When “liking” your favorite tweet isn’t enough, you can now send small bitcoin transactions.
Announced Saturday, the beta app Tippin has released a new Chrome Extension available to Google browser users. Over Twitter, app users can send bitcoin payments via the Lightning Network, considered a way to make bitcoin transactions feasible at a large scale for the first time.
With the extension enabled, a little lightning bolt symbol pops up inside every tweet next to the more familiar “like” and “retweet” buttons.
It builds off an old idea that small payments are one of bitcoin’s selling points. (Bitcoin app ChangeTip was once a popular way to send payments over social media, but it died out in 2016.)
Tippin engineer Sergio Abril told CoinDesk:
“In my opinion, tipping is going to be incredibly popular with lightning network; It’s the first time we can send small amounts almost at no cost, and we can do it incredibly fast.”
All a user needs is a Twitter account and to install Tippin to receive tips. As such, Tippin hopes to capitalize on crypto Twitter power users to drive growth.
“Tippin started as a personal side project a couple of months ago, so I could understand lightning network a bit more, and of course help push adoption, but it’s starting to get big,” Abril said.
Abril has ideas for expanding the app into the future, including adding support on other social media platforms. Also, for now, the app is custodial, meaning users don’t have complete control over their funds, because, according to Abril, the app is much easier to use this way.
But he has plans to look into non-custodial options as well.
“Of course, lightning network itself is still in beta, so we have time to make this happen until it’s fully ready.”