Thecryptostore is an e-commerce website where you can literally buy anything in bitcoin from groceries, to electronics and clothes. We got the chance to interview Jonathan Farah, the founder of theCryptostore, and asked him about theCryptostore and how it is different from other e-commerce websites.
Tell us a bit about theCryptoStore?
Me and my co-founder thought about creating a place where everyone can go and buy anything from groceries, to shoes, a woman’s jacket….etc, because we realized that a lot of merchants were integrating bitcoin and starting to accept bitcoin, but the issue was that you go to a shoes store online, they would accept bitcoin, but if you want to get a pair of jeans as well, you would have to go to a different store. It is really difficult to find the items that you’re looking for and be able to purchase them with bitcoin. We wanted to solve this problem and theCryptostore was only created to solve it. There are big e-commerce websites that accept bitcoin including overstock and a lot of other smaller ones and the issue we had with that as bitcoin advocates, is that they don’t have the community aspect that the bitcoin world does have, and that what keeps bitcoin together and keeps the echo system going, the tight nick supporters within the community and we didn’t feel that these websites are tailored to the bitcoin community as they just accept cash and think like “we’re going to accept bitcoin as well, just because we can a bit more profit”. We wanted to create an atmosphere that had the bitcoin community within it, so we added the “shellbox” to our website, where people can chat live to each other; it is like a miniature foum. We have a blog going with different information about helping people enter the ecosystem; help them get into bitcoin and we have bitcoin prices up on our website, so we try to create the bitcoin atmosphere within theCryptostore
Do you do any dropshipping or are all the items you sell stocked in your inventory?
We partnered with a lot of companies from all over the world and it is all dropshipping. Our headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina on the East Coast
How do you collect BTC payments from your customers; do you use APIs like Coinbase or so, or do you have your especially developed cart system deployed?
When we addressed the issue of acceptance of bitcoin, we decided to go with Bitpay because they have a fantastic track record. We knew that they can be accountable, if there were any issues with the payment process taking place, so rather than doing something private within our own company, we decided to partner up with an experienced company which had a fantastic track record and we thought that would work with us very well.
Big e-commerce websites are starting to accept bitcoin e.g. Ebay and Paypal are starting to accept bitcoin through the Braintree payment system; how do you think you’re going to stand in the face of competition of such big companies?
Honestly, we heard a lot about potential competition with big companies as ebay and overstock are already accepting bitcoin; we’re not here to fight big websites like that, we are here to provide a website where bitcoin users can go and feel that they are part of the community, so it is going to be fantastic if ebay starts accepting bitcoin, but only 30% of their inventory are new products, as 70% of the products are used, so that’s something that sets us apart along with the community aspect we are stressing on.
How do you modify the price of the products you sell in the face of the highly volatile price of bitcoin?
At first, I would like to note that the fluctuation in the price of bitcoin is fantastic and I believe that this is bringing more people into the ecosystem, every second of every day which is something I love. The way we modify our prices is that we work with bitpay to utilize their API, so it puts live prices of each item.
How do you market theCryptostore? How do you spread the word about it for bitcoin users who would love to purchase things online using bitcoin?
Actually, we’re going to work with NewsBTC to do some advertising, but other than that we’re huge on Twitter @thecryptostore . We like to utilize the social media because it gives us the opportunity to rely to our client base, rather than us just publishing press releases, we’re able to connect on an individualistic level with each person within the community. We’re also obviously frequently posting on forums and we’re turning them into active channels between us and our customers by encouraging them to tell us if they like to see anything changed or any products they want to see added on the store’s inventory.
Do you have a money-back guarantee for the items you sell on theCryptostore if the purchased items are delivered damaged or a wrong product has been shipped…etc?
Yes, we have a money-back guarantee for such circumstances.
How do you fund your project?
TheCryptostore is a subsidiary of Encrypted Labs Incorporation, which is our umbrella company and we received a seed funding around 8-12 months ago and we essentially used that funding to create the store.
Finally, I would like to note that we want to provide something that the bitcoin community is happy with and we leave the door open for that by accepting everyone’s input. We would love to connect with people and I want everyone to feel that he/she is a part of theCryptostore.