Simona Cioroiu   09 Dec 2014   Alumni, Diplo Blog, E-tools, Internet Governance

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Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is on the day after American Thanksgiving so Black Friday 2014 was on 28 November.

While the majority of users paid for their items in cash and credit cards, bitcoin’s friends weren’t left out; they had a Bitcoin Black Friday where users of the international digital currency community had the opportunity to choose from a large variety of discounts online. Merchants prepared special deals for customers paying with bitcoins; 1200 merchants joined this year’s online event. Besides Bitcoin-exclusive deals, users had also the possibility of instantly purchasing small amounts (like $25 worth) of cryptocurrency with a credit card.

In 2013, Bitcoin Black Friday was considered a big success but this year, the amount spent over the weekend set a new record in the cryptocurrency system: $296 million in bitcoins. The analysis shows that Black Friday itself ($152 million) is still the most popular shopping day compared to Cyber Monday – the Monday following the Thanksgiving weekend just $144 million). ‘Like all other payment networks, Bitcoin saw a surge in volume over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with higher than usual payment totals over the two days’, said Akif Khan, VP Solutions Strategy at Bitnet – a company that provides a digital commerce platform enabling enterprise-scale merchants to accept bitcoin payments, quoted by HereIsTheCity.com. ‘The Bitcoin network handled $296M in two days – that’s impressive when taking into account the currency is only five years old and is still growing with respect to merchant and consumer adoption.’

Big retailers decided to join the Bitcoin Black Friday this year. Newegg had special offers for a selected variety of products; Purse.IO solved the problem of purchasing items from Amazon with Bitcoin, offering up to 20% discount when using it. On Overstock Bitcoin customers did not have a special deal; they could join same deals as everyone else but Overstock donated 3% of its Bitcoin-generated profits to organisations that actively promote cryptocurrencies around the world.

BitPay also posted a preview of its merchants that offer4ed great Bitcoin Black Friday deals for shoppers, alongside other merchants, such as SchiffGold, BitcoinBowlPackages.com, Gyft, Black Country Rock Media , SurfEasy, Amagi Metals, Fangamer, Silver Gold Bull, amd Soundwallet

While having fun shopping, BitPay reminded to customers that they should also consider donating to the non-profit organisations who accept bitcoin donations: American Red Cross, BitGive, Greenpeace USA, Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Internet Archive, Ferguson Municipal Public Library, SERV International, Literacy Bridge, United Charitable Programs, ReefCheck, Apopo, Australian Spinal Research Foundation, Rett Syndrome Research Trust, National Association of Junior Auxillaries, RAI Benefit, RU4ME Pet Rescue.

Bitcoin is, of course, in the beginning of its growth, so it will be interesting to see how the Bitcoin Black Friday shopping event evolves over the few next years.

If you are interested in predictions regarding this date, go here and have a look.

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