Streamlabs, the app of the streaming giant Twitch has started a new service which will allow its users to tip their favourite streamers using virtual currency. The service has already been integrated within the platform, which means that fans can now support their favourite streamers via crypto.
Coinbase has teamed up with Streamlabs on the matter, acting as a payment processor, which means that streamers will need to set up a Coinbase account and link it with their stream. While most streamers have welcomed the announcement, there were some concerned voices citing security risks caused by the need to provide a third party with access to a Coinbase account.
Initially, the audience will be able to tip streamers in bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash, since these are the only crypto options on the Coinbase exchange. However, Streamlabs have claimed that they “are looking into adding other coins in the future.” Using the crypto tipping service will cost nothing to the streamers but there will be some transactions fees when converting the coins to fiat currency on the exchange.
Streamlabs have originally developed a tip/donation widget for major streaming networks, such as Twitch, YouTube or Facebook using traditional payment processors like Paypal, VISA, MasterCard, etc. This was particularly beneficial for lesser-known streamers who could not boast a large subscriber base but were able to generate a significant portion of their income via donations.
However, the fees and the chargeback system, implemented by the fiat payment processors has proven to be quite a nuisance as it often left streamers with significantly less funds than they were expecting. Some streamers have added the bitcoin and ethereum donation addresses to their sites but for those not familiar with the crypto sphere, making a crypto transaction is quite a challenging task.
According to NewZoo research, more than 2 billion hours have been streamed by the Twitch users during the first four months of 2018. Streamlabs OBS, a newly-launched professional streaming app, accounts for around 15% of all streams created on Twitch. The company also revealed it paid out over $34 million in tips during the first quarter of this year.
Twitch, which has been acquired by Amazon in its early stages of development in 2014, has been crypto-friendly for quite a while. The streaming service added the option to pay for subscriptions in bitcoin in the same year, just after the acquisition announcement.
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