How many people are willing to walk up to Random Joe Merchant and ask if he'll accept Bitcoin for something? Not too many, I'll bet. And if you're a merchant, Bitcoin seems quite the investment, doesn't it? So, even if you knew about Bitcoin, even if a customer was brave enough to take the time to try to talk you into it, you might not consider it worth the effort.
Let's help alleviate this on both ends by making a Merchant starter package, of sorts, and posting it at the top of places like http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade
. Here's the idea:
- Paper pamphlets to be handed out to mom-n-pop shops containing:
- An overview of what Bitcoin is, why it's as legal as bartering with sheep, and why merchants should love it.
- Links to "Bitcoin Accepted Here" signs and buttons available through some place like http://www.cafepress.com/.
- Links to online wallet services.
- A QR code generator built into Bitcoin clients. It would encode a private key, the value associated with the private key, an identity for looking up associated reputation information, and that identity's signature.
- Android and iPhone apps for merchants dealing with the above QR codes.
- Secure and reputable wallet websites that the mobile apps would talk to. Those websites might also help merchants track customer reputation histories for the QR code phase of Bitcoin's existence (NFC devices require too much of an investment, for now).
The last three items would make it trivial for merchants to start transacting with Bitcoin. Also, I know many of these resources already exist in some form. I'm just saying, IMHO, they haven't been put together well, yet. Thoughts?