New startup brings Bitcoin purchases to major retailers

It is now possible to purchase products from leading retailers using Bitcoin. A new startup called snapCard has developed a

It is now possible to purchase products from leading retailers using Bitcoin. A new startup called snapCard has developed a system that will allow customers to pay online retailers like Amazon and eBay using Bitcoin.

The system works off an external shopping cart on snapCard.com. The end-user must first register with snapCard, send Bitcoins to a snapCard Coinbase wallet in his name, and add snapCard’s bookmarklet to the browser’s bookmark bar. When the user finds the desired product, he simply clicks on the bookmarklet and the option to pay with snapCard appears. Once the button is pressed the item is added to the snapCard shopping cart and is ready for checkout. snapCard processes the payment in front of the merchant and the user’s wallet is debited.

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“We want to make the shopping process as easy and fast for Bitcoin users as possible,” Michael Dunworth, snapCard’s co-founder added.

The service does have some restrictions. eBay auctions are not supported, and can only be completed with Buy-it-Now purchases. Premium account incentives are also not calculated, like Amazon Prime. Currently only Target, eBay, Best Buy, New Egg, Amazon and Walmart are supported, and the snapCard team is working on adding more companies to the list. As snapCard is not backed by any of the retailers, the users are charged a 2% transaction fee.

Startup accelerator and investment firm, Boost, raised the initial funding for snapCard. Boost was also one of the initial investor in Coinbase.

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snapCard launched its beta period on the 8th of November, and have since gained a 1,000 users and have completed more than $10,000 in transactions. snapCard ended their beta period today, and is now available to everyone.

Will this mark the beginning of the long awaited “switch” where people will spend their Bitcoin instead of hoarding them? Bitcoin aficionados are longing for this as this seems to be the only way to make Bitcoin a reality, regardless of the current rate of more than $1,000 per Bitcoin.

One thing is certain; this could lead many of these huge online retailers to move a bit faster toward accepting the crypto-currency .

 

Image courtesy of Flicker

 

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