Blockonomi recent released an interesting article titled Understanding Micropayments & Their Role in the Web 3.0. This is a summary. Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) has made micropayments quite popular. In Web 3.0, which may be the future of the internet, micropayments may be able to bring about changes such as new monetization strategies, content platforms, paywalls, and the like.
For those who are unaware, a micropayment is a form of digital value transfer where the cost is low enough to bypass the mental accounting barrier concerning payment paradigms. The transactions have similar properties to regular payments, and they are small enough for automated M2M payments for IoT devices. The lack of overhead makes the system efficient.
Back to Bitcoin’s LN, this is a form of micropayment because of the minuscule unit required for account transactions. Though still quite new and immature, it has a potential cost per in-channel transfer between parties that is lower than legacy payment rails, which is enough to determine the likelihood of new applications and monetization methods.
This may even lead to the development of updated paywalls, monetization strategies, and content platforms.
A few of the earliest elements of paywalls are already in the works. For instance, there is Yálls, which is an experimental LN that is based on a publishing web application. The application requires that users go through a micropayment paywall to view content that is on the website. Likewise, writers must also pay a micropayment for publishing on the website.
Another example is YouTube, which has the YouTube Partner Program. The program has a high barrier, therefore other options have been developed, such as DLive. Another platform is LBRY, which gives content creators the incentivize to create content with monetization on a pay-per-stream or pay-per-click system.
There are also web extensions for the LN payment system that is already available. A few examples include LighteningJoule and Casa Node Extension, which allow users to send invoices without a few clicks.
Users can also purchase bitcoin and deposit it into their LN-compatible wallet. Essentially, the LN provides users with a lot of opportunities and it sets a vision for Web 3.0.