I came across BitBounce on Product Hunt about a month ago. It's a product that's not too unlike Steemit: a social method for bringing wider-spread cryptocurrency adoption for more trepidatious investors.
Steemit encourages users to value cryptocurrency in exchange for quality content; BitBounce offers a spam blocking service, where spammers must pay a crypto fee to access your inbox. The ultimate goal: only get people from people you know and people who have paid to access you.
Sounds like a cool concept, right?
Yeah, but BitBounce misses the mark.
I didn't even last more than a week before disabling it from my inbox.
The app required a ton of time-intensive labor on my end. For example, I whitelisted all of my direct contacts, but email is more nuanced than that—I don't keep most of my email subscriptions in my contact list. And anyone who emailed me who wasn't on my whitelist got an email like this:
BitBounce was sending messages to my bank, to LinkedIn, and to daily roundups that I subscribe to. Manually whitelisting each of those email addresses was too much for me to do on my own. That extends beyond weird messages from your bank; expecting an email from someone who has never contacted you over email before? BitBounce will be their first impression of you. There's no way to prime it if you don't know your contactor's email address.
No one wants a spam filter that inflexible, and it's embarrassing when I ask someone to email me, they do so, and are immediately met with an ask for payment.
That gets into the bigger problem. Most people are fairly happy with their spam filters. Gmail does an outstanding job, and if a new product is leagues behind the industry standard, no one is going to switch—not even willing early adopters—if the spam blocking service is a net loss to the end user. You can't even pay me to use a product like that.
That doesn't even get into security issues
If you're invested in cryptocurrency, you probably care about personal security. Given BitBounce's market, you'd think they'd invest a little more into their customers' private security.
I'd be very wary of any product requesting access to so much of your personal information. Plus, even though I've deleted my account, I've still somehow been subscribed to their email list.
Which meant that I couldn't ignore getting an email like this:
Turns out the Credo ICO is due to hit in four days.
Given the (ironic) amount of email your email address sends out in an effort to fight spam, the cybersecurity issues, and the UX clunkyness, I wouldn't start using BitBounce, let alone its Ethereum- and email-based pseudo-cryptocurrency.
Can you make money with BitBounce?
I used BitBounce to "bounce" over 1,000 emails (many of them unintentionally. Can you tell I'm a little irked, here?). Unsurprisingly, not a single spammer paid anything—and emails from contacts I wanted to hear from, like candidates reaching out over my website interested in my company, just got around the blocker with a confused Twitter or LinkedIn message. I'm not sure how viable this product is to really deter anything, let alone make money off of it.
As a reviewer, I was initially stoked to have some kind of app that put distance between me and the 100s of product pitch emails I get a week, but the manual effort and low ROI just didn't make it worth it.
Sorry, BitBounce. You've got an interesting concept, but you're just not ready for market yet.
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