The Hourglass pay-per-second Bitcoin wallet concept reached its initial financing pledge goal of $2,500 yesterday on Vinumeris.com, home to Lighthouse, the decentralized Bitcoin crowdfunding application.
“It’s great, a nice surprise,” developer Mike Hearn said.
Hearn expects that Hourglass, when completed, will enable users to pay another party on a rolling, per-second basis using Bitcoin micropayment channels, such as for online video lessons, internet access, consulting and internet radio.
“Once this reaches the top of the priority list, I will do a bit of prototyping and design work,” said Hearn. “The project is for the design document only, not the actual product. So the deliverable will be a longish document describing in detail what exactly has to be built. That way, people will know what they’re pledging for in the next step.”
Hearn plans for the wallet to support password protection, backup using 12 common English words, threshold-signed online updates as well as releases for Windows, Mac, Linux and possibly even mobile platforms.
Once he’s completed the design document, Hearn will collect the funds for this early phase of the wallet with Lighthouse, his decentralized, bitcoin- and blockchain-powered desktop crowdfunding app.
“The point of this pre-pledge stage is to do market research, basically: figure out what people think is most interesting,” said Hearn. “Apparently, out of all the projects [on Vinumeris], that’s Hourglass. So I’ll take that into account when deciding what to work on next.”
Hearn is already seeking pledges to fund development of the Hourglass prototype but said, “Don’t hold your breath.”
Lighthouse combines a bitcoin wallet with the blockchain’s “smart contracts” feature to enable crowdfunding without the need to trust a third party.
Completed Lighthouse campaigns can be pre-paid, like Kickstarter campaigns, or post-paid upon completion of the project and verification by Vinumeris. Lighthouse pledges can be revoked at any time until completion of a campaign.
Bitcoin micropayment channels enable users to combine many, very small transactions in a trustless environment in order to save on transaction fees.
When using smart contracts, the Bitcoin network independently detects when a campaign’s funding goal is reached and releases the funds after any relevant conditions are met.
The Lighthouse app can be found at Vinumeris and Lighthouse projects can be downloaded at reddit.com/r/LighthouseProjects.