S13 E4: Lawrence Rothbardian & Travin Keith on ShopInBit

ShopInBit is a truly unique business in the Bitcoin space: instead of waiting for retail giants like Amazon and Walmart to enable BTC payments, they built the store themselves. Currently, you can find more than 800.000 items on the ShopInBit website – with products ranging from laptops, cameras, mobile phones, and watches, all the way to Bitcoin merchandise and educational books.

But CEO Lawrence Rothbardian (aka Lando) and CTO Travin Keith (aka Tavern) aren’t satisfied to just offer an online store with a limited number of products. Their concierge service supplements the demands of those who have more specific tastes that can’t be found among the 800.000 products: you tell ShopInBit what you want, they order it and deliver it to you, and then you pay for everything in bitcoin. There’s a fixed 50 euro fee for items cheaper than 1000 euro and a 5% fee on more expensive items. For example, I couldn’t find the Legend of Zelda version of Nintendo’s Game & Watch portable console in local stores, so I picked it up from ShopInBit.

Furthermore, ShopInBit is also involved in the business of helping you find the best deals for flight and hotels. Travin Keith’s CTO position really refers to that of a Chief Travelling Officer – as he is the guy who will help you get the bang for your bitcoin. Just like in the case of physical items, you pay for trips and hotels using BTC.

Why pay in bitcoin at all instead of saving it while spending your fiat? Well, this is a major talking point throughout the episode. First of all, the economic argument is that BTC purchases will get you a 3% discount. You can save another 5 euro discount if you use promo code BTCTKVR. The 3% isn’t some arbitrary number – it’s how much ShopInBit saves by not dealing with PayPal and credit card companies.

Secondly, you should pay with bitcoin to support the economy. We’ll never turn BTC into a legitimate currency if we don’t use it to buy products and services that improve our lives. Building an economy for the internet’s native currency is part of the journey and for this we must support companies which accept it. Amazon will never add bitcoin payments unless they see competition from smaller retailers that embraced it first and there’s also genuine market demand for it. So we either work our way up, or else work towards replacing today’s retail giants with Bitcoin-centric companies.

ShopInBit also offers some privacy benefits that you don’t find in most online stores. For instance, there is no tracking on their website and they don’t care to know what you’ve been clicking on for the purpose of making you recommendations. They also don’t ask you to set up an account unless you want to. After the delivery has been made, ShopInBit deletes your data in 30 days. In comparison, Amazon wants to know everything about what you browse, how much time you spend on each page of the website, and what you’ve previously purchased. If possible, these retailers also track you across multiple websites – but not ShopInBit.

There is, however, a premium that you pay for the privacy. Not because ShopInBit has purposely higher prices, but because it’s hard for them to compete with the economies of scale of retail giants that have larger storage and delivery operations. Yet CEO Lawrence Rothbardian (referred to as Lando throughout the interview) takes pride in the surprisingly low rate of returns – ShopInBit shoppers know that they’re using hard money, so they take their time to research the products before ordering them. While the average online retailer handles a return rate of 15 to 20%, ShopInBit only receives such requests from 1% of the buyers.

This whole piece might sound like an advertorial, but I honestly love ShopInBit’s business model. It’s honest, it’s fair, and it’s driven by the desire to increase the use of bitcoin in commerce. I didn’t invite Lawrence Rothbardian and Travin Keith on my podcast and subsequently write this article because I’m after their sponsorship money – I did it because I honestly believe that the Bitcoin project needs this type of initiatives that are useful and bridge real world items with the internet’s native currency. There’s a huge ideological overlap between ShopInBit and Bitcoin Takeover – and the fact that a partnership can exist is ideal for both sides.

Lsten to Lawrence Rothbardian and Travin Keith on Spotify, Apple Podcasts & YouTube!

In the true spirit of privacy and tracking minimization, I strongly recommend you to use this free player and open it in the Tor browser. I honestly don’t care to know your real IP address (which carries information about your ISP and geographical location) and I’m happy to spread this knowledge with you.

On the other hand, if you do use these big tech streaming platforms then your feedback is very much appreciated. Likes, comments, subscriptions, and star ratings are very important in terms of instructing the big tech algorithms to rank the content a little higher. So if you want other people searching for Bitcoin content to come across the Bitcoin Takeover podcast (rather than other shows), then a few seconds of your time and a few clicks will make a significant impact.

But for the entire video experience, you will have to go to YouTube. Hope you’ll enjoy this episode, I certainly found it great to discover like-minded bitcoiners that build a service that I’ve started to use before I invited them on the show.

Bitcoin Takeover Podcast Season 13 Is Sponsored By Wasabi Wallet, Cryptosteel, Bumbee & ShopInBit!

Wasabi offers a free and open source private-centric wallet which makes use of mega CoinJoins in order to provide excellent plausible deniability and obfuscation. If you don’t want your KYC exchange to know what you’re doing with your bitcoins after you withdraw them, join a Wasabi CoinJoin round and reclaim your freedom to do whatever you want with your money without being tracked – exchanges such as Coinbase and Crypto.com are interested to know where their users spend their BTC after withdrawing them.

Also, if you’re concerned that someone else you know in real life has access to your public addresses and knows how much BTC you own, Wasabi wallet has got you covered. For amounts lower than 0.01 BTC, you pay no coordination fee – but if you’re wealthier, the fee is 0.3%.

Download Wasabi wallet 2.0 for free today and reclaim your privacy!

Cryptosteel are innovators in Bitcoin cold storage. Back in 2013, they launched the Cryptosteel Cassette, which made it easy to back up your seed phrase, passphrase, or any other form of private key on the sturdy metal which resists water, fire, and earthquakes. 

Today, Cryptosteel offers the MotherLode: an all-in one box which endows you with everything you need to become financially sovereign. Inside the ModerLode, you get a Cryptosteel Capsule and a hardware wallet of your choice.

All Cryptosteel products are engineered and manufactured in Poland. Order your Cryptosteel metal backup system today on Cryptosteel.com and use promo code BTCTKVR at checkout for a 10% discount on your order. Cryptosteel – secure your wallet seed phrase!

Are you a writer, photographer, musician, or video creator who’s trying to generate some revenue? Bumbee is the Bitcoin way to monetize your content. It’s more censorship resistant than any other platform of its kind, with a low and flat one-time fee of 10%. 

Bumbee is as easy to use as any social media mobile app. Sign up today at bumbee.com and subscribe for free to the Bitcoin Takeover account to get access to some time-exclusive content. If you’re monetizing your creativity, why not get paid in bitcoin for it? Bumbee.com – the Bitcoin way to monetize your content.

Online shopping with Bitcoin is easy. ShopinBit is Europe’s biggest Bitcoin Store with over 800 thousand products. Ranging from Bitcoin books, toothpaste, mobile phones, computers, and watches. This month, I bought a Nintendo Game & Watch console with the classic Legend of Zelda – and it arrived in only 5 working days.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ShopInBit’s got you covered. Their concierge service will get you anything and ship it worldwide. Additionally they also have a Travel HACKING Service to get you the best deals on all things travel: Flights, Hotels and more, for business and for vacations.

Bitcoin Takeover listeners get a nice discount,  of course:

Use code BTCTKVR on your first order for a one-time 5 euro discount.

For more details, go to ShopinBit.com. ShopinBit – Europe’s biggest Bitcoin store.

Vlad Costea

I'm here for the freedom, censorship-resistance, and unconfiscatability. What about you?

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