Overstock.com is accepting bitcoin as a form of payment.
Customers can use that “cryptocurrency” in addition to Visa, MasterCard and PayPal on the website to buy merchandise.
“This is historic. Digital currency will be an important part of the future and Overstock is excited to be the first major online shopping retailer to accept it,” states Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick M. Byrne. “As one who believes in limited government, this attracts me because it is a form of money that no government mandarin can will it into existence.“
Bitcoin is operated by a peer-to-peer network made up of thousands of computers run by people around the world and doesn’t answer to a central authority. It is like gold in that its supply is constrained mathematically to up to 21 million units that will grow in a predictable manner.
“Bitcoin is well suited for online transactions. It has no transaction fees and works well for international customers. Providing this convenience for the cult-following Bitcoin customer is the smart thing to do,” Byrne said in a statement. “Other online companies will have to follow suit soon.”
Overstock.com is partnering with San Francisco’s Coinbase.com to process the payments and to handle the conversion of Bitcoin into U.S. dollars.
“We believe that Bitcoin is nearing a tipping point for broad consumer adoption, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the team at Overstock.com to help make that a reality,” states Coinbase.