Retailers love Bitcoin in spite of its volatility. For them, the digital currency is a preferable, more practical alternative to traditional credit cards because it features lower transaction fees and it not susceptible to the same risk of fraud. Merchants argue that payments via Bitcoin don't have a significant role in their businesses, yet the niche is expanding at an incredible pace. CEO of GameTimeZone, an online seller of gaming consoles and games, Chris Nicols, says:
"It's really been fantastic," [...] "We're a merchant that unfortunately has to worry about credit card fraud. When we see orders from companies like Poland and Eastern Europe and even Western Europe in high dollar amounts, we have to worry. With Bitcoin we know that it's a safe transaction"
GameTimeZone started accepting payments via Bitcoin in October 2013. Orders cover as much as 20 percent of the sales, which appears to be above average. Overstock.com says that transactions via Bitcoin account for 0.25% of the daily volume; within the first 3 months of providing the option, the retailer mentioned that US$1 million in sales were made with Bitcoin; they're now approaching $2 million, offering, earmarking 3% of their profits towards Bitcoin promotion, and is getting ready to accept international BTC payments.
"It's limited to a very small community of tech-savvy people," [...] It's not growing as fast as people would like. It's just not. It will go mainstream at some point in two- to five years"
- Vinny Lingham is the CEO of mobile startup, Gyft.com
Gyft began accepting transactions in bitcoins in spring 2013; the company was one of the first online retailers to accept the payment option. Soon after, a wealth of others followed. Apparently, Bitpay claims to be working with 40,000 merchants while its main rival Coinbase, is not far behind with 35,000.
So let’s recap the new businesses that have got on the Bitcoin bandwagon in the past week:
Gotham Cookies Accepting Bitcoin
Bitcoin has taken New York City by storm. Business of all sizes and shapes are starting to accept the digital currency. Gotham Cookies, an artisanal cookie company, sources the highest quality ingredients and offers everything from traditional flavors such as Chocolate Chip to more ingenious creations like Apple Pie, Salted Caramel, or Crème Brulee. The company provides delivery in NYC and also nationwide, and they recently mentioned they completed lots of Bitcoin sales.
Gotham Cookies are Bitcoin advocates. To buy the cookies with Bitcoin, customers must visit their welcome page, place an order and select their payment mode. The website uses a web host meant particularly for merchants, known as Shopify, which gives them the chance to implement Bitcoin into their payment system.
Local university store in Seoul starts accepting Bitcoin
A local university in Seoul just opened a store that accepts payments in bitcoins. Hence, the small business became the country's first university to adopt the controversial crypto currency. As for the store, apparently we're talking about a hot dog joint, placed on the Hanyang University campus. University officials said:
"Transactions are simpler compared to traditional forms of payments like credit cards, and there is no fee involved because [bitcoins] are traded between individuals without intermediaries like banks or credit card firms, [...] Before long, bitcoins will become a transaction means that threatens credit cards."
Also known as the King of Shave, shave.com is a British company created in 1993. They have been competing with Schick and Gillette for decades, and now they seem to be on the verge of a marketing breakthrough with Bitcoin. According to a recent Reddit comment, customers can purchase their favorite Shave products with bitcoins.
"Was gonna order some extra razorblades from my favorite brand King of Shave and got really surprised that they accepted Bitcoin"
E-commerce company Avalancha partners with BitPagos and Bitex.la
E-commerce company Avalancha started accepting Bitcoin via a partnership with Bitcoin exchange Bitex.la and BitPagos, a Bitcoin merchant processor. Avalancha will make use of BitPagos to allow South American users to buy goods with bitcoins from top brands such as Whirlpool, Nintendo, and Samsung. As for Bitex.la, its role will be to help trade some of Avalancha's bitcoins for USD at the request of the company.
CEO of Avalancha, Miguel Klurfan, says that the company's goal is to offer online shoppers a superior degree of convenience. He adds:
“Paying with bitcoin is seamless, while [...] payment processing companies in Argentina are not so well prepared for online business. That’s why we are very interested in developing bitcoin as soon as possible”
Members of BitPagos and Bitex.la have mentioned that Avalancha sees Bitcoin as a major payment tool meant to encourage customers to spend. Thus, thanks to the cryptocurrency, the company is preparing for long-term growth.
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