Blockchain API Profile: Little Bit Back
A major goal of our API Profile series is to show the abundance of products and services made possible thanks to the Bitcoin Core, which consequently makes the existence of the bitcoin currency and our API possible.
If you’re confused about the difference between Bitcoin (the payment network) and bitcoin (the currency), we wrote this post to help explain the difference.
Bitcoin offers us a solution that is drastically different from our previous understanding of currency, trust and verification. Some projects we’ve seen in this series so far include an app which automatically converts spare change into bitcoins, the use of the block chain for identity verification and an addictive monkey-swinging game where players can earn bitcoin tips as rewards.
Today we’re exploring the use of Bitcoin in fundraising and charity donations, with a unique spin on crowdfunding called Little Bit Back (LBB).
The project initially began with a concept that started on Reddit. The creators of LBB noticed that many independently organized fundraising efforts were using Bitcoin to reach their goals.
During my chat with Patrick Walsh of LBB, he recalls that the initial concept was a hub for crowdfunding campaigns who were accepting Bitcoin payments. It began as a way to help elevate campaign exposure and share the benefits of using Bitcoin to crowdfund projects and campaigns.
Continue reading to learn about Bitcoin’s potential role with charities, how the Blockchain API fits into all of this and whether LBB might be the proper platform for your project.
“Cryptocurrency allows unprecedented monetary contact with content creators, and charitable donations are only the tip of the iceberg.”
Alyson: On the topic of charities, do you have a particular charity that you wish would accept Bitcoin but doesn’t (yet)?
Patrick: We’re pretty partial to Doctors Without Borders. They’ve raised Bitcoin donations in the past for an Ebola campaign but unfortunately they aren’t currently accepting BTC for general donations.
We are also really enthusiastic to see what sort of non-charity content could be created and released freely in exchange for Bitcoin. Imagine a musician posting an address with a promise to release a track or an album once they’ve received a certain amount of bitcoin(s). The same goes for films, video clips or any other mass direct actions. Cryptocurrency allows unprecedented monetary contact with content creators, and charitable donations are only the tip of the iceberg.**A: Do you notice any difference between traditional crowdfunding platforms (like IndieGogo or KickStarter) and LBB?**
P: Traditional crowdfunding platforms work on a business model of taking a percentage of donations while dictating minimum contributions through select payment processors. While we feel these are faults with the legacy model, it is concerning to see that existing Bitcoin crowdfunding platforms retain these same constraints. When you remove the issue of fiat mobility from the equation, the difficulty of maintaining a crowdfunder decreases significantly.**A: As a platform that has developed a new model for crowdfunding, what makes a project eligible to be listed?**
P: Project listing is open to anyone. Along with campaign details, all we ask for is the recipient’s public key and a link to the official location of the project. This link can be anything from an official website to a tweet or Facebook post and it will be provided along with the public key so donors can independently audit the validity of the fundraiser before donating.
“Without the Blockchain API, a site like ours would have required far more unnecessary complexity. Blockchain.info as a platform is the type of reliable and resourceful utility for the Bitcoin community that we strive to be in the future.”
A: If there was a charity I supported that didn’t accept Bitcoin, what do you think is the best approach to convince them to accept it?
P: The best approach to convincing someone to accept Bitcoin is to show them the technology in action. Bitcoin is still a very new development for the majority of the world and we feel that adoption will take it’s strongest strides by showcasing it’s strengths. If we can show them that not only is fundraising as simple as a tweet or a blog post, but that people are already doing it with great success, they’ll understand that there’s very little reason why they shouldn’t be involved.
A: You mentioned most crowdfunding platforms earn profits by taking a percentage of donations. Is there any sort of fee charged for posting a project on LBB?
P: There is no fee at all for posting on LBB.
Our main goal is to facilitate transactions between content creators and donors. By omitting a fee, we can come closer to our goal of inspiring campaigns that may not have the resources to pay for advertising.
We remain completely unattached to the funds of our users on both sides of the donation process, listing addresses and their partnering QR codes without registration walls or commission fees. Since Bitcoin handles the entire back end of the transaction, we are able to operate with minimal overhead and no regulatory concern.
All development time has been donated and we hope that the greater Bitcoin community will find enough value in the utility of this project to cover our annual operating expenses, which we list on the site along with the other campaigns.
A: Which of our APIs do you use? How does the Blockchain API assist the projects on LBB?
P: We use your Query API. The Blockchain API provides us with all of the transaction data for user postings. Without the Blockchain API, a site like ours would have required far more unnecessary complexity. Blockchain.info as a platform is the type of reliable and resourceful utility for the Bitcoin community that we strive to be in the future.
A: How can those interested get involved with LBB and contribute?
P: In building out this idea, we will have room for participants at every engagement level. Some may only be interested in occasionally browsing or donating via the platform, while others may post projects of their own or campaigns they come across around the web.
For those who are interested in participating on a deeper level, we have a weekly Google Hangout and a subreddit we’ve reserved for general discussion and organization. We’re in our infancy and any developers, graphic designers, media personnel or parties just interested in moving forward with us should not hesitate to reach out.
We hope you reach out to the team at Little Bit Back if you’re interested in getting involved, want to donate, or if you have any questions about their platform.