The digital currency Bitcoin has been front and center in the news recently. Following last week’s US Senate hearings on virtual currency, Bitcoin has hit all time highs exceeding even the most optimistic estimates for price versus fiat currencies. Meanwhile Bitcoin merchants have been putting together their own push aiming to make this year’s Bitcoin Black Friday the biggest yet.
For those outside of the US, Black Friday is the day following the American Thanksgiving holiday. It is by far the largest shopping day of the year for US retailers and marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Traditionally box stores such as Walmart or Best Buy offer large discounts on a few sought after items to draw bargain hunters into their stores. Some shoppers will line up days or weeks in advance for the shopping day just to be first in the door. Given that the Thanksgiving holiday always falls on a Thursday, most American schools are closed and many professionals have the day off on Black Friday.
Bitcoin Black Friday
Last year Bitcoin enthusiasts and retailers helped to put together a Bitcoin version of the Black Friday shopping holiday. According to Jon Holmquist, organizer of Bitcoin Black Friday, most Bitcoin merchants had their best day of the year last year.
“We had some merchants getting the amount of orders they get monthly in a single day.” – Jon Holmquist
Mr. Holmquist went on to say that he expected this year to be particularly big if Bitcoin’s price continues to rise. With a current price topping over $1000 USD on some exchanges, this could be a hug year for Bitcoin merchants.
Over the past year a slew of online businesses and retailers have begun accepting Bitcoin. Large internet based companies such as WordPress and Namecheap announced their acceptance of Bitcoin much to the delight of many Bitcoin enthusiasts. Earlier this week Namecheap announced they’d be participating in Bitcoin Black Friday once again cementing their place as early Bitcoin supporters and adopters. I’ve personally had success using Bitcoin with Namecheap and would suggest them as a registrar.
Additionally Bitcoin centric retailers such as Bitcoin mining companies have once again come to support Bitcoin Black Friday. Bitcoin mining company Butterfly Labs announced they’d be slashing the prices of their ASIC miners on Bitcoin Black Friday. I would however be somewhat cautious with BFL as they have had difficulties both producing and delivering on their pre order products in the past.
This years event offers a wide range of other goods and services too. Ranging from custom 3D printing for Bitcoin, to electronics at Bitcoinin, to airfare via Cheapair. Check the Bitcoin Black Friday site for an exhaustive list of retailers participating in this years event.
Bitcoin’s Inherent Discount
One of the biggest draws to using Bitcoin has opposed to traditional payment processors has been the inherent discount that comes with using Bitcoin. Some online retailers, such as Bitcoin Store or Bitcoinin have focused their business model specifically on this. While credit card companies and the like are busy charging 2-3% per transactions, Bitcoin costs retailers little, if any fee.
Many Bitcoin retailers use software by companies such as Bitpay, which uses a software as a service model rather than charging a fee per transaction. This means that as the volume of sales these companies do increases, the price per transaction significantly decreases. This lack of fee makes Bitcoin particularly appealing for online retail as there is an inherent discount in using the digital currency.
Whether you’re looking to do some holiday shopping, or just pick up a few things at a discount, Bitcoin Black Friday is an event you shouldn’t ignore. I’d recommend budgeting whatever money you’d like to spend out ahead of time and acquire your Bitcoin for the event. There will also be a number of charitable organizations participating in this years Bitcoin Black Friday, a list of which can be found on the Bitcoin Black Friday site. Another thing to note, according to Jon Holmquist many retailers didn’t sign up for the event until just prior to or the day of Bitcoin Black Friday. While we’ve seen some big announcements ahead of the event, I’d suggest checking their site the day of as new retailers will likely be added.