I’m starting a new trend here on this blog today, one of shorter posts with more value added. Instead of me writing some more opinions of what’s happening in the bitcoinoshpere as usual, I’ve decided to use this blog to start handing out great ideas that will truly help the bitcoin community as a whole.
Most of these ideas will be business ideas, where you can take it and run with the idea and make your fortune, and have no need whatsoever to recompense or even credit me in any way for the idea. Many others will be P2P distributed services, that might not make the programmers/initiators much/any money, but will definitely go a long way towards supporting bitcoin.
I’m giving these Ideas away because I already started working on the one I want to work on, so these are all my overflow… Stuff I’d do if I could, but can’t, so they’re yours. So take it and make it great if you have the skills; and if not… Do you know someone with the skills to make this happen? If so, I’d appreciate it if you’d to tell them about it.
The first of this series is a Trustmark service, which can both help Bitcoin grow, and make the business owner a load of money.
I’m not talking about a “This page verified to be virus and spoof free” trustmark, no, something far more useful than that is needed amongst bitcoin merchants.
What I’d really like to see is a company with some kind of travel budget actually go to the businesses they are checking out, or at least teleconference with them at some level of service, and check them out on all necessary levels to ensure to the world that these guys are truly legit.
This service would be what the BBB and even Consumer Reports magazine were meant to be: A way for potential customers to come to trust a service or seller of a product online. -But in our case, it’s just for Bitcoin-accepting businesses.
Between the travel budget and a simple website/graphics design, your only startup costs would be minimal. Perhaps a little bit of an advertising budget if you want to scale fast. (Need cash? Use BitcoinStarter or Coinfunder to start this biz up!)
Start out investigating the big guys like Bitpay and Mt.Gox, manually reviewing them for free in person and pay special attention to their finances and safety procedures. Publish your accreditation criteria on your website and put a form on it for all bitcoin businesses to ask for accreditation themselves. Once they’ve passed and you can show on your website how safe this business is to do business with, you give them a cute little badge for their website that shows consumers that they are accredited by your company.
After you’ve bagged a few big names, start charging all other bitcoin-based businesses what you need to keep your business running. A couple different levels of service (1 time and annual) would help them decide to pay you easier.
Your success will depend on assuring consumers that you have thought of all the ways that each business out there can harm them, and show why in each instance you’ve accredited, that they are safe.
The bitcoin community desperately needs this service, as evidenced by the many bitcoin companies that flit off into the night this year taking trust in the whole bitcoin community away with them.
Possible names for this service:
Note: Don’t worry about competition reading this post… There is room for competing trustmark services in this market, and different countries and languages all have room for a dominant bitcoin trustmark service too!
Get your mark, get set…. GO!