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New Browser extension makes tipping in Bitcoin easy

GetAlby makes it even easier for web apps to tap into Lightning

Support free writers: > send a tip

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The Lightning Network is disrupting remittance services like PayPal, Visa, and Stripe. GetAlby makes it even easier for web apps to tap into Lightning to stream payments and perform other actions.

GetAlby is a browser wallet built as an extension that connects a user’s Lightning wallet with a web application like one’s Twitter profile, YouTube channel, GitHub, BitcoinTV, and others. The extension lets users send sats to their counterparty – a creator, an influencer, e-commerce, or anyone else receiving Bitcoin payments over Lightning Network.

What are sats? Sats (short for satoshis) are the 100,000,000 parts of 1 bitcoin. Satoshis get their name from the Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Traditional remittance services vs. Lightning Network

When Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper, he declared war on all the middlemen like banks. Bitcoin’s Layer 2 scaling solution – Lightning Network – took on a battle against remittance services like Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Revolut, etc.

These services are threatened by the open network which is Bitcoin because they lose the power to charge users for enabling transactions they are processing.

Their walled garden with a fee-based business model is failing. These services often charge 1-4% for a single transfer. In an open network there’s no space for walls and the traditional remittance services don’t work anymore.

Tipping with Alby

Alby is bringing to this space further disruption. Every creator can now receive sats within seconds from around the world.

The speed and low cost of transactions bring a lot of new possibilities to monetize user-created content., for example, uses Alby to let readers tip authors.

Developers on GitHub often have a very hard time getting rewards for their contributions to the open-source code. GetAlby makes it easy now to collect donations with a simple Lightning address.

Tipping is a very popular concept, but the threshold of adoption has been always too high. Content consumers are often pushed back by the idea of having to input credit card data into a website to tip someone. Limitations in the choice of accepted payment method are also a roadblock to sending rewards.

Although Bitcoin isn’t yet mainstream, the continuous improvements in user onboarding and the interaction with the network are bringing results. There are always more Bitcoin users and also the Lightning Network is gaining more adoption with more exchanges, wallets, and services enabling Lightning payments.

How does it work?

GetAlby’s wallet needs to be downloaded as an extension. Currently, it works with Chromium-enabled browsers like Chrome Opera, Brave, etc., and with Firefox.

Once installed, it can connect to a Lightning Network custom node or to a lightning-enabled wallet like Eclair or BlueWallet, etc. The user can choose a Lightning human-readable address that is easy to remember and can be embedded into websites for others to send payments to.

It looks like an email address and it can receive sats. It’s extremely easy to receive payments because there’s no more QR code to scan or app-switching. It’s enough to accept payment when the browser sends a confirmation request.

GetAlby can be compared to the Metamask wallet that is so popular within the Ethereum community and it works similarly but is much easier to use.

With Alby, it’s even possible to set a budget for a specific website so no annoying messages aren’t popping up and requesting payment confirmation repeatedly.

When the balance is exhausted, the service stops. Alby can track your spending on different websites and users can log into web apps without having to use a password and a username.

Project creators claim that GetAlby protects user privacy and lets all the browsing data remain on the device.

There are no trackers invading user privacy, no data is collected, and the code is open source up for review.

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