Argentina-based social network Taringa! has partnered with bitcoin wallet and payments provider Xapo to bring bitcoin into its ecosystem.
Lesser known in English-speaking circles and Western countries, Taringa! has become a highly popular social networking site, rivalling Facebook in certain respects and becoming the second largest social network website in Latin America. Its roots are somewhat similar to those of Facebook, having been launched around the same time in early 2004. It was launched by Argentinian high school student Fernando Sanz and later bought out by two local entrepreneurs.
Taringa! will use bitcoin to reward popular content in a model similar to Youtube. In addition to contributors receiving bitcoin rewards, there are future plans for tipping and the purchase of digital goods.
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Taringa! c0-founder Hernán Botbol said that the company previously wanted to introduce a revenue sharing model but was constrained by the country’s underdeveloped financial system:
“We never were able to do that because the infrastructure is horrendous – even if you send someone a check, they don’t know what to do with that.”
He discussed the project at a gathering of venture capitalists and Bitcoin businesses at Andreessen Horowitz’s offices in Menlo Park, California, also the home of Facebook.
Noteworthy is that Xapo CEO Wences Casares is originally from Argentina. He said that the partnership is part of a new emerging markets strategy, the thinking being that Bitcoin may have an easier time making inroads into markets with less developed financial systems.