A day in history as online retailer accepts Bitcoin currency

22 Jan 14

US discount online shopping retailer Overstock.com has made history by accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment on its online shopping site.

Customers can shop the Overstock.com website for any of the one million plus products available, including furniture, rugs, electronics and jewelry.

Once items are selected and placed in the customer's shopping cart, Bitcoin is a payment choice along with Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.

"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," says Patrick Byrne, Chairman and CEO, Overstock.com.

"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."

Byrne notes that Bitcoin is the world's most widely used crypto currency with a peer-to-peer network made up of thousands of computers run by individuals around the world - it also doesn't answer to a central authority.

It is similar to gold in that its supply is constrained mathematically to up to 21 million units that will grow in a predictable manner, he adds.

"Bitcoin is well suited for online transactions," Byrne continues. "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. Other online companies will have to follow suit soon."

Overstock.com is partnering with Coinbase.com out of San Francisco, Calif., 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 Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase.

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