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Author Topic: Idea to spread Bitcoin - Gas Stations  (Read 1871 times)
vesperwillow
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November 05, 2013, 03:38:27 PM
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I'm not sure if this has been proposed before, but if it hasn't I'd like to lay claim to this little idea lol.

I see threads where folks are talking about appealing to celebrities or politicians or executives to get the word out about Bitcoin. To me, the nice thing about Bitcoin (among hundreds of things), is that it's by the people, for the people--and isn't being promoted specifically by some of these well-known rich folks.

I was at the fuel station yesterday figuring out which card to use to get some gas. I've been pondering building a Bitcoin POS for my small business use myself, and while thinking about this and looking at my cards, an idea struck me--wouldn't it be great if we could use cryptocurrencies at the pump? Bitcoin specifically, eventually altcoins with faster confirms, or a coin specifically for this purpose (PumpCoin, FuelCoin anyone? totally claiming that one..)

What better way to get "Pay with Bitcoin" in front of the masses--of all social levels in life--and without using some celebrity face. The pump stations are places most folks visit, and I'm sure the companies would be interested in a transaction system which prevents chargebacks and has lower fees than credit card systems. Not to mention you wouldn't have to say yes/no to a stupid receipt print out, the transaction is the receipt.

Just thinking out loud, but I believe if you could get a company or two to sign onto the idea, you'd get more market awareness than with something like an occasional ATM machine or mom-n-pop shop.

Am I alone here, what do you guys think?

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November 05, 2013, 04:15:22 PM
 #2

This thread reminded me of this.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGBZxWOwkh4

I know it's not what you are talking about, but it is about fuel and Bitcoin. And it's pretty cool.

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vesperwillow
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November 05, 2013, 07:15:27 PM
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If you own a gas station, why not?
How would you convince some owner to try this out? He'd have to be a bit supportive and have a basic understanding of bitcoin to being with..

I don't own a gas station, I just thought it would be a perfect avenue to get awareness to everyone.

Like anything else in business, you have to propose it and show the benefits for their business model.

I'd like to see the payment processed at the pump though, not in a POS system inside. To me the biggest hurdle to that is the equipment setup, particularly integrating with the station's current pump control system (I have no idea what this is, but I'm sure it's computer controlled).

I imagine the overall product to be a touchscreen LCD/OLED with a pinhole camera (a cheap tablet might even do the trick) dumb terminal at each pump which talks to a server inside the station. For stations which might want a low-up-front investment, they could simply have 1 or more centrally-located terminals instead of 1 per pump.

The server has to integrate with the current pump system to tell the pump how much fuel to allow--this is the tricky part, as I have no experience with this. It also checks the blockchain for funds available, to ensure the customer can pay--no holds on credit cards, which is nice.

The screen is where the customer handles the prepayment. Verification of funds is easy, the customer initiates the process, and the screen asks them for their wallet. Customer could use a paper wallet (make your own gas cards!) or their smartphone/tablet, and just hold it up to the gas pump. The server instantly checks available funds and lets them know they're good to go.

Then they can pump until they're full, or simply specify an amount (in litres/gallons/$) to pump. No need for a receipt, and it's all done instantly.

One additional beauty of this is that they don't need to use their cash, they can use something they mined, or otherwise something which (hopefully) grows in value over time. It's like a semi-self-regenerating gas card.

I just see this as a great avenue to get cryptocurrencies out to the masses. I have this and other great ideas, I'm technically inclined and could make the server and get the hardware setup, I just am spread too thin to fund such a venture. I'll end up doing something similar for my small business and see how it goes.

Maybe we can all build on this idea and get some interest? Bitcoin is by the people, for the people. Ideas for marketing it should be similar. I think this is a good one.

Of course maybe that's just me lol.

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November 05, 2013, 07:30:35 PM
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If you own a gas station, why not?
How would you convince some owner to try this out? He'd have to be a bit supportive and have a basic understanding of bitcoin to being with..

I don't own a gas station, I just thought it would be a perfect avenue to get awareness to everyone.

Like anything else in business, you have to propose it and show the benefits for their business model.

I'd like to see the payment processed at the pump though, not in a POS system inside. To me the biggest hurdle to that is the equipment setup, particularly integrating with the station's current pump control system (I have no idea what this is, but I'm sure it's computer controlled).

