Bitcoin may be a preferred method of payment for a slew of tech-savvy people, but it has yet to take off with the masses, or even micro-masses. iPayYou, the bitcoin wallet, is aiming to change that with a new service launched today (July 14).
Dubbed Pay-by-Twitter, iPayYou is the first bitcoin wallet that enables Twitter's 310 million monthly active users to make peer-to-peer payments over Twitter. With this new service, iPay wallet users can send a payment by simply entering the recipient's Twitter handle instead of an email or bitcoin address. That means a payment exchange can happen without both parties exchanging private information. According to the company, it marks the first time a service like this is being offered by a full-service wallet.
With the service, once the payment is sent via iPayYou, a tweet is sent letting the payee know they have received a payment from iPayYou. The tweet includes a link to the iPayYou website for the payee to accept the payment. The payment can be deposited as bitcoin or traded in for U.S. dollars, which will be directly deposited into the user's bank account.
“Twitter is one of the most widely used social media networks worldwide and despite the speed of technological innovation in the 21st Century, no other full-service bitcoin wallet offered this feature until now,” said Gene Kavner, founder and CEO of iPayYou as well as a former Amazon executive, in a press release. “With the new Pay-by-Twitter feature, iPayYou continues to offer consumers with easy ways to use bitcoin as a payment method in everyday life, which has been our mission from the start.”
According to the company, Kavner created iPayYou in response to an "overwhelming need for a simple bitcoin wallet with easy-to-use features and low costs for the everyday consumer."
To illustrate how the feature works, when announcing the service iPayYou opted to include the Twitter handles of the three presumptive U.S. presidential nominees. Users can support their candidate by sending money via Twitter.
"We chose to use the presidential candidates as an example of how little information is truly required to send payments over our Pay-by-Twitter feature," Kavner said.
Kavner added that the feature will enable users to pay friends, family members and colleagues, as well as charities.
iPayYou’s aim is to simplify the process of paying with bitcoin via its secure and easy to use wallet. The company boasts low transaction fees and claims to be the only wallet that lets users cancel transactions if there are mistakes in the payment process. It also enables customers to send payments through email without the recipient having already created a bitcoin account.