In their first day accepting Bitcoin as payments for their goods, online retailer Overstock.com boasted a total of $126,000 in sales that were completed using the virtual digital crypto currency. Overstock.com used the payment processing company Coinbase to receive the Bitcoin currency as payments for good and shipping. The online retailer would like to make Bitcoin an option for their entire worldwide customer base, but so far the Bitcoin payment option is only accepted for goods shipped within the United States.
Overstock.com is not the first but the largest online retailer to use Coinbase as a Bitcoin payment processor. Coinbase already provides Bitcoin payment processing for other online sites like: Ok Cupid, Humble Bundle and Reddit. The San Francisco startup, Coinbase currently serves 19,000 other businesses.
On Thursday Coinbase posted on their blog saying that they think that Bitcoin is nearing the “tipping point” for a broader acceptance of the digital currency by consumers. Coinbase was also thrilled to be working with online retailer Overstock.com and trying to help make that broader acceptance of Bitcoin by the general population a reality.
Some experts will disagree to whether Bitcoin is nearing the worldwide acceptance that Coinbase spoke of in their blog post. They think that Bitcoin is too unstable to be used as a currency. In November and early December, the price of Bitcoin hovered around $1,200. Mid-December brought a price-drop to Bitcoin to make the digital currency only worth between $500 and $700. Bitcoin’s price is now over $900 just a few weeks later and starting to trade over the $1,000 mark once again.
The $126,000 in sales that Overstock.com made in their first day of accepting Bitcoin was attributed to only 800 orders. Leading into the holiday season, one Bitcoin could have bought three 16GB iPads, but just weeks later that same Bitcoin would only purchase a single iPad. This wild fluctuation in price is what may prevent other retailers from driving into the world of the unknown by following Overstock.com into accepting the crypto currency.
The Overstock.com sales results were generated in just 22 hours their first day. The company took $5,000 worth of Bitcoin for payment in their first hour and doubled it to $10,000 in their second hour. If Bitcoin sales were to continue on this level it still only amounts to 4 percent of the online retail giant’s yearly sales.
Other experts see the move by Overstock.com to accept Bitcoin as payment is a healthy sign for the virtual currency. This shows that people are willing to spend and use the digital currency on goods and not just sit and hoard them with hopes of the value skyrocketing.
Coinbase also launched another company’s ability to take Bitcoin for payments on January 10. The Delaware company eZanga started to use Coinbase to accept Bitcoin payments for placing ads for companies across the internet. eZanga doesn’t only accept payments in Bitcoin, they will also pay the sites on which their ads appear in Bitcoin too.
Digital currency fans everywhere are anxiously waiting to see if Overstock.com’s first day drive to $126,000 in sales will encourage other big online retailers to also accept Bitcoin as payment.
By Brent Matsalla