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Author Topic: Digital goods service?  (Read 2263 times)
SgtSpike
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February 20, 2012, 06:21:28 PM
 #1

Does anyone offer or plan to offer a digital goods hosting and selling solution?  In other words, if I want to sell a digital good, but don't want to hassle with manually sending people emails with links to their content, and want it all done automatically, is there a place that does it all?  I upload the file to the site, and the customer is given access to the file through the site after they pay the BTC...

If no one currently knows of a service that does this for BTC, then I am considering starting such a service myself.  And I am open to suggestions on that front.
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February 20, 2012, 06:33:44 PM
 #2

Make it like a regular file hosting site with options to gate with bitcoin payment. Maybe have a "one time" per payment option and a "permanent access" option. Uploader sets price, but you take a % and have a min fee.

If you emphasize uploader accounts people could use their "channel" to build a rep by posting some free content and some gated content.

Are you going to police content?

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February 20, 2012, 06:45:14 PM
 #3

Make it like a regular file hosting site with options to gate with bitcoin payment. Maybe have a "one time" per payment option and a "permanent access" option. Uploader sets price, but you take a % and have a min fee.

If you emphasize uploader accounts people could use their "channel" to build a rep by posting some free content and some gated content.

Are you going to police content?
I was thinking one time and permanent access would be options that the seller would set.  Some sellers may want to provide permanent access to everyone, and others might want to only have a one-time download.

It wouldn't be for free content - only paid content.  No pages chock-full of advertisements or anything like that.  It wouldn't be a mega-upload.  And yes, content would be policed according to my own local laws and regulations.  The seller has to be the holder of the copyright for the material, no CP, etc.  I'm not one to put myself in a position to get into trouble with the law.  Wink

This would mostly be a service that would make it easy for small-time musicians or other artists to legitimately sell their works for BTC without having to manually do anything.
markm
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February 20, 2012, 06:52:02 PM
 #4

Are the services that used to do that no longer operating? I know there was at least one, but thought there were two or more?

-MarkM-

Browser-launched Crossfire client now online (select CrossCiv server for Galactic  Milieu)
Free website hosting with PHP, MySQL etc: http://hosting.knotwork.com/
SgtSpike
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February 20, 2012, 06:52:55 PM
 #5

I don't know markm.  I haven't heard of any such services - that's why I started this thread, to find them!
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February 20, 2012, 06:56:08 PM
 #6

Well did you check the list(s) of bitcoin businesses? Or did they get vandalised off the wikis or something? There used to be a bunch of third party sites listing bitcoin businesses too not just the wiki.

Maybe though if they no logner appear on such lists its because they closed down, and if they did one might wonder why before jumping into the niche they chose to vacate...

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SgtSpike
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February 20, 2012, 07:05:38 PM
 #7

Here's the wiki list that I know of...

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade

Only one site is listed under payment processors, and that's bit-pay (who does not currently offer or plan to offer a digital goods hosting and download service).

I can't find anything else related to what I am looking for on the site either...
Stephen Gornick
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February 20, 2012, 07:18:23 PM
 #8

Does StrongCoin's MicroPayments serve your need?
 - https://strongcoin.com/blog/bitcoin_micropayments_with_strongcoin
 - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=52849.0;all

Example:
 - http://strongdemo.herokuapp.com/

You are on your own for the hosting though.

Ubitious does digital goods sales / hosting:
 - http://ubitio.us

Raoul Duke
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February 20, 2012, 07:38:20 PM
 #9

http://ubitio.us

Source code available @ https://github.com/hippich/Ubitious

SgtSpike
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February 20, 2012, 09:22:14 PM
 #10

Both of those look like very promising applications.  I'll check them out in more detail later on...

Sounds like ubitio.us does exactly what I want already, but it doesn't make mention of what the commissions are, etc.
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February 20, 2012, 09:47:27 PM
 #11

Both of those look like very promising applications.  I'll check them out in more detail later on...

Sounds like ubitio.us does exactly what I want already, but it doesn't make mention of what the commissions are, etc.

iirc it has few features and high commissions, but since it is open source maybe you could add features, promote, get high volume and charge less.

I don't think it had search of any kind, you had to be linked or go through every item, and even had to modify the url to do that.

Maybe that's not the purpose though and I'm thinking of a different kind of site. A site with lots of various content but with some of it for pay.

Oh, another good feature to have is "open this for everyone when X BTC is paid to 1j4kju..."

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DannyM
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February 20, 2012, 10:28:04 PM
 #12

Also http://bitcoinservice.co.uk/

SgtSpike
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February 20, 2012, 11:17:01 PM
 #13

Both of those look like very promising applications.  I'll check them out in more detail later on...

Sounds like ubitio.us does exactly what I want already, but it doesn't make mention of what the commissions are, etc.

iirc it has few features and high commissions, but since it is open source maybe you could add features, promote, get high volume and charge less.

I don't think it had search of any kind, you had to be linked or go through every item, and even had to modify the url to do that.

Maybe that's not the purpose though and I'm thinking of a different kind of site. A site with lots of various content but with some of it for pay.

Oh, another good feature to have is "open this for everyone when X BTC is paid to 1j4kju..."
Kind of exactly what I was thinking.  If the fee was low (1-2%), then I think it could be a very viable option for people wanting to sell no-hassle digital goods.  Having a sortable/filterable catalog of digital goods to look through would be nice too (option of the seller to list their goods in the catalog).

