on Bitcoin at all, they didn't answer on that point. They said "We require a Greek cellphone number and we accept only €". Lips sealed No time for time4sms.

'No reply yet':
bulker.gr, Feb 10 2013, Asking about if I am required to have a Greek phone number to register(and test out their service for 5 free sms messages) and if they accept Bitcoin.
opensms.gr, Feb 10 2013, Asking if I am required to have a Greek phone number to register and what they think or feel about Bitcoin.

txt4coins.net is the only SMS service that I know that supports Bitcoin purchases of SMS'es. Still waiting for a reply from bulker.

There may still be hope for the 1st decentralized cryptocurrency which is Bitcoin. How to approach different subjects is key to progress.
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February 11, 2013, 01:40:14 PM
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Got a reply:
time4sms.gr, Feb 10 2013, They have not stated any view on Bitcoin at all, they didn't answer on that point. They said "We require a Greek cellphone number and we accept only €". Lips sealed No time for time4sms.

'No reply yet':
bulker.gr, Feb 10 2013, Asking about if I am required to have a Greek phone number to register(and test out their service for 5 free sms messages) and if they accept Bitcoin.
opensms.gr, Feb 10 2013, Asking if I am required to have a Greek phone number to register and what they think or feel about Bitcoin.

txt4coins.net is the only SMS service that I know that supports Bitcoin purchases of SMS'es. Still waiting for a reply from bulker.

These are both bulk SMS senders, meaning they can't be used for retail (personal messaging) which is what I think the original idea was for. I've used time4sms.gr for my company and this is clear in the terms. They also have a noticeable transmission delay (could be up to 12 hours) which makes them suitable for marketing campaigns only.

In my view, there's more chance to hit some bitcoin success by thinking what are the products and services that people WANT to buy, but for one reason or another, they cannot buy in the current state of the market. SMS is far too congested as a market. A friend recently was talking to me about an online exchange for genuine seeds (not hybrids) which are indeed very rare. I can think of a few other ideas as well. How about a face-to-face meeting?

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Serenata
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February 11, 2013, 02:34:51 PM
 #10

Now that's a n ice idea! Face2Face meetings are great and more "productive". I live in Athens, how about you guys?

Maybe I haven't done my full homework, but I can't seem to find any site or service to provide a cheap Web2SMS service (not bulk). Something like 3-5 cents per SMS. Is there? By the way, I wasn't thinking about contacting an existing service asking them to accept bitcoins. I was thinking about creating a whole new web service doing just that; send cheap SMS via a web page. The idea behind the project is to provide a useful service that accepts bitcoins to demonstrate (especially to Greeks) that bitcoin is not only about drugs (we only see negative articles on the Greek press about bitcoin >.< )

Up to now, I've set up the interface and the user management back-end but I got stuck with Greek-character problems.

P.S. I didn't know about time4sms.gr. They seem to offer the service for 3,57 cents/SMS (VAT incl.) which is OK. I'll check the other providers you post ASAP.

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February 11, 2013, 06:35:32 PM
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What about payment services, that don't involve a bank? Smartphones are available there at low cost?

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February 12, 2013, 02:30:27 AM
 #12

Can you exchange cellphone minute in Greece? You might see some traction if you were willing to take minutes/data credits in exchange for BTC.
3phase
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February 12, 2013, 05:03:37 AM
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Now that's a n ice idea! Face2Face meetings are great and more "productive". I live in Athens, how about you guys?
Aγία Παρασκευή, δίπλα στo Noμισματoκoπείo  Wink
Maybe I haven't done my full homework, but I can't seem to find any site or service to provide a cheap Web2SMS service (not bulk). Something like 3-5 cents per SMS. Is there? By the way, I wasn't thinking about contacting an existing service asking them to accept bitcoins. I was thinking about creating a whole new web service doing just that; send cheap SMS via a web page. The idea behind the project is to provide a useful service that accepts bitcoins to demonstrate (especially to Greeks) that bitcoin is not only about drugs (we only see negative articles on the Greek press about bitcoin >.< )
There are several such services already, with varying limitations. If you want to get competitive wholesale pricing from the source (mobile operators) you need to sing a contract for several hundred thousand SMS per year (that comes to thousands of EUR). Also, if you set up an anonymous SMS service with bitcoins, and your service happens to be used for harrassment, drug dealing, arms dealing or some other of the thousands of illegal activities, your account will be suspended by the operator, and you will be liable for your user's actions unless you give up their identification to the authorities. You need customer names and confirmed IDs to protect yourself from legal action. And that would make such a service much less attractive.
Up to now, I've set up the interface and the user management back-end but I got stuck with Greek-character problems.
Maybe I can help with the latter. No promises, though.


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May 05, 2013, 08:37:36 AM
 #14

But have you thought about NOT starting a new business and instead asking and informing EXISTING sms services in Greece about Bitcoin and the benefits of accepting Bitcoin?  Smiley

If you are intent on creating this business, how's it going, any progress?  Huh ..or do you need more time and volunteers/professionals involved to make this business a reality?

There may still be hope for the 1st decentralized cryptocurrency which is Bitcoin. How to approach different subjects is key to progress.
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