In brief

  • SmartSession is a new plug-in that lets Zoom users monetize their calls.
  • It's aimed at small businesses, and lets them reward their customers for referrals.
  • The app is based on Ethereum, with support for other cryptocurrencies coming soon.

Zoom pub quizzes. Zoom psychotherapy. Zoom yoga. Zoomba. The video conferencing app isn’t just a boon for remote workers during the coronavirus lockdown, it’s a lifeline for businesses that have been cut off from their clients. Or it would be if there was some way they could charge for their time.

Enter SmartSession, an Ethereum-based paywall for Zoom calls—and the first blockchain application approved for use on the video conferencing platform.

How to make money off Zoom calls

Instead of letting people watch, say, their Zoom yoga classes for free, teachers—or anyone who uses SmartSession—can now block cheapskates with a crypto paywall. That means anyone wanting to learn how to do a garland pose over VOIP has to first buy, and then spend, Ethereum on SmartSession’s smart contracts.


There’s another benefit: smart links can reward people for referrals. “If a yoga instructor wants to collect $20 per participant, for instance, they can choose to reward participants for bringing them new business,” Erez Ben-Kiki, founder and CEO of 2key, the Israeli company that’s developing the software, told Decrypt.

Ben-Kiki, of Tel-Aviv, said that the system was created in three weeks and that it is the first paywall to be approved by Zoom.

Zoom’s lockdown boom

The launch piggybacks on the immensely successful Zoom, which has boomed amid the lockdown imposed by governments during the coronavirus pandemic. A few months ago, Zoom had 10 million users. Last month, it reached 200 million.

Businesses have swiftly had to adapt to the new normal. For instance, Ben-Kiki’s wife, a yoga instructor, has moved all her yoga online. He concedes that not all her students will be interested in cryptocurrency—or have sufficient technical knowledge to buy some. In a class of 20 people, though, that a proportion of those will be willing to pay with crypto is “good enough for them,” said Ben-Kiki. 

In any case, no special software is required as ”2key is all online,” he said. Anyone can receive an HTTP link to a site that invites you to buy cryptocurrency. “You just have to want to enter the crypto world. It’s very easy,” said Ben-Kiki.


Those without the MetaMask Ethereum wallet browser extension can make use of SmartSession’s in-app Ethereum wallet, which supports the direct purchase of ETH in 17 fiat currencies. Next month, Ben-Kiki said it will also be possible to pay in the stablecoins DAI, USDT, and TUSD. Next quarter, others, including Bitcoin, will be added. 

Like many crypto products, SmartSession is hovering on the cusp of going mainstream. “We just started promoting it (today, actually), so no significant users there yet,” said Ben-Kiki. “But loads of conferences in the space (all online now) and solopreneurs have already expressed plans to use it from next week,” he added.

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