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
Major Shopping Site: We Now Take Bitcoin
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) 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. (More Overstock stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.