Throughout the year more and more local and international companies have been opening their doors to Bitcoins, the innovative digital currency and a pioneering peer-to-peer payment system. Overstock.com is probably the largest retailer that have embraced the possibility of providing its customers with a revolutionary payment method accepting this crypto-currency.
The company introduced this feature on January 9, 2013, and by March 2014 Bitcoin owners have purchased goods for more than $1 million, significantly excelling the expectation of the online retailer. The Salt Lake City-based company is planning to continue promoting the virtual currency that might eventually be used as a payment method for vendors and employees.
According to the company’s statistics, most of the customers, who used Bitcoins as their payment method, are men with considerably greater purchasing power — $230 on average per order, instead of $150 for a typical shopping cart. Overstock.com has determined that out of 4,300 clients, who paid with Bitcoins, nearly 60% were new customers.
By the end of this year overstock.com forecasts Bitcoin sales to outreach $10 to $15 million, far from the initial prognosis of $5 million. In addition, the company has begun to accumulate Bitcoins received from the customers’ payments instead of immediately exchanging the digital currency to dollars. According to Patrick Byrne, overstock.com CEO, ‘You want money to be based on something that no government mandarin can wish into existence with the stroke of a pen’. overstock.com intends to retain 10% of its revenues from Bitcoin sales in the crypto-currency due to the increasing attention of mass media, investors, retailers, and consumers. This behaviour is quite contrary to the practices of other businesses, who avoid keeping the currency to reduce the risks from Bitcoin’s price fluctuation.
Prior to overstock.com, only small- and medium-size firms accepted Bitcoins. Although introducing this crypto-currency was initially an experimental practice for overstock.com, it is clear that the results are quite favourable. So who’s next? Best Buy? Macy’s? Or maybe Amazon?