Coin Forest is a new site that enables bitcoin users to take advantage of group discounts from bitcoin friendly merchants. The team behind the site is based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Coin Forest will promote limited time deals with online (only) companies that are part of the bitcoin community.
The Coin Forest team consists of the founder, John Mardlin, who has a degree in mathematics and engineering; and Brandon Gains who is a Victoria-based entrepreneur specialising in business development and online marketing, as well as a student of the University of Victoria.
As with Groupon, the mainstream name in group-deals, Coin Forest will make its money by taking a cut of the revenue made by the various promotions.
Bitcoin entrepreneur Michael Parsons thinks that the service could be attractive for bitcoin users. "It provides a new avenue to spend bitcoins on an already tried, tested and trusted business model which is already understood - and the novelty of spending bitcoins on services (or goods) of value at a significant price discount."
Parsons also stresses the importance of the nature of the deals offered for consumers, and the potential risks for merchants associate with bitcoin's volatility.
"The success of Coin Forest will depend upon the quality of its discounted deals that holders of bitcoin will find attractive and the amount of discount provided. However there is a monetary risk (or advantage) to Coin Forest's suppliers if deals are live at a time of large fluctuations in the bitcoin exchange rate - they may want to have the option (in their T&C's) to terminate a deal instantly before the deadline if the bitcoin exchange moves within certain parameters."