I imagine the overall product to be a touchscreen LCD/OLED with a pinhole camera (a cheap tablet might even do the trick) dumb terminal at each pump which talks to a server inside the station. For stations which might want a low-up-front investment, they could simply have 1 or more centrally-located terminals instead of 1 per pump.

The server has to integrate with the current pump system to tell the pump how much fuel to allow--this is the tricky part, as I have no experience with this. It also checks the blockchain for funds available, to ensure the customer can pay--no holds on credit cards, which is nice.

The screen is where the customer handles the prepayment. Verification of funds is easy, the customer initiates the process, and the screen asks them for their wallet. Customer could use a paper wallet (make your own gas cards!) or their smartphone/tablet, and just hold it up to the gas pump. The server instantly checks available funds and lets them know they're good to go.

Then they can pump until they're full, or simply specify an amount (in litres/gallons/$) to pump. No need for a receipt, and it's all done instantly.

One additional beauty of this is that they don't need to use their cash, they can use something they mined, or otherwise something which (hopefully) grows in value over time. It's like a semi-self-regenerating gas card.

I just see this as a great avenue to get cryptocurrencies out to the masses. I have this and other great ideas, I'm technically inclined and could make the server and get the hardware setup, I just am spread too thin to fund such a venture. I'll end up doing something similar for my small business and see how it goes.

Maybe we can all build on this idea and get some interest? Bitcoin is by the people, for the people. Ideas for marketing it should be similar. I think this is a good one.

Of course maybe that's just me lol.


Hey I'm sorry this is off topic but I see in your sig that you buy broken block erupters. May I ask why?

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November 05, 2013, 07:40:07 PM
 #5

out of all the places... a gas station.. i know most people dont think it does any harm and even ignore the sign.. but do you know what gas stations normally have that would hinder the use of mobile apps being used to pay for your gas..

here is a clue,


you might have noticed them at gas stations and had the attendant give you a gesture if you were to be playing with your cell phone while filling ur car.

i think maybe something popular such as walmart or starbucks would be a better suited venue to push bitcoins first. and dont reply that another great opportunity would be to remotely order a refill of ur popcorn bag, whilst at the movie theatre.. for the exact same reason

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vesperwillow
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November 05, 2013, 07:41:14 PM
 #6

Hey I'm sorry this is off topic but I see in your sig that you buy broken block erupters. May I ask why?

Thanks for reminding me, I fixed my sig so it included the link to my WTB thread. Collectibles mainly. Might make them into trinkets for people. I'm definitely going to use one as a keychain haha.

Not trying to fix them or anything if that's what you were wondering.

Ecurb123
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November 05, 2013, 07:45:41 PM
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Hey I'm sorry this is off topic but I see in your sig that you buy broken block erupters. May I ask why?

Thanks for reminding me, I fixed my sig so it included the link to my WTB thread. Collectibles mainly. Might make them into trinkets for people. I'm definitely going to use one as a keychain haha.

Not trying to fix them or anything if that's what you were wondering.

Really I had no idea. but thats pretty cool, maybe one day when bitcoin takes over the world it will be a collectable. I was thinking they could be turned into bottle openers.
vesperwillow
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November 05, 2013, 07:47:33 PM
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out of all the places... a gas station.. i know most people dont think it does any harm and even ignore the sign.. but do you know what gas stations normally have that would hinder the use of mobile apps being used to pay for your gas..

here is a clue,


you might have noticed them at gas stations and had the attendant give you a gesture if you were to be playing with your cell phone while filing ur car.

i think maybe something popular such as walmart or starbucks would be a better suited venue to push bitcoins first. and dont reply that another great opportunity would be to remotely order a refill of ur popcorn bag, whilst at the movie theatre.. for the exact same reason

Most stations near me don't have those, they simply don't want your engine running. I have seen them though. The EMI has been claimed to cause issues with the pump computers. The risk of fire has been tossed aside, even by the experts.

This is good input, like I said it's just an idea. The purpose is to get a think tank going, getting the system out to the masses. Walmart/other places are also good ideas.

I aimed toward the gas-station (or similar business layout) because it's mostly a self-service situation, and the IT integration may (or may not) be easier than with the Kiosks at local stores.


jeppe
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November 08, 2013, 07:38:08 PM
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To spread bit coin i would put stickers of bitcoin places like universities info boards and as you said Gas stations
dominicwin
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November 08, 2013, 07:41:05 PM
 #10

I use to own several gas stations. Totally would have setup accepting bitcoin, probably just for the sheer promotional value and viral marketing so to speak would have been nice too.

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