Is Web Monetization struggling?

I just got an email from Stronghold saying Stronghold will be discontinuing Web Monetization support effective August 20, 2020.

Hi,
 

We want to make you aware of an important change to your account and payout provider options.

Stronghold will be discontinuing Web Monetization support effective August 20, 2020. 


To ensure your content stays monetized, please sign-up for Uphold or Gatehub and then update the digital wallet provider in your account settings. If this update is not made by August 20, 2020, your content will not be monetized until you select a new payout provider.


To withdraw your Stronghold balance, simply log in to your Stronghold account. Unfortunately, we cannot automatically transfer your balance on your behalf. 

Thanks again for being a Stronghold customer and your contribution to Coil and the community. Please contact us at happiness@stronghold.co with any questions or concerns.

Be well,

The Stronghold Team

Short answer, No. In fact the volume of payments we’re seeing from Coil and the number of monetized sites is constantly increasing.

To bootstrap the WM ecosystem Coil had a commercial agreement with Stronghold to host receiving accounts for Web Monetization. Since then two new wallets have joined the ecosystem Gatehub and Uphold, both of whom are better suited to this function as they are consumer facing wallets (Stronghold has more of a B2B focus).

I can’t speak for Stronghold but they may choose to continue being part of the Interledger ecosystem and focus on B2B use cases.

Thanks for the clear and transparent reply :slight_smile:

I didn’t know about Web Monetization until I saw this post…

For now it seems like a sort of donation of arbitrary amount to Coil that is then automatically split among the different websites visited by the user. Is that right?

I think it would be much more useful to simplify micro-payments on the web and let websites decide how much to charge for a specific action / view of content.

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I agree. Having no clear way to specify amounts for the user makes it tricky to know what to enable for the user.

Not quite. Users pay Coil a fixed monthly subscription and Coil’s model is to distribute that among the sites the user visits. Coil’s goal (in this case) is to not require the user to think about paying each site they visit and to make that decision for them.

However, that is just the start. With the payment infrastructure now place (i.e. Coil can send payments on behalf of users and websites are setup to receive) it is possible for Coil to add new features like explicit donations and digital goods purchases.

Other providers (Coil competitors) could adopt an entirely different model if they choose. All that the standard defines is a way for websites to declare HOW they can be paid and an API to watch for incoming payments so the website can respond to these.

The goal is to continue building on this infrastructure and use existing APIs like Payment Request to improve the ways websites can request payment and support new use case.

Have a look at https://community.webmonetization.org to see some of the experiments being done already.

Following up on Adrian’s comment, we are hosting the Web Monetization Workshop to share learnings and discuss and improve the spec.

Here are the event details workshop.webmonetization.org.

Discussion topics will be taken from and tracked at github.com/WICG/webmonetization.