Saturday, 9 July 2011

So Where Do You Go For A Bitcoin Shopping Spree...?

No, you don't have to take a dicey trip (no pun intended) to Silk Road. For a vast array of goods, from chocolate, to spices, organic and gourmet foods, beauty treatments, small electronics and gadgets, clothes... you can spend your bitcoins, or US dollars, at the recently launched BitCoin World Market.

BitCoin World Market was founded by Dan McDonley and Jonathan Stack, two San Francisco entrepreneurs who have registered and licensed BitCoin World Market in California, US. They come from a background of other successful internet business in retail and marketing combined with the technical programming background to interface Bitcoin into an e-commerce platform.

With over 10,000 products and 9 categories to choose from, the site is as welcoming and user-friendly as any regular online store that strives to offer a satisfactory shopping experience, and plans to keep old, new and prospective customers up to date with its growing product lines and offers with a newsletter which you can currently subscribe to for a 15% discount off your first order.

With the bitcoin to dollar exchange rate around $14 to 1BTC (as at the time of writing this post), however, a lot of products aren't exactly cheap. If you're one of those bitcoin-rich early adopters who acquired/mined/bought when bitcoin was less then $1, then you're on to a good thing here! However, for those of us who've only recently discovered bitcoin, it might be a site to do some online window shopping while we wait for the inherent deflationary nature of the digital currency to kick in.

As the currency gains more users and more merchants begin to sell their products and services in bitcoin, BTC prices are sure to fall in due course. How long that will take I don't know but, for now, BitCoin World Market will be like an exclusive, top-end online store, a bit like real-world Harrods – you'll go there and buy one of their cheapest offerings so that you can say you've bought something from the store (and get the signature green and gold bag, although I'm not sure what kind of packaging BWM has), but your best bargain, for now, will probably be had during seasonal sales.

They source their products from independent small businesses rather than large corporations, which also adds to that exclusive, high-end feel, and offer their suppliers a safe, secure and risk-free way to sell their goods in bitcoin where, no matter how volatile the market, they get paid.

BitCoin World Market currently only ships within the US, but plans are afoot to cater to an international clientele eventually. Personally, I'm saving up for my first bitcoin shopping spree!

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