We try to practice what we preach here at the Bent. If you've been reading this rag for long enough you've probably come to understand that we're big believers in the thesis that the world is in the process of transitioning to a bitcoin standard. The path to a bitcoin standard materializing is going to be paved by tools that make it as easy as possible to receive and send bitcoin and individuals and businesses who demand bitcoin as payment. Taking this belief to heart, in 2019 we set out to integrate bitcoin payments into our website (TFTC.io) so that we could receive donations and allow people to purchase shout outs to be read on our podcast using bitcoin. We realized those functionalities in May of 2019 by integrating Ghost (the open-source content management system we use for this newsletter and our website) with BTCPay Server.
Fast forward to last year and we added the ability for readers of our site to purchase individual articles that are pay walled for paid subscribers to the newsletter and website. Something that we did not pioneer, Jack Mallers did that years ago with yalls.org, but (to the best of our knowledge) we were the first to make it possible via Ghost, which is becoming an extremely popular and widely adopted content management system. Once we pushed the paywalls live it became clear to us that others running Ghost wanted to same abilities that we have on our site, so we decided to productize what we built for ourselves. This is how scrib came to be.
Now, anyone who wants to add Lightning Network enabled paywalls to their Ghost site can do so by setting up a scrib account and connecting their BTCPay Server, OpenNode account, or LN Address account to their site. While we have our preference around how we process payments on our site (BTCPay Server), we recognize that not everyone using Ghost has the same preference. With this in mind we made the decision that we're going to incorporate as many bitcoin payment processors as possible. At the moment we only have three enabled, but we are working on adding more in the coming months and we are more than open to suggestions for particular payment processors people would like to see incorporated.
Beyond that, we plan on adding bitcoin-payable subscriptions for Ghost sites, a bitcoin donation module, and a "boost" button that would allow readers to tip a content creator in sats directly within a post. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for individuals to monetize their content directly with bitcoin in as many ways as possible while giving them the ability to do so in a way that limits third party risk as much as possible. By combining Ghost + scrib content creators can create a truly sovereign stack that allows them to distribute and monetize content without centralized third parties being able to censor. Ghost allows an individual to self-host their website and newsletter and bitcoin payment processors like BTCPay Server and LN Address allow individuals to receive payments without counterparty risk. An ironclad stack if you ask me.
While I'm extremely excited to get scrib out to the world, I think we are just scratching the surface. One thing we realized while building this out is that a bitcoin payment processing plugin that is agnostic to the particular payment processor an end user prefers is a desperately needed middleware as we continue to transition into a bitcoin standard. Instead of every company building out their own wallet or integrating with a preferred wallet partner, it makes much more sense for a plugin/API like scrib to exist that they can leverage to let their users decide where to send bitcoin they are owed.
It is still very early days (literally day one), but we believe there is something much bigger than a Ghost integration with scrib. With that being said, we are a two man team and only one of us can actually code, so we are going to focus our immediate efforts on perfecting our integration with Ghost.
If you run a Ghost site and are interested in receiving bitcoin payments for paid content you should set up a scrib account. The onboarding process takes a few minutes. And the beauty of Ghost is the paywalled content doesn't have to be pure text. Ghost enables users to put audio files, video files, pdfs and other typed of content behind a paywall.
If you have a paid podcast that you host on Patreon or Substack and want to monetize via bitcoin Ghost + scrib is a much better option. If you're a comedian that is self-hosting a comedy special and want to monetize via bitcoin, Ghost + scribsat is a great way to do that. If you're an author who wants to sell an eBook pdf for bitcoin, Ghost + scrib are here for you.
Give it a whirl! Onward!
I need to go to bed at 9PM more often.