Bitcointip: automated panhandling

Bitcointip” is a bot written for reddit through which users can “tip” others by entering a sort of command in a comment reply. Agree with what someone says in your favorite misogynistic subreddit and clicking the little orange up arrow isn’t enough? Tip them for it!

This thing is obnoxious as all Hell for a number of reasons:

Bitcoiners are tightwads.

If one scans through the comment history of the bot, each response includes the amount of the “tip” in Bitcions and in USD. Most of these are fractions of Bitcoins and a pattern quickly becomes apparent: Bitcoiners are just throwing change at one another. This is like the world’s largest street corner, with hundreds of babbling, shouting lunatics spewing nonsense, empty coffee cups at their feet awaiting a “donation.”

Bitcoin tips: pennies

It’s spammy as hell.

Instead of agreeing and possibly discussing things, Bitcoiners can just type “+bitcointip” along with some infinitesimal number and then the bot comes along to reply to them, informing the world that this person did in fact give a handful of pennies to another person in Internet play money. On a good (read: bad) day this can lead to a string of inane comments, making reddit an even worse place to be.

It’s pointless.

Trading cardboard cutouts of coins isn’t so bad as long as it’s kept in the basement of Bitcoin-related forums but Bitcoiners are hiding everywhere, trying to proselytize. Imagine, for a moment, that you read and participated in discussions at reddit (an awful proposition, but bear with me here.) You’re discussing a film or a funny picture or world news and say something others find insightful, funny, or any other number of slashdotesque adjectives. Most people would just upvote you and possibly agree, but Bitcoiners drive-by and spam “+bitciontip” and some penny amount. You don’t have a wallet. You don’t even know about Bitcoin. In an effort to understand what just happened, you read up on it a bit and find yourself staring into the abyss of a raging libertarian Hellscape. Fortunately you can just ignore it. Unfortunately if you do this, they get their “money” back.

They’re trying to spread it.

This is like the curse of Bitcoin. It can’t remain in its niche, it must spread and absolutely everyone in the world must know and be forced to use Bitcoin. There’s already one on twitter, and if they had their way, it would be all over Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ (not really, nobody actually uses g+.)

Bitcoins everywhereYes, clearly. Aside from being tied to Bitcoin.