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Author Topic: Payment gateway service using an URL shortener - tny.im  (Read 23006 times)
gbl08ma
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July 18, 2012, 03:38:09 PM
 #1

I'm the developer of the http://tny.im URL shortener, and I've gradually been adding Bitcoin-related features to it, starting with Bitcoin address shortening and now also a payment gateway service.
Today, I'm opening the "Internet toll" service (not to be confused with "Internet troll service" Wink ) to the public for a final beta testing phase.

What's the "Internet toll"?
Basically it is a set of features that allow you to charge people for visiting your short links, and obviously get that money back later. When clicking on a short link with the payment option enabled, visitors are asked for a Bitcoin payment before they get to know and visit the long URL of the short link.

I have took special care in making sure the long URL is not available to anyone who didn't pay - however, nothing stops users from sharing the long URL with others once they pay for it. That's why this system works best as a payment gateway with unique callback URLs - I'll explain later.

Even though the system was designed for smaller amounts of Bitcoin, being adequate for micro-payments, it works with virtually any amount.

Here's an example of a short link you must pay to visit: http://tny.im/pay

How do I set up a short link with these features enabled?
On the tny.im homepage, or through the API, shorten a link. If you do it through the API, you can set the "price" and "payoutaddr" parameters directly.
If you use the website, you must create a link first, save the passcode and then edit it in order to set these options.
More information at http://tny.im/toll.php

What is this good for?
When I first talked about this on the social network CoinConnect, an user suggested this was good for selling files. I'm sure there are plenty of other uses. It can be used for charging for the access to any URL, be it a file, a page or a video. It gets much more interesting when you use it as a payment gateway and in conjunction with the "hit limit" setting.

What about the payment gateway?
You can use tny.im as a Bitcoin payment gateway - without the need to run a Bitcoin client on your server or even having a dedicated wallet for it. You only need to have a Bitcoin address.
Have your system shorten your callback URL using the API. Set the "price" (how much users pay, in Satoshi) and the "payoutaddr" (address to where what you earn will be paid). Also, set the "hitlimit" to 1 - this way, the link can only be paid for and visited once.
Then point users to the short URL returned by the API. When the user pays, it will be redirected to the URL you shortened, in this case, the callback URL.
That callback URL should be unique for each payment, and that's something you must implement on your side. When the user visits the callback URL, you'll know he/she has paid.
Even if people share the long URL with others, it will have no effect because the token (or whatever unique it may have) was used (and marked as so on your database) already. That's why it is important to have an unique long URL.

Even if this seems complicated, it isn't: after you automate the process, you can make it work as any payment gateway.

Payout and fees
You get paid once the earnings for your payout address hit the value of 0.05 BTC. The only fees I currently take are the miner fees, which are usually 0.005 BTC per transaction. The fee will be subtracted from your payout; this means that is you earn 0.07 BTC from users' payments, you'll receive 0.065 BTC.
The earnings are counted on a per-address basis, not on a per-link basis. This means that if you have 50 links with the same payout address, you'll get paid once the sum of the earnings on all these links is >= 0.05 BTC.
Currently, payouts are issued manually by me and take usually (much) less than 12 hours, but they can extend for up to 48 hours. Later, I'll implement an automated system to do payouts for me.

Don't hesitate to ask any questions or give suggestions. I know it's hard for you to trust me, since I have zero reputation on this forum. I suggest you only use this system for small BTC amounts, because I have no reputation and because the system is still Beta (even though I tested it a lot, I can never test all the possible conditions).

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July 18, 2012, 03:43:20 PM
 #2

Just tried the payment function.  Slick.  I think it recognized payment less then 30 sec after sending.

How do I prevent reuse or sharing of the long url.

gbl08ma
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July 18, 2012, 03:49:03 PM
 #3

As I said on my lengthy post, you can set a value for the hit limit in order to make sure not more than X people visit it. But then, you'd have to either increase the hit limit each time you know someone is going to pay, or create a new link.

Or else, you can just hope that the people who pay for the access to the link don't share the long URL with anyone.

Unfortunately, I can't think of any better solution: you must always point people to the long URL once they pay, and that always opens the possibility of people sharing it with anyone else. The only solution for that isn't on my hands: it's to have an unique long URL for each client.

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July 18, 2012, 04:35:53 PM
 #4

I think very few people will use this feature, because there is absolutely NO warranties that long link will not be shared! CoinDL is much more safe for content sellers.

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July 18, 2012, 04:48:38 PM
 #5

Indeed, but as I said, this isn't made with content-selling in mind, but made to be part of a payment gateway, where it doesn't matter if the long URL is clicked many times, because it can only be used once. I may start using this system on another of my websites soon, as a way to provide automated system for accepting Bitcoin.

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July 18, 2012, 04:49:04 PM
 #6

Can you add an option to show a temporary link?
You can add some different options:
- Permanent link
- Temporary link valid for:
-- 30 minutes
-- 30 days
-- 30 seconds
-- 1 click
-- 2 clicks
-- X clicks
-- Y time

So the user can chose witch kind of link will result after the payment.

You can also add an advertising system, where the user can click some banner/offers to make the offer cheaper.

Anyway, these suggestions are good also for other services as coinurl Wink

Eternity Wall: Messages lasting forever - The Rock Trading (ref): A good exchange / gateway Ripple, with support for multisig, since 2007. 
https://bitcointa.lk: Bitcointalk backup if offline - Bitcoin Foundation Italia - Blog: http://theupwind.blogspot.it
gbl08ma
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July 18, 2012, 05:02:23 PM
 #7

Time-based expiration of links shouldn't be too hard to implement, but only if it is independent from the hit limit (IMO these should be two different settings, anyway). I may add it this or next week, but first, I want to make sure there are no bugs in the code so far.

The advertising system would only be feasible when the "price" for a link is small, and then third-parties using tny.im as a payment gateway may not like it. I have plans for pointing people to Bitvisitor when the amount to pay is below 0.001 - there are no other faucets or similar services that I know of that pay instantly like Bitvisitor, and it's unpractical for people to wait several hours to visit a link.

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July 18, 2012, 05:03:23 PM
 #8

You can add some different options:
- Permanent link
- Temporary link valid for:
-- 30 minutes
-- 30 days
-- 30 seconds
-- 1 click
-- 2 clicks
-- X clicks
-- Y time

Anyway, these suggestions are good also for other services as coinurl Wink
I don't think this feature will be demanded on CoinURL. Most of my users try to maximize number of clicks (and earnings respectively), so they have absolutely no incentive to limit clicks.

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July 18, 2012, 05:15:03 PM
 #9

Hmm, yes ... you are right.
I thought about cd-keys, but the user can simply create 10 links, one for every key.

Eternity Wall: Messages lasting forever - The Rock Trading (ref): A good exchange / gateway Ripple, with support for multisig, since 2007. 
https://bitcointa.lk: Bitcointalk backup if offline - Bitcoin Foundation Italia - Blog: http://theupwind.blogspot.it
crazyearner
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December 30, 2012, 05:57:43 PM
 #10

Is your services still up and running and are you still paying out?

How do you become a member as I see no signup area to register.

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gbl08ma
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January 02, 2013, 06:45:57 PM
 #11

Last time I checked the service is still up, yes, even though nobody uses it. I'm still using some legacy/unsupported blockchain.info APIs (which still work) but if people start using the service I may update my code to use the newer APIs (which would also require more work on my side, because it is not possible to generate an infinite number of addresses on the same blockchain.info wallet).

There are no user accounts. You first create a link, then edit it to specify the amount of bitcoin the user must pay to visit it along with the address to which I'll send your earnings.

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