Big Online Shopping First: to Take Bitcoin gives digital currency a boost
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2014 12:13 AM CST
Carts full of merchandise ordered online are rolled to the main packing area for shipping at the warehouse in Salt Lake City.    (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

(Newser) – has become the first major online retailer to accept Bitcoin, meaning users of the digital currency can now use it for one-stop shopping for everything from lawn chairs to laptops. Chief exec Patrick Byrne says he "believes in limited government, and the controversial currency "attracts me because it is a form of money that no government mandarin can will it into existence," the Wall Street Journal reports. Hot new San Francisco startup Coinbase will be handling the Bitcoin payments.

With the price of Bitcoin more volatile than ever, is Byrne making a huge gamble? Not so, according to Cade Metz at Wired. "Overstock has little to lose and much to gain," he writes, noting that while this is a big moment in the currency's history, the actual volume of Bitcoin payments is likely to remain fairly low. Byrne believes using the currency will work out a lot cheaper than going through processors like PayPal, and his company's trailblazing move may push other retailers like Amazon to start accepting Bitcoin.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Jan 13, 2014 9:00 PM CST
So I guess that is going to issue you a house credit when you don't actually spend the full $850, the value of one bitcoin.
Jan 12, 2014 10:41 AM CST
Monopoly money anyone ? I've got several million monopoly dollars. I'll print more monopoly dollars if need be !
Jan 11, 2014 8:19 AM CST
Patrick Byrne...w/ bases loaded cracks one out of the park. Overstock . com wins! Overstock . com wins! Overstock . com wins!