I read through your post and the info on the site and I'm still confused as to what this actually is. I get that—at its core—it's a usage-based billing service, but I'm having a hard time understanding the use case for this. Can you provide an example?
Of course! Sorry for the confusion.
I'll actually give you a real word live example. https://whodis.email/ is using Popcoin as their billing engine.
They bill per email search so when a user first logs into Whodis an identify call is made to create that user within Popcoin. Then whenever that user searches for an email address they will burn 10 of that user's credits on their Popcoin account. Once they've burned down to lower than 100 credits (or 10 email searches) left an email will be sent to the user encouraging them to reload their account through a credit card form. If they do all is well and fine. If they don't once the user's balance gets to zero a 402 response will be sent to Whodis and they've opted to send an error message to the user that they can't perform any more email searches until they fill out the invoice.
Does that make anything clearer?
I’m so excited and proud to announce the launch of my latest side project Popcoin, a usage based billing service built to be the best way to get paid for just about anything It’s built on top of the Stellar SDK and utilizes Stripe Connect. It was built as part of this year’s 3rd Stellar Build Challenge.
What does it do?
At it’s core Popcoin is a usage based billing service. You identify users within your product and then create micro charges within that product to slowly (or quickly) use up individual user’s credits. Things like, “view this page, charge 1 credit”, “call this API endpoint, bill 0.17 credits”, “download this song, spend 13 credits”, “every month, burn 100 credits”, “read this article, expense 7.65 credits”. It’s completely up to you how, when and why credits are burned for users as it’s just API charge calls to the Popcoin network. As soon as a user attempts to take an action that would put them below a threshold you’ve set within Popcoin we’ll send out a customizable refill email. Once that invoice is filled we’ll reload the user’s credit, slip out our fees and pass the rest on to you.
What does it cost?
Popcoin has a fixed fee of 5% per invoice. This added on top of Stripe’s already low fees of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction will leave you with loads of cash for the piggy. As an example if a user were to clear a $10 invoice, Stripe would take 59¢ and Popcoin would take 50¢, leaving you with $8.91.
How does it work?
Popcoin operates on three core services. Stellar, Stripe and the Popcoin API.
Stellar acts as the financial undergirding for Popcoin. Providing a tokenization engine much like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Within their network Popcoin creates and maintains a network of accounts which give and receive a token unique to Popcoin. Stellar acts as the financial ledger keeping track of who has what and how much.
Stripe acts as the currency platform allowing Popcoin to move from tokens, cryptocurrencies and computers to cold hard cash in your bank account. Their service Stripe Connect is a top notch tool allowing Popcoin to safely, securely and in a controlled, maintained environment move money from your users to you. All without you ever having to really do much of anything beyond creating an initial connection.
The Popcoin API is the last piece of the puzzle and while it might sound tricky or feel like black magic at times. It’s actually just simple, smart and straightforward. You give us a user and then begin spending their credit balance.