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Bitcoin Black Friday Boasts Over 300 Merchants for Holiday Shopping Event

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“I hope that more merchants will look at Bitcoin and think about accepting it, especially when they see all the other retailers we’re listing and the (hopefully) awesome amount of stuff Bitcoiners buy on the day of. This has truly been the year of the Bitcoin. It’s grown, it’s gotten easier, and it’s ready for mainstream adoption. This event will hopefully push Bitcoin, and all her merchants, closer to the mainstream.” — Jon Holmquist, Bitcoin Black Friday organizer

Energized by positive Senate hearings that focused on the many legitimate uses of Bitcoin, supporters of the digital currency are rallying the Internet to solidify Bitcoin’s place in the the most mainstream sphere: the holiday shopping season.

Hundreds of online businesses and charities are teaming up to launch Bitcoin Black Friday on November 29th.

It’s a one day extravaganza of deals for Bitcoin users that will allow tech-savvy shoppers to get all their holiday gifts purchased without spending a dime. Instead, they can spend their bitcoins, which have surged in value recently as they have become more and more widely adopted.

Full details about the day are at http://BitcoinBlackFriday.com

Bitcoin Black Friday

There are over 320 confirmed participants including:

  • OK Cupid – popular dating site will offer discount to Bitcoin users for their premium service
  • Reddit – offering discounted Reddit gold to Bitcoin users
  • GSM Nation – major seller of unlocked smartphones will start accepting BTC on Nov 29
  • CheapAir.com – deals on plane tickets for bitcoin customers
  • Namecheap – offering even cheaper domains and hosting when you pay with bitcoins
  • Private Internet Access – top rated VPN service sponsoring Bitcoin Black Friday
  • Humble Bundle — pay what you want, get awesome games, support charity, with bitcoin
  • Gyft – discounts on gift cards to major retailers, and you can pay with bitcoin
  • AdaFruit – open source hardware company that has just begun accepting BTC
  • Bitbrew – organic coffee you can buy with bitcoin
  • ChristmasTre.es – you can buy your X-mas tree with bitcoin, and get free lights
  • GOOD Magazine – offering $5 off subscriptions when you pay with Bitcoin
  • Internet Archive – discounts on merch from this venerable Internet institution
  • Beni Ouarain – authentic Moroccan rugs from the Beni Ouarain tribe, paid in BTC
  • Shave like Dad – bundled shaving gear, lower prices with bitcoins
  • Exohosting – 35% off web hosting when you pay with bitcoin
  • BitKidz – bitcoin business and book series run by three sisters under the age 13
  • CityWineCellar – first liquor store to accept Bitcoin offering deals on Black Friday
  • TorGuard – VPN privacy software, 75% off on Black Friday for bitcoin users
  • BuyReggae – offering 10% off all reggae vynyl if you pay in Bitcoin

Bitcoin Black Friday grew out of last year’s Bitcoin Friday event, organized by Bitcoin evangelist Jon Holmquist. Over 75 merchants participated, helping gain much needed attention and legitimacy for Bitcoin.

This year, Holmquist co-organized with viral Internet freedom activists Fight for the Future to throw the event. Fight for the Future are best known for organizing the first protest against SOPA, and creating vibrant online campaigns in defense of the Internet and basic rights.

“Bitcoin Black Friday is an awesome way to bring the whole Internet community together at a time when Bitcoin needs as much mainstream attention as possible,” said Holmes Wilson, co-founder of Fight for the Future, “Even though it seems like Bitcoin is going strong, it won’t be politically safe until it’s widely used by average Internet users — that’s already happening, but we’re speeding things up with Bitcoin Black Friday, and making it fun in the process.”

“Whenever you use a bank account, credit card, or Paypal there are hidden fees. Lots of the time you don’t see them, but sellers do. They’re invisibly making everything more expensive,” said Tiffiniy Cheng of Fight for the Future, “Financial services get a cut of everything, for doing no work.”

“With everything we’ve learned about government surveillance in the last few months, it’s easy to understand why more people and businesses are turning to Bitcoin,” Cheng noted, “It makes it a lot harder to profile you based on your purchases… it’s more like cash. Because of that, Bitcoin is more than just money, it supports free speech and social change.”

Many feel that Bitcoin disrupts some of the exploitation of the financial services industry: “When workers send money home to family abroad, Western Union takes a huge cut– even though these remittances are the lifeblood of many poor countries,” said Holmes Wilson, “Financial services charge the biggest fees to those who can least afford it.  But Bitcoin levels the playing field and brings fees to almost zero.”

The Bitcoin Black Friday website has an FAQ for people who are new to Bitcoin, and explains how easy it is to get some of the digital currency so average internet users can access the Bitcoin Black Friday deals. The wide range of merchants ensures that visitors can buy all sorts of things with Bitcoin including airline tickets, organic coffee, diamond jewelry, web hosting, tax preparation services, clothing, gift cards to major retailers, and even christmas trees.

Amidst the shopping craze, visitors to the Bitcoin Black Friday site will also have the opportunity to donate their bitcoins to a variety of worthy charities and non-profits including Sea Sheperd (as seen in Whale Wars on AnimalPlanet), Sean’s Outpost, Songs of Love, and the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica. The BitGive Foundation — a new non-profit that collects bitcoins and distributes them to public health and environmental charities — will be accepting Bitcoin donations on behalf of Save the Children to aid in disaster relief efforts in the Philippines.

Madeline Finch, Board Member and Secretary of the Foundation says, “We are excited to be a part of Bitcoin Black Friday and to bring a charitable aspect to this already alternative event. And Save the Children and their relief efforts in the Philippines is exactly where we want to see our donation drive make a big difference.”

“Bitcoin is a great tool for merchants at every level,” says Jon Holmquist, who organized last year’s Bitcoin Friday event, ”because it is decentralized (making it nearly free to send and receive money) the deals merchants can offer are a lot lower than any deals they’ve been able to offer before.”

Bitcoin Black Friday is backed by a solid circle of Bitcoin believers including the Bitcoin Investment Fund, Silicon Valley Angel, and Ribbit Capital. It is sponsored by merchants Private Internet Access, Gyft, BitDazzle, and the Bitcoin payment processors BitPay and Coinbase.

Learn more at bitcoinblackfriday.com


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