Overstock CEO Sees Bitcoin Sales Rising More Than Expected

patrickbyrne05 Mar 2014 / Wall Street Journal – Bitcoin holders have spent more than $1 million at Overstock.com OSTK -2.51% since Jan. 9, surpassing the online retailer’s expectations and prompting it to keep a stash of the virtual currency that eventually may be used to pay vendors or employees.

Overstock.com Chief Executive Patrick Byrne said the Salt Lake City-based company now expects bitcoin sales to reach $10 million or $15 million this year, up from the $5 million that had been expected. That is a sliver of the $1.3 billion of revenue that the company generated last year.

Overstock began accepting bitcoins Jan. 9, becoming one of the biggest merchants to embrace the virtual currency as it attracts a growing amount of attention from merchants, investors and consumers. Created in 2009, bitcoins can be used to pay for goods and services.

The turnout from bitcoin customers comes during a difficult time for the virtual currency. One of its most prominent trading exchanges, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, filed for bankruptcy protection last week and said it is missing more than $470 million of bitcoins.

In an interview, Mr. Byrne said that the recent events don’t shake his belief that the currency can flourish.

“Banks get robbed and no one says that something must be wrong with the dollar,” he said.

Mr. Byrne also said that customers who pay with bitcoins are mostly men and are spending more than others, with average orders of $230 compared with $150 for typical orders. Of the more than 4,300 customers who have paid with bitcoins, Overstock estimates almost 60% are new customers….. Read more


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