BitMate: WordPress Plugin Collects Cryptocurrency Donations?

BitMate has developed a WordPress plugin that allows users to solicit donations of Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. Its product is available for free download, and is designed to be easily integrated into existing WordPress sites.

BitMate is also developing more flexible plugins to allow for payments and subscriptions, but progress on these seems to have stalled several years ago.

About BitMate

BitMate's website includes no information about its creators or developers, but its page in the WordPress plugin section indicates that it is the work of a London-based programmer named Daniel McClure. Since his plugin is available for free, BitMate is likely a hobby project rather than a business venture; it earns money only through its own product, soliciting donations on each page of its website.

Searching the internet for BitMate reveals that it hasn't received any coverage from online publications. It maintains a Twitter page with over 400 followers, but otherwise hasn't gained a considerable following on social media.

The Product

BitMate's sole product is its Author Donation tool, which allows WordPress users to add their cryptocurrency wallet address to each post and include a custom message to solicit donations.

While the service was initially designed to work only with Bitcoins, it has recently expanded to include other popular cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Modero, and Zcash. The product also offers support for QR codes, allowing users to immediately scan them with their smartphones.

BitMate can be downloaded directly from WordPress. Once installed, it can be activated through the “Plugins” menu; users must include a valid wallet address, and may need to enter several depending on which currencies they accept.

Users can then configure the appearance and settings of the plugin. Most users select to automatically include the plugin as a footer or sidebar, but they can also use the “shortcode” [bitmate-author-donate] to make it appear anywhere they'd like.

While users could theoretically manually add their address to each post, BitMate's Author Donation plugin makes this considerably easier. It is especially useful for formatting, and its settings are easy to control from the WordPress dashboard.

The Author Donations plugin is BitMate's only released product, but its website also includes product descriptions for a Payments plugin and BitMember service. These will allow one-time payments and subscription access to premium content. Development of these two plugins appears to have stalled indefinitely; both pages end with a note saying they are expected to launch in August 2014.

The Opportunity

BitMate offers WordPress users an easy, free way to solicit donations for their work. Users can customize the plugin's appearance and decide exactly where to place it on their webpage. BitMate's page on the WordPress plugin section includes screenshots of different customizations, and information about how to set it up.

The plugin is actively maintained (last updated in February 2018), and includes some thoughtful programming decisions regarding its fonts and JavaScript usage that should prevent it from ever slowing down a webpage. BitMate has a five-star rating from WordPress users, although it's from only two reviews, and it has been installed over 100 times.

If they are ever completed, BitMate's Payments and BitMember plugins sound like they will offer even more powerful opportunities for WordPress administrators. They will be able to sell not only goods and services through their site, but also allow their readers to subscribe and gain access to premium content.

However, considering that they are approaching four years after their announced launch date, it seems unlikely that these plugins are still being actively developed.

The BitMate Verdict

Users who already have a WordPress website and a cryptocurrency wallet have nothing to lose by installing the BitMate plugin. It is easy to install, available for free, and offers flexible customization options.

It is concerning that the BitMate has neglected to update its website with news about its BitMember and Payment plugins; it's entirely understandable that the projects are delayed or cancelled, but the developer should be more transparent about their progress.

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