South African online marketplace bidorbuy introduced bitcoin as a payment method in March 2016, motivated by the wish to offer more diverse choices to its buyers and sellers.
“As with any innovation, it takes time for people to get used to it”, says bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker. “But these days, about a year and a half since we added bitcoin, it is apparent that this virtual currency has garnered a following on the site.”
Throughout 2016 and in the first half of 2017, there was a steady increase both in the number and in the value of transactions paid with the bitcoin digital currency. At the end of July and beginning of August 2017 there was a noticeable decline, which can be attributed to the upheavals in the bitcoin community.
However, recovery followed soon. In September 2017, the number of bitcoin payments on bidorbuy increased by threefold in comparison with September 2016. In the same period, the value of goods purchased with bitcoin increased almost 6.5 times. The September 2016 to September 2017 comparison also shows that the average value per basket of goods paid with bitcoin increased from about R650 to a little over R1,300.
“Bitcoin transactions still represent only a tiny percentage of the total number of sales on the site”, says bidorbuy CEO and adds: “Still, the adoption rate of this new and not very well understood method of payment is promising and we expect to see steady growth in future.”
The majority of regular bidorbuy sellers accept bitcoin. Out of almost 3.2 million items currently listed on the site, more than 2.3 million, or about 70%, can be purchased with bitcoin.
While buyers on bidorbuy have bought a variety of items with bitcoin, from plant seeds to jewellery, computer related products and electronics feature most prominently in their baskets.