This year’s Bitcoin Black Friday offers the most expansive group of merchants and items we’ve seen thus far from the Bitcoin community. With prices surging in excess of $1000 USD for the first time many merchants are looking to use Bitcoin as a catalyst to increase their holiday sales. Groups such as Namecheap and Virgin Galactic have thrown in their support for this year’s Bitcoin Black Friday in addition to a multitude of other Bitcoin retailers new and old.
For an exhaustive list of merchants that are participating in this year’s Bitcoin Black Friday you can check out BitcoinBlackFriday.com. Here are a few merchants and items I’ll be checking out today as well as a few charities that are worth a look.
The focus on Black Friday is often on good deals and big retailers so it’s nice to see that Jon Holmquist has put some focus on charities accepting Bitcoin. Amongst others the Bitcoin Black Friday website lists Bitgive who is collecting for typhoon relief in the Phllippines and Fight For The Future, an Internet privacy advocacy group. There are a lot of other groups that are not listed but accept Bitcoin such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Donating with Bitcoin has some clear advantages over using traditional currencies. As the Huffington Post reported in 2010 following the disaster in Haiti, credit card companies make a significant amount of money off of charitable giving skimming 3% off of each transaction. With Bitcoin more of the money you donate will actually go to the charity of your choice and not the payment processor.
Gyft recently broke open the number of places you can spend Bitcoin by offering a host of merchant gift cards for Bitcoin. I’ve yet to use Gyft myself but will likely change that today by picking up a few gift cards for those difficult to shop for relatives. They’re also offering a Bitcoin Black Friday deal by offering more Gyft points for every dollar equivalent of Bitcoin spent. They’re offering 4 points for every dollar spent with Bitcoin versus 3 for Paypal and 2 for credit cards making Bitcoin the preferred form of payment. With Amazon, Game Stop and Papa John’s gift cards offered, its an easy place to pick up some gifts for Bitcoin or tech enthusiasts.
I’ve had good experiences with Bitcoinin in the past. They’ve done a great job of listening to the Bitcoin community and now offer a bunch of items that appeal directly to Bitcoiners. Today’s offerings include electronics like the Apple Ipad Mini or Raspberry Pis as well as books ranging from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to programming books like Violent Python. They’re a great place to check if you’re looking for something for the special Bitcoin enthusiast in your life or just picking something up for yourself.
Almost certainly meant to appeal to the newfound Bitcoin millionaires out there, Virgin Galactic now accepts payment in Bitcoin for its recreational space flights. If I were among the wealthiest Bitcoiners this is something I’d be considering because hey, who hasn’t dreamed of experiencing zero gravity in a futuristic spacecraft? Not to mention that they’re offering a small rebate for anyone who uses Bitcoin on Bitcoin Black Friday to purchase a ticket on one of their spaceflights.
Everyone knows the well meaning Aunt that continually gifts clothing during the holidays. Instead of ending up with something you’ll never use, point her towards Mixed Tees. Accepting Bitcoin and offering up to 50% off on Bitcoin Black Friday, Mixed Tees has a good selection of clothing for the tech junky in your life.
There are a ton of other merchants, some are listed on the Bitcoin Black Friday website and some are not. For instance, sites such as openrigs.com, who sell racks for GPU mining rigs (mostly used for Litecoin mining now) and Cystruct (wireless routers) are both offering their goods for Bitcoin at a discount. If you’re free today it is a good opportunity to check in with your favorite Bitcoin merchant to see what they’re offering.
If you’ve never spent Bitcoin I suggest you give it a try. I love seeing the price of the Bitcoin I’m holding go up, but I also love using the revolutionary currency. Spending Bitcoin demonstrates a newfound control you have over your money and is incredibly rewarding. Many of the merchants participating in Bitcoin Black Friday are early adopters that have put a lot into the Bitcoin community. You’re likely to find more interesting gift options from these merchants than at any big box store and a lot of them are offering decent discounts. If you’re looking to do some holiday shopping take a look at these Bitcoin supporters prior to venturing out to the world of big box stores.