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Bitcoins Coming To A Store Near You, As Well As Amazon & 'Almost Human' Too!

You know that Bitcoins have gone mainstream when this unique form of tender is featured in the plot line of a current TV drama. That's right - the world's first decentralized cryptocurrency lacking any political authority was featured in the recent season finale episode of the Fox network series show, 'Almost Human.' Granted, while the premise of that detective drama is set in the year 2048 -- Bitcoins are today fast becoming an accepted form of currency, not only for online commerce sites, but also by brick'n mortar retailers as well.


One would have thought -- a virtual currency like Bitcoin which originated from the depths of the nefarious Deep Web just over 5 years ago  --- would have required a more rigorous and lengthier vetting process before being accepted by consumers and retailers for commercial transactions. Yet, it's become so mainstream, Forbes magazine listed Bitcoin as one of the best investments of 2013, and followed that distinction up by  publishing an eBook, titled Secret Money: Living on Bitcoin in the Real World, penned by staff writer Kashmir Hill.

Merchant sites were initially led by trustworthy online stores that have stood the test of time, the likes of Wordpress, Reddit and OkCupid, according to the Bitcoin Trader in February, 2013 when they ranked them by their Alexa Global Ranking.



So who got Amazon to BITE on Bitcoin?

One does not think of Amazon as an early adopter - particularly for them to consider a questionable currency like Bitcoin for their online business transactions. However, the new API Zinc Save has come up with a solution that addresses that issue head-on. As a third-party they will not only make transactions 'for you' when you purchase from online mega stores such as Amazon, Target, Macy's and Walmart, they will also accept your bitcoins as a form of payment.

The service, which works as either a Google Chrome extension or browser bookmarklet was founded by three college mates from MIT. As explained by co-founder, Max Kolysh, "a lot of online retailers have APIs for data retrieval, but they don’t have APIs for actually making the purchase. We thought it would be cool to create that for them, as a third-party."

Bitcoiners can be penny-pinchers, too!

And not only can you pay with Bitcoins, the beauty of Zinc Save is their software platform scours the Web for the best price on any item you add to your shopping cart. Their automation will seek out discounts, short-term promos and mark-downs. In this typical example (to the right), you can see that the process is almost 'idiot-proof' and saves the consumer not only money, but the time it would have taken him or her to search for the same deal themselves.

But can you get Real with Bitcoins?

For those wanting to know what their precious Bitcoins are worth at any hour of the day, at the time of this posting this was the current exchange rate at the 'Simple Bitcoin Converter.'




[Note: If you're not a risk taker, Bitcoins might not be the investment for you, since Bitcoin has fallen over 50% from from its high of $1000 on November 27, 2013].


According to Bitcoin Charts, there are currently over 12.5 million Bitcoins in circulation today, March 31, 2014. In December, 2013, the number of businesses on CoinMap, a website showing physical companies and vendors accepting Bitcoin had tripled to more than 2100. Three months later, that number has risen to 3842, as of this posting.




That's a whole heck of a lot of Bitcoin burning a whole in your virtual pockets, wouldn't you say? So, what about that Bitcoin-rich individual who'd like to spend some at brick'n mortar stores when he or she is out and about in the real world?

Well, those establishments do exist - but they are still few and far between. It's the savvy [usually smaller] retail entrepreneurs who are ahead of the curve. These are early adopters who are not necessarily household names.

Reany's Burger BearReany's Burger BearFor instance, according to a Bloomberg Report last December, Reaney's Burger Bear became London's first street food vendor to accept Bitcoin. Within three weeks approximately 50 customers had used the currency, consummating the transactions by making transfers with their smartphones.

Innkeeper Vesna Sic, co-owner of the Lekkerurlaub Guest House in Berlin told a Bloomberg reporter she "had one man from Texas who has nowhere at home he can spend his Bitcoins, so he came to Berlin for a week to spend them."

Nashville's My Second Home, a high-end pet boarding and grooming business, began accepting Bitcoins in January. Chris Starko, its marketing director, said they felt it would give the business a competitive edge.

"We want to be seen as a progressive company versus our competitors," he said. "The [Bitcoin payment] process takes only a minute, allowing our customers to quickly pick up their pets and make their way home."

What About You, Big Spender?

Are you ready to start investing in this new currency? Or are you already a convert to all things Bitcoin - like this sad Reddit user who vowed to eat his hat if Bitcoin ever fell below $1000USD? Not only did he live up to his promise [when Bitcoin plummeted to $580], it took him over 45 minutes [in this video] to provide you with the proof. Strange bunch those Bitcoin investors. Wonder if this guy is about to commit suicide, now that it's fallen below $500USD?


Other related posts about Bitcoins, can be found here:

  1. Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bitcoins But Were Too Broke To Ask!
  2. Real-Life 'Breaking Bad' Kingpin Captured In The Deep Web Running eBay Of Vice  
  3. Is Bitcoin's Founder 'Satoshi Nakamoto' Keyser Söze?

 

 

 

 

 

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Ron Callari
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