Chicago Sun-Times to test Bitcoin and Twitter paywall with startup BitWall

The Chicago Sun-Times, the 9th largest newspaper in the USA, is testing a social paywall that will accept both Tweets and Bitcoin in partnership with the content monetization startup BitWall.

For 24 hours on February 1st, 2014, Chicago Sun-Times readers will be prompted to donate Bitcoins to or Tweet about the Taproot Foundation to test the functionality and acceptance of Bitcoins on the site.

The Taproot Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps design, marketing, IT, strategic management, and HR professionals do pro bono work for other nonprofits.  BitWall, based in San Francisco, works with news sites to monetize content in innovative ways while helping increase newspapers’ social visibility via Tweets.

BitWall CEO Nic Meliones said: “The Chicago Sun-Times is showing its technological leadership by being the first major newspaper to adopt a social paywall and Bitcoin-powered monetization strategy. Bitcoin is an innovative technology well suited to online monetization.”

“We continue to experiment and test new technologies that we believe engage our readers and look forward to being the first major USA newspaper to test a Bitcoin-based paywall,” said Jim Kirk Publisher/Editor and Chief of the Chicago SunTimes.

Wrapports, LLC, CTO Josh Metnick also added: “Using this frictionless payment technology in concert with BitWall’s software allows us an innovative feasible micro-transaction and time-based access revenue models”

Taproot Foundation Chicago Executive Director Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald said: “Technology is driving social innovation and impact in new and exciting ways. Kicking of 2014, Taproot is thrilled to be the recipient of an innovative collaboration between BitWall and the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times is a longstanding partner in Taproot’s work to build pro bono in the corporate sector, which strengthens and grows nonprofit infrastructure. As Taproot builds a national pro bono movement we are so pleased to be a part of the collaboration between Bitwall and the Chicago Sun-Times.”

About Sun-Times Media:

Sun-Times Media is dedicated to being the premier source of local news and information for the greater Chicago area. Its media properties serve more than 300   communities across the region and include the Chicago Sun-Times and Suntimes.com; seven suburban daily newspapers, including the Beacon-News (Aurora), Courier-News (Elgin), Lake County News-Sun, Naperville Sun, Post-Tribune (Merrillville, Ind.) and the SouthtownStar; Chicago Reader, more than 30 weekly newspapers published by the Pioneer Press, as well as web sites for those newspapers, splash.suntimes.com, and more. Follow the Sun-Times at @suntimes.

About Wrapports, LLC:

Wrapports, LLC is a technology-driven media holding company whose media properties connect with millions of engaged readers and viewers weekly through tablet app, print, social media and mobile platforms. Through strategic investment in emerging technologies and new content portals, Wrapports is modernizing the business of media. Wrapports is the owner of Sun-Times Media, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper and more than 30 other media properties. To learn more, visit www.wrapports.com and follow Wrapports at @wrapports.

About BitWall:

BitWall is a content monetization company based in San Francisco, CA. It provides social paywalls and Bitcoin monetization for online publications, including newspapers, magazines and blogs. BitWall is backed by Boost VC, Tim Draper, and the Boost Bitcoin Fund. To learn more, visit www.bitwall.io and follow BitWall @bitwall.

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