Newegg announced on Tuesday that the company is accepting Bitcoins payments on the company's website. Several online commerce sites have jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon, including Target.com, Dish Networks, Overstock.com, Square Market, and Expedia. So-called altcoins got a boost this week, too, as transaction service snapCard announced it will accept payment in Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ripple (XRP), in addition to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ripple
Newegg specializes in computers, accessories, and other supplies, and the company also sells Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Like the other large companies that have begun accepting Bitcoins in the last six months, Newegg is partnering with an intermediary—BitPay in this case.
BitPay will conduct the Bitcoin transaction and immediately convert the Bitcoins into US dollars, which is what Newegg will see. This process is effectively transparent to both Newegg and the customer, making Bitcoin just another way to pay. Many people see that as essential to mass adoption of Bitcoin as a tool for commerce.
snapCard is a different kind of beast. The company allows people to shop anywhere and pay with Bitcoin. It does so by serving as a middleman.
With the use of a bookmarklet, a Bitcoin user can shop on any site. Instead of using that site's built-in ecommerce engine, the Bitcoin user can click the bookmarklet, and snapCard takes the item on the page and adds it to its own shopping cart.
You then check out at snapCard, pay with Bitcoin, and snapCard will place the order for you. The company makes its money by charging 2 percent for this service.
With more retailers taking Bitcoins directly, snapCard has broadened its reach by announcing it accepts Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ripple, three of the more popular altcoins. The process is the same as with Bitcoin, but users not have the additional options during checkout.
If you're looking for way to get into cryptocurrencies, check out my list of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin faucets that actually pay.