Since the mid 1990s,

… many companies have attempted to deliver a solution for casual online micropayments. The need for a viable solution is evident, and well described, by any number of analysts and commentators. The news media have always been the touchstone example; having come from an economy where the physical carriage of printer paper encouraged bundling a vast amount of content into even daily publications, to one where delivery of single items is considered the norm - and where many readers are affronted by both intrusive advertising and subscription demands on a regular basis.

What has come to be known as ‘the micropayments problem’ is now regarded by some as probably unsolvable. It certainly has been intransigent. But tibdit has the solution; not for every situation, but at minimum for a significant number of publishers and consumers of online content and services.

The articles below are a small sample of the debate that has endured for nearly two decades. The most interesting are those that make a solid case for why casual online micropayments cannot succeed - only through understanding the real issues, could we be confident that tibdit’s approach navigated around them. The reason non-subscription, non-niche micropayment platforms have so far failed to succeed has less to do with technology and transaction processing costs (which remain real issues nonetheless) and more to do with relative-complexity and cognitive processing costs.

  • The case against micropayments

    Odlyzko, Andrew. Financial Cryptography. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2003.

    Micropayments are likely to continue disappointing their advocates. They are an interesting technology. However, there are many non-technological reasons why they will take far longer than is generally expected to be widely used, and most probably will play only a minor role in the economy.
  • Micropayments: a viable business model?

    Kaufman, Stacy. Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy. Stanford University, 2011.

    The emergence of micropayments in the e-commerce market has long been anticipated. Defined as any online transaction up to $10.00, micropayments allow for a la carte service on the web, replacing alternative subscription models that demand larger upfront payments. Today, users can pay an upfront cost for certain products, such as an access pass to paid content. The system of micropayments seeks to simplify such schemes of e-payment. However, the reason micropayments have yet to catch on in industry is because of the various implementation issues.
  • Micropayments and mental transaction costs

    Szabo, Nick. 2nd Berlin Internet Economics Workshop. 1999.

    We present intuitive arguments for why micropayments have not succeeded on the internet. The ‘hassle factor’ for customers associated with such transactions is characterized. A framework of mental transaction costs and price granularity is then presented, and arguments about micropayments recast in its light. Finally, we make some suggestions for reducing the mental transaction costs of internet commerce.
  • Micropayments: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone

    Shirky, Clay. New York University, 2000

    Micropayments are back, at least in theory, thanks to P2P. Micropayments are an idea with a long history and a disputed definition - as the W3C micropayment working group puts it, " ... there is no clear definition of a 'Web micropayment' that encompasses all systems," but in its broadest definition, the word micropayment refers to "low-value electronic financial transactions."/

    P2P creates two problems that micropayments seem ideally suited to solve. The first is the need to reward creators of text, graphics, music or video without the overhead of publishing middlemen or the necessity to charge high prices. The success of music-sharing systems such as Napster and Audiogalaxy, and the growth of more general platforms for file sharing such as Gnutella, Freenet and AIMster, make this problem urgent./

  • A Bold, Old Idea for Saving Journalism

    Isaacson, Walter. Huffington Post. 2009

    The crisis in journalism has, during the past few months, reached meltdown proportions. It is now possible to contemplate a time in the near future when major towns will no longer have a newspaper and when magazines and network news operations will employ no more than a handful of reporters.

    There is, however, a striking and somewhat odd fact about this crisis. Newspapers now have more readers than ever. Their content, as well as that of news magazines and other producers of traditional journalism, is more popular than ever -- even among (in fact, especially among) young people.
  • further reading and literature can be found at: