Andreas Antonopoulos Proposes Campaign to Highlight Yelp’s Bitcoin Merchants

Pete Rizzo
May 2, 2014 at 20:45 UTC
Updated Jun 4, 2014 at 16:00 UTC

Noted technologist and Blockchain chief security officer Andreas Antonopoulos took to reddit today to kickstart a campaign to create an alternative to the “We Accept Bitcoin” signs popularly displayed by merchants.

The proposal was prompted by Yelp’s decision to highlight bitcoin merchants, and follows its introduction of a new attribute for its business profiles earlier this week. This update now allows merchants to advertise that they accept bitcoin to site users.

Antonopoulos’ plan calls for the creation of a new graphic design that would incorporate both the traditional “People Like us on Yelp” sticker used by the business with the existing “We Accept Bitcoin” graphic.

In addition, he listed a number of additional steps needed to see the project through to fruition, including finding a printing company, generating script to extract a list of bitcoin-accepting companies on Yelp and getting volunteers to handle the mailing and distribution.

Antonopoulos said in the post:

“We can use this opportunity to get the bitcoin logo on the door of every Yelp business that takes bitcoin, remind them to check the new option on Yelp and create buzz around Yelp’s choice to include bitcoin, driving more businesses to use it and ‘rewarding’ Yelp’s support for bitcoin listings with rapid adoption of that feature.”

‘Guerrilla marketing’

Antonopoulos called the effort a “guerrilla/unauthorized marketing project” that would hopefully encourage merchants to replace their existing Yelp stickers with those that feature bitcoin branding.

Said Antonopoulos:

“Many will be happy to replace their Yelp sticker with one that also shows they accept bitcoin, which will allow us to highlight that.”

Antonopoulos also suggested that merchants may believe that Yelp issued the new stickers, adding validity to the display signs in the eyes of merchants.

Community response

At press time, the proposal had generated a healthy response on reddit, with 23 total comments, most of which expressed enthusiasm or support for the proposal.

However, not everyone believes that bitcoin should be taking this approach to spreading awareness, as at least one commenter noted that co-branding could perhaps dilute bitcoin’s overall message.

Others suggested that the message might be heavy-handed considering that Yelp does not have any formal relationship with bitcoin.

For more on the success merchants are seeing from bitcoin sales, revisit CoinDesk’s three-part merchant survey.

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