For the Die-Hards: Five Years In, Bitcoin Black Friday Narrows its Niche

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While momentum for bitcoin as a consumer payment method has waned, Bitcoin Black Friday is still attracting attention from merchants its fifth year on.

The event, a bitcoin version of the usually aggressive, post-Thanksgiving shopping spree, started in 2012 as what its founder Jon Holmquist calls “a half-baked idea”. But that impromptu first year has blossomed into a steady stream of demand from merchants catering to bitcoin-holding enthusiasts.

This year, more than 150 merchants participated in the event, a figure that was down sharply from 2013, when roughly 600 businesses sold goods.

However, there was a notable difference in its target audience in 2016. Rather than going after more mainstream merchants, Holmquist has shifted focus, positioning the event to attract businesses more likely to win heavy users of the digital currency.

This has meant targeting adult entertainment sites and bitcoin product providers to promote their Black Friday deals.

He told CoinDesk:

“The bitcoin community as a whole has come to the realization that bitcoin won’t be a currency used for consumers transactions. Mainstream consumers won’t be using it for online shopping. They use credit cards and they’re fine with that method.”

But while merchant numbers are down, Holmquist saw

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