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When will we have micropayments?
One of the things this author finds most baffling about the online world we've developed is the lack of a clean, easy, near-universal, private system of micropayments. The suprising and dismaying absence is nicely described in this article, asking
Where are my digital micropayments? Where are those frictionless, integrated ways of exchanging money online—cryptographically protected to allow commerce but not surveillance?
Of course, we already make payments online all the time, but under current conditions, frankly, it sucks to do so. If you buy things directly from small vendors, you’re stuck entering your credit card information, your email, and your billing address on site after site—sinking ever deeper into the surveillance economy as each digital form puts your personal details into someone else’s database, while also giving hackers ever more opportunities to filch your data.
I've never seen a convincing argument as to why this is impossible, just "micropayments fail over and over." But that can't go on forever — the prize is just too big. (Note also that my understanding is that China has put together a system that works, though I don't know if it is as private etc. as one might like.) So I ask:
When will the US and Europe have a workable system of micropayments?
The question will resolve when, with less than 10 minutes of effort, I can set up a "wallet" that will allow me to spend less than 25 cents (2019 dollars) by clicking less than two times, on at least 10 of the top 50 internet sites as listed by a reputable source comparable to 2019's Alexa, and where each payment does not show up as an individual transaction on a credit card or bank statement.
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