"Bullish?" ...or is "Drone-ish" more appropriate?
Online or in person, Bitcoin is now accepted by The Carolina Bee Company.
We at The Carolina Bee Company feel that singleton ledger technologies like Bitcoin will revolutionize commerce and other contract activities over time. Thus, we felt we needed to participate as soon as we were comfortable doing so.
We have accepted Bitcoin for some time when in person, but not online. Today that has changed. In the past, we only accepted BTC in person because our eCommerce shopping cart provider, Squarespace, and payment processor, Stripe, don't quite have their act together in this space. Bitcoin currency and competing "alt-coins" are relatively new, so that is understandable. We do know that Stripe (Squarespace's payment processor) has had Bitcoin support in beta for quite some time. Both Paypal and Square (not to be confused with Squarespace) are also working towards full support. And with a slew of online retailers now beginning to accept Bitcoin -- e.g. big-and-splashy vendors like Overstock, Dell, Tesla, Virgin Galactic, Etsy, Dominos Pizza, Tigerdirect, Newegg, Expedia, DISH Network, etc... -- we expect that Bitcoin has hit a tipping point. It is only a matter of time before it becomes "mainstream" at this point.
But it is still far too hard for your average Joe to (a) wrap his head around the concept, and (b) to get started and feeling comfortable using Bitcoin. And there are so many vendors out there to choose from to manage your Bitcoin "cash". It can be confusing. If you don't understand any of this, that's okay, it is still early days in the world of cryptocurrencies. It may be something you want to keep an eye on though as it becomes more mainstream.
If you are unfamiliar with Bitcoin, we would recommend going [here] and reviewing the websites provided at the bottom of that page in footnote (i). In a nutshell, Bitcoin is a store of value (like your everyday state-managed money, like the US Dollar). But in the case of Bitcoin, it is managed through a peer-to-peer network of computers connected to the Internet with no central authority. Our company has a unique Bitcoin address X and we send money to you who have a unique address Y. Kind of what Paypal does, but without needing a Paypal, a Wells Fargo or US Government to manage things centrally.
How is this possible, you ask? "The How" is the killer application and why Bitcoin is so important. It's the concept of what the Bitcoin folks call the "Blockchain" and how that blockchain is stitched together... all through decentralized consensus. The inventors of Bitcoin came up with a means to manage a ledger in a manner that requires no central authority. That ledger is called the Blockchain. This is a ledger that ensures that transfer of information from X to Y happens, and happens uniquely. That transfer is conducted and entered into the ledger (the Blockchain). There is only one transfer. There is only one ledger. That ledger is effectively an Internet-wide singleton (for all you computer sciencey folks out there).
The implications are enormous, and we are convinced this concept will revolutionize the world... in many the same ways that email and the Internet revolutionized the world. Bitcoin is only one implementation of what can be done with a such a concept. Think of it this way: An exchange of money, or value, is really a contractual relationship. You asked for N Bitcoins and I sent you N Bitcoins + maybe a tiny fee. It was written into the Blockchain, confirmed, and ... done! No bank or government entity oversight needed!
Now think about other contracts where one needs to guarantee amount, transfer, and fulfillment. Like, oh... legal contracts. What about voting? The range of applications are infinite. The implications and potential impact are incalculable. The US Government could even implement their own spin on the Blockchain to issue standard US Dollars to reduce counterfeiting if they so choose. Or... maybe even simply switch to Bitcoin itself.
So. We are Bullish on the Blockchain. And all the Blockchain-like technologies to come. Bitcoin is one implementation of this open source technological concept and we are now supporting it for purchases of awesome bee stuff—Both online and in person. Until Squarespace and Stripe support it fully, the process has an extra step in the middle, but it is still pretty easy to accomplish (you can use the same process if you want to pay us a check, by the way). Squarespace has a load of other eCommerce issues we take issue with (they can't manage NC taxes well at all!!!) but they are a good service overall and we think they will improve over time.
So, come Bitcoiners... shop at The Carolina Bee Company and make the world a bit cooler and more democractic one BTC at a time.
(send payment to this address)
Update! (2014-09-24) - Stripe: "Bitcoin as the IP layer"
- PayPal has announced that they are partnering with leading Bitcoin payment processors to allow its merchants to accept Bitcoin for digital goods. I.e., PayPal is embracing Bitcoin, but cautiously. You can read a bit of analysis here, here, and here. This is significant. And with Square already accepting Bitcoin with its Etsy-like Squaremarket hosted platform, and with announced intentions to support Apple Pay and Bitcoin via its register soon... Neat things are afoot! But Stripe seems to really get it more than any other...
- Stripe "gets it." Stripe has been experimenting with Bitcoin acceptance for some time, but Stripe is publicly taking the long view in seeing that the Blockchain is the killer app. Yes, Bitcoin is a store of value and unit of account, but the game changer from their perspective is its utility as a transport of value. At the moment, transporting currency is expensive. And if you are transporting currency over borders and via multiple banking gateways, it gets very complex and very expensive very quickly. The Blockchain eliminates that complexity and that cost. I.e., The middleman disappears. The Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) Blockchain becomes "the IP layer." Read all about their view here. Regardless, of how this pans out... Blockchain technologies are going to change the world.
Update! (2015-02) - Stripe accepts Bitcoin; Squarespace does not
In February of 2015, Stripe, which powers the backend of our website and many other services, began processing Bitcoin. Alas, Squarespace, which powers the front-end of our website seems to be in no hurry to add the very simple needed flag to enable Bitcoin support so that the services can be properly stitched together. It is unknown at this time if they intend to enable this any time soon.
- Article on the topic by Wired: http://www.wired.com/2015/02/bitcoin-comes-influential-payments-startup-stripe/
- The Stripe Bitcoin marketing page: https://stripe.com/bitcoin