A number of prominent businesses in the Bitcoin community are participating today in the first promotional event of its kind in Bitcoin’s history: Bitcoin Friday. To celebrate the second anniversary of the Bitcoin project being registered on Sourceforge in November 2010, MtGox, BitPay, WalletBit, Coinabul, PrivateInternetAccess, BitMit and many smaller shops and services both online and offline (complete list here or here if the first link is inaccessible) are offering discounts on their products just for today.
The event was originally conceived and organized by Jon Holmquist, head of marketing at the precious metals seller Coinabul which recently celebrated its first anniversary. The intent was simple: to introduce more people to Bitcoin and to reinvigorate consumer spending from existing Bitcoin users; as Holmquist wrote, “With news reports of 78% of bitcoins not being spent, we need to do something.”
Among the established Bitcoin businesses offering sales are:
- Coinabul offering $1 off silver and $10 off gold
- MtGox halving exchange fees for 48 hours
- The merchant platform WalletBit is reducing processing fees by half (0.89% -> 0.445%) and BitPay is waiving theirs entirely.
- The Bitcoin Store offering free shipping for purchases over $100
- Also from the elctronics department, Bitcoin Blaster and wtcr.ca are offering up to 15% off and 30% off, respectively.
- Private Internet Access, Mullvad and CryptIP all offering about 25% off on their VPN offerings
- Canadian Bitcoins is offering 10% off on buying bitcoins (effectively almost 100% off of their commission) for cash in the mail.
- BitBrew and Bitcoin Coffee offering 15% and 20% off, respectively.
- SatoshiDice donating all of today’s profits to the Bitcoin Foundation
There are also several surprise deals that have appeared today. The startup car manufacturer WIKISPEED, whose cars can drive 100 miles on a single gallon of gas (that’s 2.14 L per 100 km) while remaining completely street-legal is offering 20% off on its cars and T-shirts for one day. If anyone is thinking of ordering a WIKISPEED car, by buying today they can save thousands of dollars. Also, Bitcoin Pride, selling Bitcoin promotional clothing, has chosen today as the day to announce their grand opening, offering free shipping for anyone who buys today.
Local businesses too have joined in the sale, and to them Bitcoin Friday is more than a sale; it’s also an opportunity to bring their local Bitcoin communities together. Room 77, “the restaurant at the end of capitalism” in Berlin, is offering 23% off on everything and free drinks to people paying in Bitcoin, but has also invited anyone to come to a day and night where anyone can learn about Bitcoin, get help getting software installed and, obviously, buy bitcoins. Bitcoin users outside of Berlin with friends there are encouraged to invite them to visit and pay for them in Bitcoin remotely. Room 77 is also announcing Bitcoin Kiez (Bitcoin Neighborhood), a project to help other businesses in the neighborhood start accepting Bitcoin as well. Joerg Platzer writes [German] that “at the end of Bitcoin Friday one will be able to not only eat and drink for Bitcoin in the Graefekiez area at Room 77, but also, for example, munch at Primo Maggio Pasta or slurp fabulous cocktails in the bar… In the next few weeks the experiences of the participants in this public beta phase will be taken into account to further adapt and optimize the Bitcoin infrastructure. During this time more retail stores and restaurants will announce their acceptance of Bitcoin to the point that in December you will be able to go shopping for Christmas gifts and eat in many cafes and restaurants and pay for everything in Bitcoin. We are calling it ‘an alternative local currency with global reach'”.
And, of course, Bitcoin Magazine itself is participating in the Bitcoin Friday bitcoinfriday.com sale with a 25% off limited time offer. You can buy issues #2 #3 #4 for only 20.00$ at bitcoinmagazine.com/subscribe.