When I previously chatted with Spendabit, they were just starting out with about a million items that could be purchased. Things are always growing in the Bitcoin space at a rapid pace, and Spendabit is no different with now more than 2.5 million items indexed. Today I talk with Chris, the CTO and Co-Founder of Spendabit regarding region support and how Spendabit has changed in the last couple of months.
1. For a brief refresher, what is spendabit?
Spendabit is, primarily, a “search engine for things you can buy with Bitcoin”. (We may have a few other things cookin’ back here, but for now the “Bitcoin search” label is pretty accurate.) ;)
2. Since our last interview (in July) how have things changed?
Good question. Although the core of what we are doing is the same (product search), we’ve made excellent progress on several fronts.
First (as per our recent announcement), we have added “Region Support” . This means that Spendabit is no longer U.S. or North America-centric. We presently have support for and list products from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., but we plan to expand that list quickly and continuously, based on demand from our users and where ample Bitcoin-accepting merchants can be found.
Second notable development: When we last exchanged emails we were indexing products from only a couple-dozen Bitcoin-accepting merchants; we presently list products from several hundred websites, and even more individual sellers (with new merchants being added daily). Moreover, the number of products we search has gone from around 1-million to well over twice that.
It is also worth mentioning that our number of merchants has grown, percentage-wise, much faster than our number of products. Tis is because we have added so many small merchants, whereas there have not been many new large, Bitcoin-accepting merchants in recent months.
There have been many other “behind-the-scenes” sorts of improvements, on an almost daily basis. We are constantly trying to improve search result relevance and the quality of the product listings, alongside the number of goods and merchants.
3. Since getting merchants to list their products is your livelihood, how has that worked out?
We are very proactive about this. Merchants do not have to add their products explicitly to our website (though they can request we add them), but rather we crawl the Web and “grab” products.
On this subject though, I’ll mention that we are very soon releasing a tool (we call “Merchant Suite”) that will be targeted at helping smaller merchants (and even some of the larger ones) make their products stand out amongst the crowd… Among the ‘perks’ for the merchants that sign up will be custom product tagging (so products get more relevant matches), international product listings, and support from us to ensure all their products are listed fully and accurately.
For anyone that’s interested in learning more about Merchant Suite or wants to see their products added to Spendabit, we have a little introduction page where you can submit your website/store details, with more concrete details to follow shortly: https://spendabit.co/merchant-suite
4. How do you feel your contributions will impact Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a whole?
We hope Spendabit will have a positive effect on the Bitcoin ecosystem (and likewise the broader world of cryptocurrency) in two ways:
1. By serving as a sort of educational tool to show people that Bitcoin is legitimate and that youcan purchase real things with it (just about anything these days).
2. By giving seasoned ‘bitcoiners’ a tool to keep more of their economic activity within the “Bitcoin Economy” — which in turn should strengthen Bitcoin as a currency and encourage further merchant adoption which should help dispel all the FUD about merchants putting a sag on the BTC price notwithstanding*.
*Yes, to some extent merchants liquidating ‘coins puts pressure on the price, but aside from this being a relatively small force as more businesses accept Bitcoin as a payment method, it will provide more incentive to existing merchants to just hold onto their ‘coins and use them directly for their expenses. We do not condone merchants liquidating BTC upon receipt, but we also realize they need to deal with the fact that most of the world is still on the fiat-money standard and the price of a Bitcoin is not exactly stable yet — not yet. :-)
Thanks for the thoughtful questions!
As a side note for any readers, please take our survey to help us decide which countries to focus on next!
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