Micropayments and cryptocurrency sound like two concepts that should mix quite well together. Alas, no significant progress has yet been made in this regard. The Lightning Network will introduce microtransactions in the Bitcoin world. Until then, the Vynos project may provide users with a glimpse of this future. It is an interesting solution that will introduce micropayments for online media.
If there is one thing the Internet has failed to provide so far, it has to be a viable way to conduct online micropayments. Credit cards, mobile top-ups, and even PayPal are not viable solutions in this regard. While they all allow people to send small payments without too much friction, the associated fees make this venture particularly expensive. It is very difficult to come up with an alternative that actually works for everyone. Finding such a solution may very well introduce an entirely new era of the Internet.
Many people thought cryptocurrencies would make a meaningful impact in this regard sooner or later. Bitcoin in particular certainly has the potential to enable global payments, though not in real time. Sadly, it has become all too apparent that Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies will not succeed in this regard unless major technological advancements are made. Right now, it is simply too expensive to make online micropayments with Bitcoin or any other major alternative cryptocurrency.
One could argue the Lightning Network will change all this for Bitcoin. Such an assessment would be partially correct, even though no one knows when this solution will officially become available. There is also Rootstock, which will enable micropayments with Bitcoin as early as next month. Both of these developments will be pretty significant for the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole. However, it will be some time before these solutions are properly integrated and used natively.
Until then, Vynos may make a meaningful impact. This solution focuses mainly on providing direct payments between consumers and publishers, without acting as an official intermediary. Vynos is based on Ethereum payment channel technology making it possible to compress a nearly infinite number of payments into very few blockchain transactions, according to its website. This will allow for very fast and relatively cheap microtransactions.
What makes this particular project so interesting is how there is no need for property software or plugins. Instead, Vynos can be used directly through one’s browser. Under the hood, Vynos comes with a secure identity vault, a micropayments API, and a Web3 API to the Ethereum network. It is a solution built and designed by Machinomy and SpankChain, both of which aim to facilitate micropayments while focusing on online media.
It will be interesting to see whether this new micropayment solution comes to market before or after Raiden is introduced to Ethereum. Right now, it is unclear when that particular network upgrade will launch exactly, although the developers have been making steady progress. Any major cryptocurrency can benefit from micropayments, although not all will choose to explore them. More competition in this space will be positive for cryptocurrency in general, though; that much is evident.