The Chicago Sun-Times has started accepting bitcoin for yearlong print subscriptions and subscriptions to the newspaper’s digital replica. Payments will be processed via Coinbase digital wallet technology.
The cheapest digital replica option costs $47.88 for 12 months.
In February, the Sun-Times did a 24-hour test of a paywall powered by startup BitWall to accept small, name-your-price payments for access to the site.
The Sun-Times has also recently run Bitcoin advertorials online and in print.
— Sam Kirkland (@samkirkla) March 3, 2014
While accepting bitcoin for subscriptions is an interesting cutting-edge move for the paper, the real promise of digital currencies is that they could support micropayments unfeasible with traditional currencies due to high bank transaction fees. Today’s news just means an alternative way to pay for longterm access to content; the game changer would be offering users who don’t want to pony up for full digital access an easy, frictionless way to pay for single articles or time-based access to a site.
Disclosure: I used to work for the Sun-Times.