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In a Nutshell: Email is a necessity for many activities, including online shopping, tracking packages, and keeping up with family members. Unfortunately, consumers’ inboxes are often packed with unwanted messages, ranging from outright scams to an innocuous newsletter they just don’t care to read. BitBounce helps to solve this problem by filtering out unwanted messages or giving users an opportunity to read paid emails and earn money via its Credo cryptocurrency. Conversely, businesses that sign up for BitBounce Ads can be sure their paid email campaigns are being opened and read. Users can hold onto their Credo or swap it on an exchange as an entry point into the world of cryptocurrency trading.
I remember the first email account I used back in the late 1990s — a rudimentary operation by today’s standards. Yet, I would excitedly log in every week or so to see if a friend or family member had sent me a new email, usually about how cool email is.
Twenty years later and things have changed quite a bit in the email world. I have several accounts I check nearly every day — one mostly for online shopping accounts, one for professional or family communications, and, perhaps just for posterity, I keep that ancient account hanging around.
Overall, email has gone from a pleasant novelty to a daily necessity. Spam filters have become fairly adept at filtering out the less-family-friendly product offers and the most obvious scam emails. But today’s email user inboxes are still packed with advertisements, unsolicited messages, and other distractions from the more pertinent communications.
Thankfully, BitBounce is offering a solution to help tame the spam that gets past the filters and makes reading unsolicited messages worthwhile for users by paying them for their trouble.
Marty Bauer, BitBounce’s Director of Business Development, sat down to talk to us about how BitBounce works for both consumers and businesses, and the unique way it uses its own cryptocurrency to reward users.
Email Users Set Up a Paywall and Earn Cryptocurrency to Open and Read Unsolicited Emails
The basic idea for BitBounce, Bauer said, is that on one side advertisers are already willing to pay to reach the end user, and on the other side users are already receiving ads, that are often unwanted. By providing a way for the user to be paid to read those ads, both parties gain something valuable from their efforts.
“The big picture is really to create a marketplace where people are compensated for their time and attention,” Bauer said. “Imagine a world where your time and attention was worth what other people are willing to pay for it.”
Once a BitBounce user sets up an account, he or she will establish a paywall amount — Bauer said most user paywalls are between $0.05 and $0.15 — that advertisers must pay for their email to be delivered to the user’s inbox.
BitBounce syncs with the user’s contact list, and the user can whitelist additional emails or domains as well.
“If you and I know each other or I’m from an organization on your whitelist, I’ll never see your paywall,” Bauer said.
Email senders will then receive an automated message informing them that they have encountered a paywall and must pay the predetermined amount if they want the email to reach the end user. If the fee is paid, the email goes to the user’s inbox.
Otherwise, unfamiliar or unsolicited emails will be bounced out of the user’s inbox and into a separate folder labeled “Unpaid.” Bauer said the user can still view those emails if they would like to but they aren’t taking up time and attention in the user’s main inbox.
BitBounce currently has around 850,000 daily users and more than 3 million total users.
“I don’t think advertising is a bad thing,” Bauer said. “It’s very useful — it makes the world go ‘round. But we’re offering a way for users to be compensated for their time.”
Bauer said the BitBounce service was established by Co-Founders Stewart Dennis and Alexis Dennis as part of a larger email suite in 2014, but the BitBounce portion of the suite received the largest response from users. In 2017, they launched BitBounce as a standalone service.
BitBounce Ads Help Businesses Reach Their Targets with Paid Email Marketing Campaigns
On the flip side of the end-user market, the company launched a service for advertisers earlier this year.
“BitBounce Ads is our email marketing platform,” Bauer said. “Any advertiser can sign up and send out paid email marketing campaigns to our users. We’re creating a marketplace where we’re enabling marketers, brands, companies, or anybody who’s seeking attention or new users to get the word out about their product or service.”
He said these organizations are often already conducting paid marketing campaigns and this is just one more way to reach users. And with BitBounce users agreeing to open emails that accept their paywall price, marketers know they are reaching their targets.
Businesses sign up for BitBounce Ads and pay up front for a large email campaign. The business can select how much it wants to pay for the campaign — whether it’s $50 or $10,000 worth of ads — and BitBounce delivers the emails to users at scale, rather than the business having to pay for thousands of dollars worth of individual paywall transactions.
“Businesses know their emails are going directly into inboxes and users are getting compensated for the attention they give to those emails,” Bauer said.
He added that by managing email campaigns through BitBounce Ads, marketers know they are reaching out to a specific type of demographic. According to the company, 72% of BitBounce’s users are under the age of 35 and are generally connected and engaged with internet culture.
“We’re dealing with a particular type of technologically savvy user,” he said. “They are signing up for a cryptocurrency-based spam solution, and they are saying ‘Yes, I am comfortable with using this technology.’”
Credo, BitBounce’s Own Cryptocurrency, Can be Traded for Bitcoin or Other Cryptos on CredoEx and Other Exchanges
“Credo is the digital currency that lets BitBounce users protect their email inboxes,” according to the BitBounce blog. “Credo acts as the token of exchange that allows email from strangers to enter your inbox, and lets you get paid to receive them.”
The cryptocurrency was developed by BitBounce and launched in 2017 along with the service. While cryptocurrency is undoubtedly a hot topic in the financial world these days with experts and online commenters speculating about the potential value of cryptocurrency as an investment. But BitBounce looks at Credo from a more utilitarian standpoint.
“For us, it’s not really about price,” Bauer said. “It’s really about adoption and empowering people to be able to do this. So what cryptocurrency actually does is it enables a new financial model — a new way for people to transact and to share and trade something of value.”
In May, BitBounce launched CredoEx, its own cryptocurrency exchange platform after the BitBounce team realized “users and Credo owners lacked reliable on-and-off ramps into the token’s ecosystem.”
CredoEx allows easy access to Credo for consumers interested in buying the digital currency or trading for other types of cryptocurrency and allows businesses to purchase in bulk for marketing campaigns.
Bauer said, by implementing Credo, BitBounce is able to reach a global audience.
“In the U.S., to be paid $5 a month (via Credo) to see ads might not sound like much but in many parts of the world, that is a material amount of money,” he said. “From day one, our user base has been global. We actually have more users outside of North America than within.”
A Credo Blockchain and Plans for Broader Crypto Applications
Thankfully, the days of receiving email requests for questionable monetary transactions or ads for not-safe-for-work pharmacological products are mostly behind us. Yet, consumers’ email inboxes are still inundated with distracting and unwanted messages. BitBounce helps solve the spam problem while paying users for the time they spend reading unsolicited messages.
BitBounce is not satisfied to stop there, however.
In November, BitBounce announced that it will launch its own Credo blockchain, so it will no longer have to rely on the Ethereum blockchain it currently uses.
“We’re processing, at times, hundreds of thousands of advertisements a day,” Bauer said. “That’s just not sustainable on the current Ethereum infrastructure. We will migrate to our own blockchain so we can open source the process.”
He said BitBounce is also exploring different ways for people to use Credo, like trading it in for goods or services.
“Say you earn $10 worth of Credo in a month, maybe you could purchase a gift card with that, or you’d be able to pay your Netflix or Spotify bill, that type of thing,” he said.