A virtual currency that's only 4 years old, Bitcoin is steadily gaining steam. Not only is the peer-to-peer, decentralized money now hitting new highs of $825 (USD) on the market, but Congress is surprisingly tolerant of it, admitting last week it will not attempt to outlaw it. Intrigued? Then your question becomes, "How can Bitcoin help me do my holiday shopping"? Well, Fight for the Future, a digital-rights advocacy group, is so glad you asked. In an effort to boost public awareness of the fledgling currency — and to cut its current users a great deal — it's organized Bitcoin Black Friday, which bands together one-day fire sales exclusive to Bitcoin users. Let’s take a look at the special access it offers.
Bitcoin Black Friday’s online base is currently offering a sneak preview of its deals. It isn't giving away specifics yet, but if you register your email, you’ll be getting updates soon. So far, everything seems targeted toward the "traditional" (a.k.a. very progressive) Bitcoin community — a proudly worldly, tech-savvy crowd who likes to customize its lifestyle. High-end hackers, if you will. One featured deal offers an unlocked GSM phone at a discount, another has 3-D printers, and another is granting private Internet/VPN access. Having trouble buying a new laser printer at your local Best Buy? You can do it through BitCoin! There’s also a Reddit gold membership up for grabs, wall art that profits WikiLeaks, and Sriracha-bacon lollipops (oh, hell yes).
For the more conventional shopper, there are still deals to be found: You can sign up for Gyft, which allows you to use Bitcoin to buy gift cards at major retailers like Amazon, Kmart, and Starbucks. You can also peruse BitcoinShop.us for instant access to appliances, home goods, crafts, and more. (An air conditioner on there is ฿0.3971, or about $328, depending on the strength of the Bitcoin at your time of purchase.) There are no fire-sale savings here; the point of a store like this is simply to expand the map of where the currency can be used. If you support Bitcoin's cause, you’ll probably be looking for convenient ways to spend your virtual money — and, with the way commerce is evolving, we expect that to be just about anywhere, very soon.