First Major Retailer Joins Bitcoin Bandwagon - KMSP-TV

First Major Retailer Joins Bitcoin Bandwagon

Posted: Updated:

(FOX 11/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.

  • Gina's People

    A Rare Condition

    A Rare Condition

    Monday, April 21 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-04-21 15:24:17 GMT
    Hell on earth, that's how some doctors describe Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa also known as E.B. It's a horrible genetic disease that Nicky Zahorcak was born with. A lot of his skin is raw, the slightest touch can cause blisters that quickly spread. He says, "Right now, all the bandages that you see everywhere even on my sides, they're all raw skin." His mother Silvia says very few people know about this rare condition and she wants to change that.
    Hell on earth, that's how some doctors describe Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa also known as E.B. It's a horrible genetic disease that Nicky Zahorcak was born with. A lot of his skin is raw, the slightest touch can cause blisters that quickly spread. He says, "Right now, all the bandages that you see everywhere even on my sides, they're all raw skin." His mother Silvia says very few people know about this rare condition and she wants to change that.
  • Tech NewsTech NewsMore>>

  • Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:44 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:44:52 GMT
    Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming...
    Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its...
  • AT&T explores expansion of super-fast Internet

    AT&T explores expansion of super-fast Internet

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-22 20:34:27 GMT
    AT&T says it will expand super-fast Internet services to as many as 100 additional cities in 25 metropolitan areas.
    AT&T plans a major expansion of super-fast Internet services to cover as many as 100 municipalities in 25 metropolitan areas.
  • Apple offering free recycling of all used products

    Apple offering free recycling of all used products

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-22 20:34:24 GMT
    Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.
    Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices