When I discovered that many Etsy sellers accepted Bitcoin as a form of payment, I spent several hours browsing the website and seeing all of the cool products that could be bought with the digital currency. While people love to discuss the larger companies that accept Bitcoin (and so do I!), I wanted to bring to light some of the more unique items available from smaller sellers.
I was immediately drawn to The Cosmic Library, for the remarkable inventory of oddities & more. In this shop, I could buy products ranging from obscure books to plaster casts of facial features to a brass tube for burial records… and all with Bitcoin! I reached out to the shop owner, D.M. Foster, to find out more about The Cosmic Library.
Emily Braun: What are your main inspirations for the items in your store, and where do you go to find these items?
D.M. Foster: For the most part, I try to buy and sell things I’m interested in. I’m a huge collector of weird books – ones that deal with spirituality, occultism, and generally unusual subject matter. Conspiracy theories, cryptozoology, magick, philosophy, pseudo science, etc… The stranger the better.
My grandfather was high up in the Freemasons and a few other fraternal organizations, which got me interested in the history and mysticism surrounding secret societies. Even with the massive amount of information available online, some of these old Masonic books have things that you just can’t find on the internet or anywhere else. I just sold a book privately printed in 1885 for a Freemason in England that goes into detail about chambers within the great pyramid. The crazy part is that some of these chambers that were mapped out in the book weren’t officially discovered until decades later. Shit like that is what keeps me interested and on the hunt. I keep in contact with other collectors and dealers, but most of the pieces I pick up are from auctions, estate sales, even thrift stores.
Braun: What first gave you the idea to start an Etsy store?
Foster: My mom was selling jewelry on Etsy [about] 8 or 9 years ago, and she was killing it, selling pieces all over the world. Back then, eBay was the go-to site for selling antiques and vintage items, but the fees were steep. Etsy was an attractive alternative with less fees and some interesting niche sellers. I set up a shop about five years back, and I’ve met some really cool people and made a few sales.
Braun: When did you first hear about Bitcoin, and what were your first impressions of it?
Foster: I’m definitely not an early adopter of Bitcoin, but I started playing around with it in early 2013, when the prices were bouncing above and below $100 a coin. It’s “underground” mystique initially got me interested. Like everyone else, I dabbled in day trading and trying to predict the unstable & erratic prices for a while. I made a few good returns, but unfortunately, I sold the bulk of my coins before it really spiked. I’ve made some money and lost some money playing the Bitcoin markets, but I learned a lot about how the blockchain works and what an incredible idea this whole thing is – so much more than just an investment opportunity or a way to buy things pseudo-anonymously. This actually could change the way our financial system works and shift the whole power structure. Like most others, I’d love to see prices skyrocket, but the fairly stable markets as of late are a good sign that Bitcoin is moving forward – stability is a key to widespread adoption.
A quick Google search for “accepting Bitcoins on Etsy” lead me to a few sites and threads. I was stoked to find out that not only was it possible, but there were several sellers already accepting Bitcoin. Giving buyers a wide range of payment options is a great thing for any business, and helping to spread the concept is a bonus.
Braun: Have you had any customers inquire about or pay with Bitcoin since you started accepting it on Etsy?
Foster: I’ve only had a handful of buyers pay with Bitcoin so far, and I’ve also had a few sellers contact me who wanted to start accepting [Bitcoin] in their shops. As it becomes more widespread, I’m confident I’ll see more inquiries for my wallet address and more payments using Bitcoin.
– Emily Braun