Bitcoin Black Friday: The fourth-annual event is projected to include more than 150 participating stores, and if history is any indication could affect the price of the digital currency.
A retail event similar to traditional Black Friday, the Bitcoin version is for merchants offering deals exclusive to those paying with the so-called “tamagotchi of currency.” The event kicked off in 2012 with just a handful of sellers but has grown to include more than 150 retailers this year.
A full list of participating retailers has yet to be announced but will be revealed Friday on Bitcoin Black Friday.
Historically, this causes a spike in Bitcoin pricing. About this time in 2014, Bitcoin prices were at roughly $350 before going to $380 on Bitcoin Black Friday, a jump that also happened the year before. One reason for this could be the media hyping the upcoming event and getting Bitcoin in the mind of the consumers, but another might be that people who spent Bitcoin on Black Friday deals tended to buy the coins right back, potentially driving the price up.
Besides the economics of the market, Bitcoin value also benefited from the bump in consumer confidence that comes with seeing the coins associated with traditional, safely-executed purchases in the media — as opposed to stories about using the coin to buy MDMA on online drug-buying forum Silk Road, or a cryptocurrency exchange collapsing.
“It’s just good press for Bitcoin,” says Jon Holmquist, the founder of Bitcoin Black Friday. “You see all these people shopping with it and you see transactions done safely and retailers accepting it and shows how much Bitcoin has become part of the landscape.”
At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is trading on the downslope at $321.32.
The tricky part for investors is that in both 2013 and 2014 Bitcoin prices started to plummet following Black Friday. Such are the wiles of the anonymous, speculative money marketplace. At least one Bitcoin financial blog thinks that’ll be avoided this year because there are far more open marketplaces, so consumers could get better value for their money this time around. Caveat emptor.