Accept Bitcoin for digital goods
This post is about how you can accept Bitcoin for digital goods, products and services.
Bitcoin accept for digital goods includes all intangible goods delivered in digital form over the Internet.
These can be newspaper articles, online courses, memberships, eBooks, software programs, videos, music, pictures, podcast, memberships and so on.
Digital goods are delivered over the Internet, rather than through the postal service as is the case with tangible goods.
With the guide “Accepting Bitcoin for Digital Goods” we give a general overview how to sell digital goods with the payment method Bitcoin and via the Lightning Network.
We then refer to detailed instructions, with the help of which you can then sell digital goods yourself using the Bitcoin payment method.
A special feature of digital goods is that they can be sold and delivered worldwide over the Internet, and Bitcoin is a payment method available worldwide.
Bitcoin payments over the Lightning network can be used to make payments worth just a few cents.
If payment methods such as PayPal and credit cards charge fees of 2.5% plus a transaction fee of 35 cents, then the payment costs are 6% for a product worth €10 and 38% for a product worth €1.
|2,50%||35 Cent||Payment Cost €||Payment Cost %|
|10,00 €||0,25||0,35||0,60 €||6%|
|1,00 €||0,025||0,35||0,38 €||38%|
There are no costs for the provider when processing payments via Bitcoin or Lightning.
- no monthly fees
- No volume-based fees
- no transaction fees
Thus, the global sale of digital goods in the micropayment sector is particularly well suited for the Bitcoin payment method via the Lightning Network.
Instead of offering monthly memberships or higher-priced product packages, digital products can be sold individually.
The following business models lend themselves to this:
- Pay-per-post / pay-per-read – payment per read, single article, blog post or page
- Pay-per-View – Payment per video, audio or podcast viewed
- Pay-per-File / Pay-per-Download – Payment per downloaded file, eBook, software, presentation, image
Examples of Bitcoin payment for digital goods
Pay-per-Post / Pay-per-Read
Why do readers always have to sign up for a long-term subscription on newspaper websites when all they really want to do is read a single article?
Readers are quite willing to pay something for high-quality content if it can be done quickly, anonymously, and without logging in or registering.
Visitors can be addressed who are willing to pay but do not want to subscribe.
In the following section, the content is protected with a paywall. Via Bitcoin or Lightning payment this section can be unlocked.
You have unlocked this area by paying €1,-.
With pay-per-view, individual videos can be offered on demand (video-on-demand) on the website. The viewer pays only for the video actually watched.
Go to the sample application at BTCPayWall Pay-per-View.
Pay-per-File / Pay-per-Download
With pay-per-file download, payments can be settled per downloaded file. So you can sell your customers eBook, software, presentation or a picture.
Customers can download the unlocked file to their own computer and use it accordingly.
Go to the sample application at BTCPayWall Pay-per-File
Bitcoin & Lightning Paywall Provider
The examples presented here are implemented, based on the solution of BTCPayWall.
There are a number of other providers offering comparable solutions. You can find an overview of the different providers at: Lightning Paywall Provider
Most solutions are based on payment with Bitcoin via the Lightning network. BTCPayWall’s solution allows both Bitcoin and Lightning Network payments.
The customer who wants to pay with Bitcoin can use any Bitcoin wallet to make the payment. Paying with Bitcoin via the Lightning network requires the use of a Bitcoin wallet that also supports Lightning. More and more Bitcoin wallet also support lightning.
You can find an overview of special Lightning Wallets in the overview: Lightning Walllet
BTCPayWall – Lightning & Bitcoin Paywall powered by Coincharge
As already mentioned, the solution presented here is the BTCPayWall from our company.
If you want to accept Bitcoin and also Lightning on your internet site for digital goods, you need:
- a website based on WordPress with the WordPress plugin BTCPayWall
- a BTCPay Store on a BTCPay Server
- a Bitcoin Wallet
WordPress Plugin BTCPayWall
With the BTCPayWall, digital content can be offered for a fee. The payment is made by Bitcoin and Lightning via the BTCPay server.
Those who run a website based on WordPress can secure the digital content with a paywall, which can be unlocked via Bitcoin or Lightning payment.
Without registering or logging in, a user can anonymously unlock the desired content by making a Bitcoin or Lightning payment.
The user scans the QR code displayed in the paywall with his Bitcoin wallet and after successful payment the desired content is displayed immediately.
The WordPress BTCPayWall for BTCPay Server can be used for the following applications:
Bitcoin payment processing is organized by a BTCPay store and you set up the required account on a BTCPay server.
You can run your own BTCPay server or you can use an existing BTCPay server.
Coincharge provides a BTCPay server at the address https://btcpay.coincharge.io, which you can use for free.
If the customer wants to pay for the digital goods on your website, he will be shown a payment page after clicking the pay button.
In the background, the value of the product is transmitted to the BTCPay store.
The BTCPay store takes the USD or Euro commodity value and calculates the corresponding value in Bitcoin based on the current Bitcoin rate.
BTCPay Store creates a payment checkout page that contains all relevant information for payment.
It contains the amount to be paid in Bitcoin and the Bitcoin address to which the Bitcoin payment should be sent.
All relevant information is displayed in the form of a QR code.
The appearance of the payment page can be designed in the design of the online stores.
When the customer pays, the BTCPay Store verifies that the payment was properly executed.
Since a unique and unambiguous Bitcoin address is generated for each Bitcoin payment, an incoming payment can always be clearly assigned to an order.
It checks if the expected bitcoin amount has been received and credits the merchant’s bitcoin wallet with the equivalent amount.
Furthermore, the online store receives feedback about the successful Bitcoin payment and can initiate the next steps accordingly, such as processing and shipping the goods.
As already written, for each order a unique Bitcoin address, which is used only once.
Each Bitcoin address belongs to a specific Bitcoin wallet, to which the Bitcoin payment receipt is credited.
As a trader, you need your own Bitcoin wallet to which the incoming Bitcoin are credited.
If you create a BTCPay store, you can also use it to create your own internal Bitcoin wallet.
Only you have access to this Bitcoin wallet, because you receive the private key in the form of 12 words that only you know.
The Bitcoin wallet can be used not only for receiving Bitcoin payments, but also for credits and refunds.
You can transfer your Bitcoin balance from this Bitcoin wallet to another Bitcoin wallet at any time.
Summary: Accept Bitcoin for digital goods
Accept Bitcoin for digital goods, products and services
Proceed as follows:
- Creation of a BTCPay Store at: https://btcpay.coincharge.io
- Creation of an internal Bitcoin wallet or deposit of the xPub key of an external Bitcoin wallet
- Install on your WordPress site the plugin BTCPayWall