Ok, I just had a weird idea, but I think bitcoin could make MLM-structured businesses really easy to deploy. I'm using the term "MLM" here ("multi-level marketing"), but I should probably call it "social peer-to-peer economics" or something in order to remove negative connotation. Take it for what it's worth.
So suppose you create a service that lets you create a bitcoin account by branching off from another account. Basically, in order to create an account you must designate a parent account. So let's say we have an original account A, and a second account, B, which is a child of A.
Now, whenever this B account gets an incoming transaction, it triggers an automatic payment to A, the parent account. So, say A gets paid 10 BTC. The service that holds this account then automatically takes 5 BTC and transfers it to account A.
Because bitcoin has no transaction fee and can be (nearly) infinitely divisible, this hierarchical structure could go on and on. Supposing account A from our example also had a parent account, then it would take 2.5 BTC and transfer it there, etc.
Suddenly, we have a fair way to share music and pay the distributors properly. Imagine if your friends have a band, and they want to release their music, but want to get paid for it too. They could ask people like you to charge 2 BTC for a copy of their music. Enthusiastic fans become distributors and get paid 1 BTC, and the other BTC gets split, and split, and split, all the way back to the original artists. If you have millions of copies distributed in this manner, it would all add up.
Sticklers might ask, Why would anyone give the address of their "MLM wallet" when they could just give their direct bitcoin address instead? Certainly they could. No one can force everyone to do the right thing. But this would certainly lower the barrier to a more fair system. I think people want a way to pay artists and to also take a small piece for their part. At least, I do.
Any improvements, or other possible problems?
seems ridiculously complicated. just get content creators to accept Bitcoin. that works much better.
improvements? get in touch with steve jobs about taking Bitcoin at iTunes.
possible problems? get in touch with steve jobs about taking Bitcoin at iTunes.