Overstock.com sees new market in Bitcoins

Jan 21 2014, 7:58am CST | by

Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com first major retailer to accept Bitcoin payments

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com Inc. says it's the first major retailer to accept digital Bitcoins as payment for goods.

The $1 billion company is tapping into a new market of buyers who use the online currency, and other major retailers will lose market share if they don't follow suit and accept Bitcoins, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said.

"I've been hearing from people all over the world — cult followers of Bitcoin — who say they are going to shift all of their shopping to Overstock.com," Byrne told CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City.

Bitcoin users buy digital money and load it onto a virtual wallet. They can buy things online without having to enter their credit card information.

Unlike government-issued money, the value of Bitcoin fluctuates rapidly. To protect itself, Overstock uses a Bitcoin broker that immediately exchanges the digital coins into dollars.

Overstock started accepting the virtual currency Jan. 9, and Byrne said the company almost immediately grossed $100,000 in Bitcoin orders.

"You'll see Amazon jump on board. You'll see other large companies — they have to because they cannot concede this whole section of the market to us," Byrne said.

Amazon.com Inc. does not accept Bitcoins and has no plans to do so, company spokeswoman Julie Law said Monday.

The cybercurrency has existed for years as a kind of Internet oddity, counting supporters among tech-savvy libertarians, currency geeks and online speculators. Yet increasing acceptance is bringing it into mainstream use. Bitcoins are created, distributed, and authenticated independently of any bank or government.

The currency's cryptographic features make it virtually immune from counterfeiting, and its relative anonymity holds out the promise of being able to spend money across the Internet without fear of governments.

The linchpin of the system is a network of "miners" — high-end computer users who supply the Bitcoin network with the processing power needed to maintain a transparent, running tally of all transactions. The tally is one of the most important ways in which the system prevents fraud, and the miners are rewarded for supporting the system with an occasional helping of brand new Bitcoins.


Information from: KUTV-TV, http://www.kutv.com/

Source: AP Business


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Cyber Monday 2015 Takes Over
Cyber Monday 2015 Takes Over
Black Friday 2015 is history. Here come the Cyber Monday 2015 deals.
Amazon Black Friday 2015 Sale is Live: The Best Deals
Amazon Black Friday 2015 Sale is Live: The Best Deals
The Black Friday 2015 sale on Amazon is an 8 Day event.
Amazon Black Friday 2015 Deals Unveiled
Amazon Black Friday 2015 Deals Unveiled
The Black Friday 2015 Deals offered in the Amazon Black Friday 2015 Sale are here.
Sam&#039;s Club Holiday Savings Celebration Sale 2015 Kicked Off Online
Sam's Club Holiday Savings Celebration Sale 2015 Kicked Off Online
The Sam's Club sale on Saturday November 14 is the first big Black Friday 2015 sale of the year and the Black Friday deals are online now ahead of the stores opening.