“I have Bitcoin listed as a payment method, but nobody has bought anything with it.”
This has been one of the more common refrains I’ve heard from merchants when I ask them about their Bitcoin badge.
Its usefulness as a currency is only one of the features that will eventually propel Bitcoin into general usage. Right now, though, there is no question that Bitcoin’s major features are as a way to save (as long as you have faith in its staying power) and as a way to speculate. That isn’t to say that there aren’t Bitcoin sales going on, nor that there aren’t Bitcoiners who are incredibly generous with their coin. It’s just that this is the trend at the moment.
I wrote an article a few days ago about how 2014 is the year that Bitcoin will begin to see widespread acceptance. I argued that this spread will be on the back of people buying Bitcoin with the intention of using it. At the moment, though, finding a seller who accepts Bitcoin is a bit haphazard. There needs to be a better way to put people buying and selling with Bitcoin together.
One company trying to do just that is Anonymous Ads (A-ADS). Run by three people, Nikolai Goldberg, Alexandr Zykov, and Arsen Gasparyan, A-ADS is an very simple platform to post ads about your business that will be picked up by Bitcoin related sites, meaning that the right kind of people, those interested in spending in Bitcoin, can find you. For publishers, it is a way to monetize in Bitcoin while also supporting the Bitcoin economy.
A-ADS is very simple to use. You only needed to input a receiving address to get ad code to use on your site. You can look at my sidebar to see the results for yourself. In fact, the text ads are a little spare, and frequently enough they don’t even display ads. Yet despite this, what has impressed me the most is that I have seen a far greater return on my A-ADS advertisements than I have on all the other advertising providers I have tried combined.
At the time of this writing, there are only 30 campaigns running on A-ADS, and many of those are gambling. To me, this suggests that the great number of Bitcoin accepting businesses are not making the most of their Bitcoin Accepted badges. There are, of course, services like Coinmap and Bitcoin Yellow Pages, but this is making the potential customer find you. These businesses are probably doing a lot of traditional advertising, Adsense and Facebook. It would make a lot more sense to spend a few bitcents on a service like A-Ads, CoinURL, BitAds, or Bitcoin PR Buzz, to help people find them.
2014 is likely to be an exciting year for Bitcoin, both for better and for worse. We are going to see progress, and disasters, rallies and crashes, official acceptance and crackdowns. The one thing that is likely to keep improving on a steady curve is Bitcoin adoption.
I was fortunate enough to get in contact with Arsen Gasparyan to talk about Bitcoin and how to make the most of A-Ads.
Where are located?
We are a tiny team distributed among different locations. We don’t have a legal entity in any particular country yet. But we are searching for an investor who could help us to choose the right jurisdiction and solve potential legal issues.
What got you interested in Bitcoin?
Lack of borders and bureaucracy. Anybody can make a startup during a weekend and start accepting bitcoins without any paper work!
Bitcoin is in a bit of a slump on the back of China’s seeming official pull back. What do you make of that and what do you think will happen with Bitcoin in the next year?
Everybody was expecting this to happen sooner or later, governments of other countries may decide to impose restrictions on Bitcoin usage too.
But Bitcoin was designed to be global and regulation resistant. It is quite possible that other countries instead of fighting Bitcoin will appreciate its potential for creating jobs and increasing the tax base. I expect to see a lot of exciting news about Bitcoin in the next year. A lot of new people will become aware of Bitcoin and will join the Bitcoin economy despite the high volatility and possible governmental attempts to limit its growth. Maybe I am a bit over-optimistic, but it is quite possible that by the end of 2014, Bitcoin will become as ubiquitous as email.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to monetize a blog or otherwise use your system?
- Don’t put too many ads on your page. We distribute money among publishers with respect to globally unique IPs, so there is no sense in placing many ads on the same page (unless it significantly increases chances to generate a sale for advertiser that rewards for it).
- Be patient. It may take some time before we collect enough statistics and start showing ads on your site (especially for low traffic sites). Also the variance in income is high (see our public stats (//a-ads.com/stats).
- Allow gambling ads. A significant number of our advertisers are related to Bitcoin and gambling, so if you disallow gambling ads, you are likely to earn less.
There have been a number of high-profile hacks lately. What advice do you have for people to keep their bitcoins safe?
First you have to realize that if you lose your bitcoins, nobody will return them to you.
I hate to say it, but in many cases it might be safer to hold bitcoins on some well-established exchange with 2-factor authorization enabled. For the sake of convenience you can withdraw pocket money from the exchange to your local wallet (but remember to encrypt it!).
Any significant bitcoin savings should probably be stored in password-protected paper wallets. Just make sure your computer is not compromised when you create it.
I am not telling you the particular exchange or paper wallet generation script because I don’t want to be responsible for your potential losses. You can find out everything yourself and make your own decisions.
I would like to thank Arsen for answering my questions. We are an affiliate of A-ADSas well as some of the other services mentioned on this page. If you are going to use these services, we would greatly appreciate it if you would click through to them from our links. It will go a long way to support the work that we do and cost you nothing.
BitcoinWarrior.net will be interviewing and reviewing other services like this one in the near future. If you would like to have your business or service profiled on BitcoinWarrior.net, please email us at editor(at)bitcoinwarrior.net.