I stumbled on https://brawker.com/ last night. It lets you buy anything online using bitcoin. It works a lot like purse.io, the website that lets you buy on amazon using bitcoin, which I’ve done a video about.
Brawker creates a marketplace for two groups of people. People who want to spend bitcoin online, and people who want to buy bitcoin using a credit card or paypal. Bitcoin spenders submit orders, and purchasers make a bid on the order. The spender accepts any bid, then the spender buys the order with their credit card or paypal. The product is shipped to or redeemed by the spender, who then releases the bitcoin from escrow.
Today being Valentine’s day, I felt like treating myself to a pie. (Thanks to JakeHasAnApple for the idea! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riw96gVDUBI)
I went to http://www.pizzarita.net/ and created an online order. One large 5 pounder pizza, and breadsticks. Since I live outside of the delivery zone, I set the order for carryout. I entered in a tip (they always do a great job) and got the total for the order. Lucky for me, pizza rita uses a food ordering system called ChowNow, which is social media friendly and gave me a link to share! The link was meant to post on facebook, then your friends can review the order. It worked perfect because following the link would bring up the food items, scheduled time, carryout status, and specific store.
(it breaks after the scheduled time, but the link looks like this)
I signed up on Brawker, and created an order. I pasted the above link into Brawker, along with a description of everything I wanted ordered. It was about 6AM when I did this, and I wanted the pizza at 5PM, so there was plenty of time for buyers to bid on the order.
That they did. A few hours later, two buyers bid on the Brawker order. I chose the buyer that wanted a little more of a fee, but had great reviews and was reportedly, “fast”, and “frictionless”.
Once accepting the bid, the buyer was quick to send me a message, “
That was my queue to add funds to escrow. Easy enough, just scanned the QR code on the website using the bitcoin android app.
A network confirmation later, I received another message.
“Have checkout/order ready to go on my end”
Soon after, the buyer sent me a pdf of the ChowNow order confirmation. My pizza was scheduled!
That evening, I went and got the pizza. I was excited to see how the pickup would go. Everything was all paid for, I just had to establish that the pizza belonged to me, even though I wasn’t the direct purchaser. The conversation went something like this.
Counter attendant: “Hi how can I help you?”
Me: “I’m here to pick up an order for Chris”
attendant: (asking cooks) “Do we have an order for Chris?”
(a cook points to two boxes on top of the oven)
attendant: (inspects receipt) “This does not say Chris”
Me: “My buddy ordered it”
attendant: “What’s you’re buddy’s name?”
Me: (thinking back to the brawker order) “Jay.”
attendant: (looks at receipt) “Jason?”
attendant: “Ok that works! Enjoy, have a great night!”
I walked out smiling. I paid an internet stranger bitcoin to buy me a pizza using his credit card. All with minimal trust, but by the power of escrow, knowing I’d be satisfied. This is a strange transaction but it works so well. Pizza Rita gets dollars, Brawker gets bitcoin, Jay gets bitcoin, I get pizza. Welcome to the future of barter!