BitforTip began with a favorite worn out T-shirt. What if you could pay someone to help find what you’re searching for?
Location: Athens, Greece
Product / Service Offering: Trading bitcoins for searching for items
Co-founder Interviewed: Panagiotis Pollis
This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
My motivation for BitforTip comes from bitcoins and the technology behind it. The blockchain is a whole new sector. I am happy to be part of this technology from its early beginning. I like raising awareness about decentralization, transparency, private keys, transactions, etc.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
Bitforip was established in 2015. The idea came to me when I was unable to find a favorite worn out T-shirt of mine. I really wanted to buy it again. Unfortunately, I could not find it. I was willing to tip someone for information on where to find it. That’s where things began.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Bitfortip wants customers to be able to find anything, and in turn receive rewards for a nice tip that you provide to another member.
Bitfortip has many uses including:
- Finding an item (i.e., a dress) that you may have seen in a magazine or on a website (such as Pinterest or Instagram). If you don’t know where to buy online, you can upload a photo and ask other Bitfortip members to search for it online to win a bitcoin reward.
- Find a better prices. By offering a small Bitcoin reward for members to search for you, you increase your probability of finding that item at a lower cost.
- Find a piece of information on the internet that you may not know about. Post an inquiry along with a Bitcoin reward for people to find you a certain link, image, etc.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Bitfortip is a unique concept, in that it allows you to get tips, advice and money. And the money comes in the form of the most valuable digital currency in the world. Postitive feedback is left by a diverse community of members from all over the world. You very frequently read comments like “pretty unique approach”, “unique concept”, “great idea” etc.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge is the idea behind Bitcoin. Although it’s gained popularity, not many people possess it and there are still many who are not aware of it. In the beginning it can be hard to understand and apply as you have to study the value/information that is being transmitted through the blockchain, set up a Bitcoin wallet, and get familiar with what gives value to the role of the user nodes and miners.
Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
Reddit.com/r/entrepreneur is a nice subreddit where entrepreneurs can exchange advice and feedback. I recommend it to everyone. You can read some success and failure stories plus the catalyst behind them.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
Bitfortip is self-funded. There have been proposals by some potential investors, but they have all been rejected.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
Bitcoin adoption is currently high enough to legitimize the concept, but not high enough to be considered widespread. Sooner or later we are getting there. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are getting more popular as the days go by. Bitcoins are used by a greater audience, and can cross borders in ways that normal currency cannot.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
Good word of mouth can considerably increase the popularity of a service. Nice video tutorials from social media influencers could also give a nice boost.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
A little Easter egg…. the word tip at Bitfortip has a dual meaning, as mentioned before (advice and money). Therefore, if you flip Bitfortip (“Get Bitcoin for providing tips”) and turn it to Tipforbit, you get the other aspect of the service (“Get tips for handing Bitcoin rewards”).
Are you familiar with other startups you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them, sharing in your comments below!