Business review site, Yelp, has announced that it is adding ‘Accepts Bitcoin’ among its descriptions of companies. The new feature allows business to indicate that they accept bitcoins, similar to other filters such as providing Wi-Fi, providing reservations, or offer live music. For users, as of today, searching for businesses that accept businesses hasn’t been added to the list of ‘More Features’ to filter searches by, but it is assumed that it is only a short matter of time before it will be included.
In its blog post announcing the new feature, Yelp mentioned a bit about the benefits of bitcoins for businesses, stating that “Bitcoin also allows for consumers and businesses to transact without having to store sensitive data like a credit card number. Finally, like cash, Bitcoin’s transactions are one-way, so businesses don’t have to worry about chargebacks.”
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With a market cap of nearly $4 billion, Yelp is one of the largest business review sites in the world with over 53 million reviews and average monthly unique of 120 million, as of the end of 2013. For bitcoins, one aspect of Yelp that is specifically important is the firm’s surging mobile footprint, as mobile uniques using the company’s app and mobile site reached 53 million at the end of 2013. In addition, 30% of new reviews are said to originate from mobile. As a result, once adding the ability for users to search by ‘Accepts Bitcoin’, Yelp could become a go to destination for discovering businesses where bitcoin is accepting in one’s locale. This in turn would be expected to lead to higher bitcoin transactions, which could fuel additional businesses to accept the digital currency.