The world of micropayments is not the right place for credit card transactions or Paypal transfers, due to their high transaction fees. In fact, Bitcoin could be the only perfect candidate for microtransactions around the world. To put that statement to the test, WIFI Metropolis has experimented with using Bitcoin payments to get access to public WiFi hotspots.
WIFI Metropolis – Using Bitcoin For WiFi Access
Using Bitcoin as a payment method for WiFi access seems like a no brainer to digital currency enthusiasts, but putting it to practical use is a different matter altogether. As a tourist travelling abroad, getting access to public WiFi is difficult, especially because most countries won’t let a person pay for access because they live in a foreign country. Bitcoin could solve that problem, as this is a borderless payment method.
That train of thought has inspired several Bitcoin startups to explore the possibility of gaining internet access by paying in Bitcoin. Both BitMesh and WIFI Metropolis are taking different routes to reach this goal, either through using Bitcoin as a payment option for public WiFi directly or using the digital currency to “buy” internet access from other internet users.
“Wi-Fi is virtually everywhere. If you walk around a dense area, there’s going to be signals, none of which you can connect to. I pay for data out of convenience because it’s such a hassle to deal with Wi-Fi.” – WIFI Metropolis Chief WiFi Explorer Reilly Smith told the media.
And that statement holds quite a bit of merit. Mobile internet access is, for most people, an additional cost they would rather not make. With so many WiFi networks all around us at any given time, it only makes sense to monetise the Internet sharing industry. This is where Bitcoin comes in; as the digital currency lends itself perfectly for micropayments.
Bitcoin opens up quite a few different business opportunities for places where free public WiFi has been made available. In coffee shops, for example, customers are required to purchase a beverage or snack if they want to access the WiFi network for an extended period; but by giving consumers the option just to pay for WiFi without having to buy anything, the clientele could increase exponentially.
Positive Results Are Cause For Optimism
WIFI Metropolis set out on a journey to bring Bitcoin and public Wi-Fi access together. In order to do so, the company developed a mobile application which lists Bitcoin as a payment method for Wi-Fi access. The main purpose of this app can be seen as a way to crowdsource resources for travellers and tourists to find free WiFi hotspots around the world.
Generating a buzz about this new application has not come easily, and WIFI Metropolis gave away roughly US$7,000 worth of BTC to testers of the app. On top of that, there were 60,000 hotspots listed, all of which have been crowdsourced by the users. The success was rather overwhelming!
Users of the WIFI Metropolis application earn points by adding public WifFi hotspots whenever they are at a certain location. Every additional hotspot will earn the user one point and after a certain threshold, that amount of points can be converted to Bitcoin within the application itself.
Note from the Author: At the time of publication, adding new hotspots to the WIFI Metropolis application is only available on the Android platform. There has been no official word on when this functionality will come to iOS devices.
Source: Press Release via Email
Images courtesy of WIFI Metropolis and Shutterstock