Open to everyone would be interesting, but again, would require a way to pay for all the bandwidth required to host large files and give them to anyone who wanted them.  That would mean pages full of advertisements, pop-up ads, etc.  Not really sure I'd want to go that route... those sites always bugged me.  One option might be to "fund" an address with more than required to allow free downloads to others.  So if someone wants to host a 1GB file, and let it be downloaded for free by 100 people, then they could "fund" the address with 0.1 BTC (or something), and for each download, 0.001 BTC would be deducted.  And anyone could fund the account.  Kind of like the Bitcoin Faucet, but for downloads instead.

*shrug*
FreeMoney
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February 21, 2012, 02:13:22 AM
 #14

The model I'm thinking of might be risky and not good, but here it is.

You let people put stuff up for free and download for free, this will get you a big base.

You let people charge if they want and take a decent cut out of it, more than the bandwidth costs you covering for all the free hosting you do.

If the free is getting to be too much you could limit how much free a user can get, maybe they pay for a premium account which gives them all the 'free' they want.

-------------

A different way would just to provide the plumbing and no audience and nothing for free and take a very small cut. But I think this model will be fairly easy to copy and it'll just be a matter of who can provide cheapest bandwidth. But still there would be some first to market advantage.

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chsados
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February 21, 2012, 02:38:59 PM
 #15

http://www.anonyupload.com/
SgtSpike
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February 21, 2012, 09:34:08 PM
 #16

This doesn't look anything like what I was talking about.  It doesn't look like you can sell files, and apparently costs money to get an account to download things?  But thanks for the suggestion anyhow.

The model I'm thinking of might be risky and not good, but here it is.

You let people put stuff up for free and download for free, this will get you a big base.

You let people charge if they want and take a decent cut out of it, more than the bandwidth costs you covering for all the free hosting you do.

If the free is getting to be too much you could limit how much free a user can get, maybe they pay for a premium account which gives them all the 'free' they want.

-------------

A different way would just to provide the plumbing and no audience and nothing for free and take a very small cut. But I think this model will be fairly easy to copy and it'll just be a matter of who can provide cheapest bandwidth. But still there would be some first to market advantage.
Eh, I don't like it.  Tongue  There's already plenty of sites that offer free file hosting - why would someone choose mine?  And I wouldn't like pressuring the digital goods sellers into paying the hosting fees of the free content either - I'd rather see them get as high a percentage cut of their asking price as possible.

I wouldn't be looking for traffic on the site just by people going to the site itself.  Most traffic would be generated from the sellers' sites.  Kind of like bit-pay.  No one goes to bit-pay to see what's for sale.  They reach bit-pay as a payment processor for whatever they are buying from the seller's site.  I'd like to see a site operate in the same manner, but for digital goods.  Maybe go a step further and have a catalog of everything for sale for people who are interested in looking at such things, but beyond that, it would be the seller's responsibility to drive traffic to their goods on the site.

I don't think your idea is bad, but it just doesn't seem to differentiate itself enough from the many sites already out there that do the same thing.  Megaupload is shut down, but there's dozens more free file sharing sites that serve the same purpose.
SgtSpike
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February 22, 2012, 06:09:31 AM
 #17

So, looking at the Strongcoin idea more seriously... (the ubitious requires a VPS or better with Ubuntu installed, whereas Strongcoin does not).

The fee is a modest 1% for using the Strongcoin API.  I think that is more than reasonable.

Biggest issue is, it seems to wait for a certain number of confirmations before the API sends a response of "paid".  I don't know about you, but if I'm a customer that wants to download goods, I don't want to have to leave a browser window open for an hour to wait for 6 confirmations to go through before I get a notice that I can download the file.

0-conf would be perfect for this sort of system.  Yeah, a few people would figure out ways to scam it, etc, but those people probably wouldn't pay for the goods in question to begin with anyway, so it's kind of a moot point.

Question is, is there any way to get the Strongcoin API to reply with a 0-conf status instead of waiting for a certain number of confirmations?

I'll be contacting the folks at Strongcoin to find the answer to that question.
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February 22, 2012, 05:50:02 PM
 #18

That makes sense Spike.

Probably my first idea there would be best done by just having an existing host add "gate this file with BTC".

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SgtSpike
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February 22, 2012, 06:29:50 PM
 #19

That makes sense Spike.

Probably my first idea there would be best done by just having an existing host add "gate this file with BTC".
Definitely!  It's not a bad business model, just not one that I'd like to pursue.  A bit more involved than I'd like, I guess.

EDIT:  Also, as an anwer to my above questions, Strongcoin's API DOES send a response at 0-conf, which means something is wrong with their demo page.  I'm working with them to find out what.
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February 22, 2012, 06:35:38 PM
 #20

So, looking at the Strongcoin idea more seriously... (the ubitious requires a VPS or better with Ubuntu installed, whereas Strongcoin does not).

The fee is a modest 1% for using the Strongcoin API.  I think that is more than reasonable.

Biggest issue is, it seems to wait for a certain number of confirmations before the API sends a response of "paid".  I don't know about you, but if I'm a customer that wants to download goods, I don't want to have to leave a browser window open for an hour to wait for 6 confirmations to go through before I get a notice that I can download the file.

0-conf would be perfect for this sort of system.  Yeah, a few people would figure out ways to scam it, etc, but those people probably wouldn't pay for the goods in question to begin with anyway, so it's kind of a moot point.

Question is, is there any way to get the Strongcoin API to reply with a 0-conf status instead of waiting for a certain number of confirmations?

I'll be contacting the folks at Strongcoin to find the answer to that question.
You don't have to use Strongcoin's API. I'd opt to use something like bitcoinmonitor.net, or bitping.net.

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