Innovation That Matters

Adblock alternative could fund online publishers through micropayments


AdBlock-to-Bitcoin is a Wordpress plugin that enables publishers to request donations from readers using adblockers.

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Free tools such as Adblock enable users to enjoy the internet without being interrupted by intrusive advertisements, but in doing so they deny online publishers the income from advertisers they need to keep the site running. The setup is unsustainable, so it is no wonder we have seen companies, such as Yavli and Adieu offering alternatives. Now, AdBlock-to-Bitcoin is a tool that enables readers to donate a fraction of a Bitcoin to sites whenever their adblocker is employed.

Publishers can install the tool onto their site by inserting a few short lines of code into the back-end. Then, when a user with an adblocker installed visits the site, they will be shown a message in the space where every advert would be. The message supports the visitors right to use an adblocker, while suggesting them to make a small Bitcoin donation in order to support the costs of the site. Publishers can amend the message to make special requests and choose their own suggested donation, usually around USD 0.25. Each ad generates a QR code, through which users can make a donation of the digital currency from their Bitcoin wallet. The tool also tracks how many readers donate in response to the message.

Adblock-to-Bitcoin, which was designed by Kevin Owocki, is currently available for free as a plugin on WordPress. The tool is currently limited by its use of Bitcoin, but could be re-coded to accept other payment methods. How else could micro payments be used to support online publishers?



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