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You can use bitcoin for Mother’s Day

By Allison Ross · Bankrate.com
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Posted: 5 pm ET

Photo courtesy of BloomNation

Photo courtesy of BloomNation

News flash: Mother's Day is only three days away.

Bankrate has already written about tips to use credit cards to mitigate Mother's Day expenses.

But you also can use bitcoin to buy something for the mother(s) in your life.

As the use of the virtual currency continues to gain broader acceptance, there's been an ever-widening pool of merchants accepting bitcoin. And that includes florists.

"We've been surprised with our bitcoin users," says Gregg Weisstein, co-founder of BloomNation, an online company that connects consumers with local florists.

BloomNation began accepting bitcoin payments about three months ago, Weisstein says. They've received a number of bitcoin orders this Mother's Day, he says.

The average flower order from a bitcoin user is about 50 percent higher than the average order value in general, Weisstein says, noting that the average order value for the site is about $95, while for its bitcoin customers, it's closer to $150.

"It's an awesome opportunity for bitcoin users to let their mothers know how much they love them," Weisstein says.

And for those bitcoin users that forgot about Mother's Day until today? Same-day delivery is an option at many of the florists BloomNation is working with, Weisstein says, so procrastinators aren't out of luck yet.

A growing number of third-party intermediaries are allowing merchants across the company to accept payment with bitcoin.

For instance, restaurant delivery network Foodler began accepting bitcoin last year, meaning that smaller and larger restaurants around the country could indirectly be paid in bitcoin for their food.

Similarly, Gyft allows consumers to use bitcoin to buy gift cards from many of their favorite merchants, including Target, Victoria's Secret and even 1-800-Flowers.com.

Meanwhile, some merchants are accepting bitcoin directly. For instance, Wellington Florist in Wellington, Florida, began accepting bitcoin awhile back. However, it said it hasn't received any Mother's Day orders by bitcoin users.

In other news

If your mother happens to be involved in politics, maybe you can use your bitcoin to donate to her political action committee instead of buying her flowers.

The Federal Election Commission took up the issue of how bitcoin and other virtual currencies can be contributed to political campaigns and political action committees.

On Thursday, the committee voted to allow bitcoin donations of up to $100 to political committees.

"The commission concludes that bitcoins are 'money or anything of value' within the meaning of the Act and that (the petitioner) may accept contributions as it proposes," the commission writes. It also said the PAC could purchase bitcoin but that it must sell them and convert them to U.S. dollars before depositing them into the campaign account.

For more on virtual currencies, learn about some of the alternate coins to bitcoin that are out there.

Are you a Mother's Day procrastinator? What are you doing about last-minute gifts?

Follow me on Twitter: @allisonsross.

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