The traditional Black Friday holiday in the U.S. falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which has marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season since the 1950s. The origin of the name “Black Friday” is not clear, though it may stem from the fact that workers would call in sick on the day after Thanksgiving to secure a four-day weekend. In the 1980s, The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article that suggests the name stems from the fact that retailers make profits on this day, transitioning from red-inked losses in their ledgers to the use of black ink.
Regardless of the origin of the name, this holiday is regularly the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States.
In 2012, Bitcoin Black Friday was launched by Jon Holmquist to hack this mainstream cultural moment and help Bitcoiners showcase the advantages of their favorite technology. With the launch of BitcoinBlackFriday.com, Holmquist encouraged retailers to list special deals on their wares, accessible to customers who used BTC. This simultaneously encouraged more merchants to accept bitcoin and more Bitcoiners to showcase the power of the technology for payments.
Thousands of merchants have participated in Bitcoin Black Friday, but the celebration fizzled in 2017 when Bitcoin’s use as a payments tool became conflated with the larger community debate over block sizes and on-chain transaction speeds.
Following substantive progress in scaling and payments for Bitcoin, including the evolution of the Lightning Network and the emergence of new payment card and processing solutions, the team behind Bitcoin Magazine decided to bring Bitcoin Black Friday back in 2020.