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Michael Sweeney
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Michael Sweeney is an investor in and advocate of Bitcoin. 51Bits.com is a bitcoin fund set up to invest in Bitcoin and digital currency opportunities. The fund will NOT have a traditional bank account as investments and distributions are 100% in bitcoin. Current investments and opportunities... More
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51Bits.co
  • Why We Like Bitcoin Payment As An Internet Publisher At Film Annex And Women's Annex. 1 comment
    Dec 10, 2013 10:15 AM | about stocks: COIN

    Film Annex is a leading online short film distribution, Blogging and Film financing and distribution platform. Film Annex.com is a market leader in the #PayForContent business model. The site has been ranked in the Quantcast Top 100 in the United States for unique visitors per month, and Film Annex can be read in 10+ languages including English, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Spanish, and Russian.

    WomensAnnex.com is our sister website that empowers the women and children of Central Asia and now developing countries such as Mexico with a "#PayForContent" model where Bloggers and filmmakers get paid based on their BuzzScore. Monthly payouts on Women's Annex can range from as little as $5 per month to several thousand dollars per month.

    For example, here is a list of our Filmmakers and Bloggers from Afghanistan and USA that get paid via our BuzzScore algorithm:

    USA Solution = PayPal

    Paypal

    In the United States, we pay our independent Filmmakers and Bloggers via Paypal. They publish a film or story, it collects advertising from the Advertising Networks (see YUME and TRMR) that we work with at Film Annex, and in 75-90 days we send out the payments to our Bloggers and Filmmakers. The system works well.

    Developing Countries Solution = Bitcoin and PayPal

    In developing countries, money transfer is much more complicated and often expensive. In Afghanistan, Paypal is not allowed, so it has been very difficult for our Partner Roya Mahboob to get payments to people. We recently sent a first payment to Roya using the Bitcoin exchange Coinbase, which is based in San Francisco. To date, we have not been able to get Coinbase on the phone or even an email exchange, but the system seems to work well.

    coinbase

    Over on my Film Annex Blog, I wrote about David Woo of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and his recent report on Bitcoin. He wrote:

    "We believe Bitcoin can become a major means for e-commerce and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money transfer providers."

    Here is why we agree, and our hope is that users such as ourselves will create a less volatile market for Bitcoin:

    • Bitcoins are very simple to send, basically all we need to send a payment is an email address.
    • Bitcoins seems to be transferable into most local currencies. Thus, we see it as a Master Currency from our user perspective.
    • Coinbase does the identity verification of both the sender and receiver. They document the transactions and do the safekeeping of the unique Bitcoin transaction ID numbers.
    • The fees to Coinbase so far appear to be much cheaper that Western Union, Bank wires, or PayPal.
    • Simplicity - You will see all sorts of articles about Bitcoin mining, but we are simple users willing to pay a very reasonable fee to Coinbase to do all the worrying, logistics, and complexities.
    • We do not speculate on Bitcoin, US Dollars, Euro Dollars, or any other currency.
    • We utilize Bitcoins to facilitate payments especially to regions NOT served by Paypal and we get to avoid costly bank transfers and fees.
    • We believe that the familiarity of Bitcoin payments and other Electronic Payment Systems is an important part of Digital Literacy and philanthropic efforts that we have with our Women's Annex Foundation.
      Women

    At Film Annex Capital Partners, the venture arm of Film Annex, we have done a number of strategic investments, but we have no relationship with Coinbase outside of an account login. We looked at some overseas exchanges too, but Coinbase has a certain transparency on their website that fit in with our needs. We deal with many cultures and have over 10 different languages on our platforms. We have to be sensitive to women in developing countries and many of our writers have a "Nom de Plume" (Pen Name) for safety and security reasons. With Coinbase as a Bitcoin platform/exchange, they take care of the issues of sending money overseas.

    Issues

    Our hope is that the more and more end users like ourselves start to use Bitcoin as a payment system. Right now, our exposure to currency risk is small, but it is there. Same for the content providers. When we pay them in Bitcoins, it will take them a few days to clear an exchange on their side, so they have market risk.

    Reality is US Dollars or Bitcoins sent to a international Blogger and Filmmaker will always have some currency risk. As Bitcoins becomes more mainstream, the market risk will hopefully become smaller.

    Mike Sweeney

    Film Annex Capital Partners, LLC

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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  • Michael Sweeney
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    Author’s reply » Update - Coinbase needs your account to tied to a US Bank and we are continuing to look for a secure international payment platform for Bitcoin.
    12 Dec 2013, 05:58 AM Reply Like
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