"Bitcoins for Christmas" was launched today with the goal of introducing new users to Bitcoin.
Potential new Bitcoin users have been burdened with extensive research, poring through endless articles about hacking and malware, figuring out how to download a client and then, how to secure it. If they got that far, they then freaked out because their coins hadn't shown up until three hours later when the blockchain finally finished downloading!
Bitcoins for Christmas removes that burden.
With Bitcoins for Christmas, you can give Bitcoins to anyone that has an email address. The site will send out an email to the intended recipient, informing them that they've been sent a Bitcoin gift. A unique link will then take them to the site, where they will be given a three-step walkthrough on how to install the lightweight MultiBit client (no blockchain), copy their Bitcoin address, and paste it into a form. The site will then send them their gift, and it's done. The new Bitcoin user will then be provided with some links to where they could potentially spend their coins.
If you want to send someone a large gift and you're worried about MultiBit's lack of security, that's not a problem either. Bitcoins for Christmas will inform you when the recipient has been sent their coins. At that point, you can contact the recipient and talk them through the installation of the Satoshi client; not a burdensome task when you, the experienced Bitcoiner, are supporting the process.
The main principle behind the site is that when you send someone free Bitcoins, they're going to be far more interested in Bitcoin than if you had simply tried to educate them. The site's FAQ explains things a little more thoroughly.
Bitcoin users could also potentially use it as a platform to send Bitcoins to someone where they know the intended recipient's email address but do not have their Bitcoin address handy.
From the site itself:
"Bitcoins for Christmas charges no fees. We're sponsored and protected by the leading and most trusted merchants in Bitcoin, and created as a Christmas present to the whole Bitcoin community."
By launching a Christmas site on the day before Halloween, Bitcoin is officially 24 hours ahead of Wal-Mart!
I know where my first Bitcoins are going - to Tim Worstall. Anyone have his email address?
For those of you who might be concerned about this being a potential scam, the site is a joint venture between myself (GoWest) and Josh Strike (StrikeSapphire Casino): two guys with a vested interest in seeing Bitcoin grow and succeed.